Oct 132011
Authors: Jason Pohl

At 2:30 p.m., just a handful of students had gathered.

But within the hour, dozens of people showed up in support of the growing Occupy Fort Collins movement and the first official student march downtown from the Lory Student Center Plaza.

Students spoke to the group of about 75 fed-up and curious peers and community members about the importance of gathering support and showing that the youth of today does care about the future.

The national walkout was in growing support for the Occupy Wall Street demonstration –– a loosely organized movement that advocates economic equality and corporate justice.

The march to the occupation’s main protest site at the intersection of College Avenue and Maple Street coincided with similar actions taken by 150 universities across the nation.

“I’m tired of living in a world where success is measured in ways that I can’t achieve,” said Sophia Guerrero-Murphy, a junior political science major. “I’m not going to make billions of dollars, but that does not mean I’m not making progress.”

After the meeting, about 60 people marched toward Old Town in support of the national walkout aimed at bringing more people into the advocacy position against the richest 1 percent and their control of political power.

Patrick Messall, who recently graduated with his master’s degree in education from CSU, was one of those who spoke at the gathering and marched downtown.

“I am both shocked and pleased that it has taken off the way it is.” Messall said. “We are near a tipping point where this has become a major democratic movement in the country.”

Messall has become more active in the Fort Collins occupation this week, and he sees how this movement is beginning to gather momentum. He advocated a need for students to get involved in order to truly define what is to happen in the future.

“The previous generation did this and now it’s our turn to stand up and say we are the United States of America. We do not condone this,” he said.

Upon reaching the primary location for the main Occupy Fort Collins group, Willow Fitzgerald, a sophomore philosophy major, said there was a need for a weekly meeting on campus.

She said a meeting is key in getting college students involved in potential future marches and advocacy of the growing national movement.

“This movement means to me that we really do have the power to rise up,” Fitzgerald said.

Future meetings and decisions will need to be made before overnight camping can be permitted at the main location in order to comply with city ordinances. Ideas are being suggested that the tent-city can be made north of the official city limits, but no decision has been made.

The first on-campus meeting will be Monday at 5 p.m. at the free speech stump in the Lory Student Center Plaza. Everyone is encouraged to bring ideas and friends.

“It feels really good to have our generation here with the last generation and the next generation,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s time that things got shuffled up a bit.”

Senior Reporter Jason Pohl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Occupy Fort Collins

  • Who: Occupy Fort Collins supporters, students
  • What: About 60 marched from the Plaza to downtown
  • Why: Advocating economic and corporate responsibility

For more information, search Facebook or attend the meeting Monday at 5 p.m.

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