'Occupy Cleveland' Protest Starts Thursday



There will be catchy signs.
  • There will be catchy signs.

Recent footage of protesters railing against capitalist pigs on Wall Street has inspired others around the country and beyond to do the same. On Thursday, it’s Cleveland’s turn.

It’s called Occupy Cleveland, an offshoot of the somewhat more sizable Occupy Wall Street protest that’s been going on in New York City since mid-September.

The New York festivities were organized by Adbusters, a nonprofit group known mostly for being 1) anti-consumerist and 2) Canadian. Inspiration for the Wall Street protest — now three weeks strong, with body odor to spare — came from upheaval in Cairo earlier this year, which culminated in some fabulous YouTube videos and also the Egyptian Revolution.

But how does one Occupy Cleveland?

First off, by assembling at the Free Stamp downtown at noon on Thursday. From there, the group will march on one of Cleveland’s countless symbols of oppression, which has yet to be determined — most likely Public Square, the Federal Building, or possibly the batting cages at Progressive Field. (It will be Public Square.)

So far, the local movement’s got good mojo.

“In the past week or so, there’s really been a lot of people seeing a void that needs to be filled, and they’re stepping up and filling that void without any questions asked,” says spokesman Jacob Wagner, a law student at Case Western Reserve.

The group has sought solidarity with local unions and city officials, and has also reached out for celebrity support from the likes of filmmaker Michael Moore and Bone Thugz-n-Harmony, who surely are available.

Occupy Cleveland literature — all the best revolutions have literature — promises protesters will “set up their community camp and maintain an occupation indefinitely.” But so far, they’ve yet to pick a base of operations. Just like the bloody demonstrations spawned by the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago, “a lot of this is going to be weather permitting,” says Wagner.

And as for the plentiful arrests taking place on Wall Street?

“So far, it seems like the police are going to be on our side,” Wagner says. “Generally, police tend to agree with us, so we’re kind of hoping they’re going to look the other way with some of the city ordinances. But if they don’t, we’re gonna run into some problems.”

Cleveland Police did not reply to requests for comment.

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