About 60 people turned out Saturday (October 15) for a second “Occupy” protest in Newport. The gathering at the Hwy 20/101 intersection was one of many across the globe focusing on messages of greater economic equality. Rural Oregon appears particularly well-organized, with events in Newport, Port Orford, Bend, Medford and Salem. “We will add our voices to the global call for the return of governance of the people,” said organizer Devin Robinson of Newport. Marchers said they were not concerned about the crowd being half of that which turned out last Wednesday. They noted thate a dry Saturday in October is an opportunity that causes many people to make plans. There was also an OSU football game at 1:00 p.m.
The group encouraged Bank of America patrons to close their accounts and choose alternatives like local banks and credit unions. However, an attempt to pass out information at the Newport branch resulted in a polite request from a security agent for demonstrators to stay off bank property, which they did.Bank of America has received negative publicity for its recent decision to charge $5 per month for the use of a debit card. It also has been sued by federal and several state governments for its role in the mortgage crisis, and for a robo-signing scandal.
The Occupy Newport group Tuesday (October 18) plans what it called a “general assembly” at the Don Davis Memorial Park pavilion in Newport’s Nye Beach. The gathering at 6:00 p.m. will be to discuss options for a march and protest scheduled for the next day at 4:00 p.m. The march will start at the entrance to Nye Beach and end at the Hwy 20/101 interchange.
A rally in Newport last week turned out more than 100 people and received an overwhelmingly positive response from passing motorists. An organizer of the rally in Medford reported more than 300 people there, with more than two hours of speakers, and reports of people coming from as far away as Yreka, California. The Port Orford rally drew about 100, including people from Bandon and Brookings. In Salem, protesters began at the State Capitol steps and marched to Peace Park for an open mike rally. Some are camping out at Wilson Park with kitchen and first aid on site, and vow to stay there.