Occupy C-U general assembly held to choose new locations, committee

Members of Occupy Champaign-Urbana met Friday at the Champaign Public Library where they made plans deciding on its next location to “occupy.” Approximately 50 people attended the meeting and discussed the details of last weekend’s rally.

Local musician and activist Jim Bean, who goes by the stage name Jammin’ Jimmy Bean, was one of the 50 people who attended the meeting. He said the movement needs to keep growing and gaining more support.

“This should be one of the last general assembly meetings we have,” Bean said. “We should be out there occupying somewhere sooner rather than later.”

There was also dispute among the activists on whether the movement should have more structure to it. Josh Hartke, spokesman of the group, was one person who said he strongly believed there should be a committee that would explore options of where to protest and share with the group its observations. A few activists thought this would give more power to certain people in the movement since committee members would have more responsibilities. Hartke stressed the fact that no decision would be made by just one person and that everybody in the group has a vote.

By the end of the meeting, a few of these committees were formed.

Members of the movement who felt that it was important to have more of a protest-type event had the chance to do so on Saturday. About 20 protestors demonstrated at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Marketview Drive for a little over two hours on Saturday afternoon.

As people drove by the intersection, many honked their horns in support of the Occupy demonstrators. Protestors were holding up signs seen at the previous Occupy protests, such as “We are the 99 percent” and graphs that show disproportionate distribution of wealth in the United States.

Jeff Putney, an engineer from Champaign, said he chose to participate in the protest Saturday because of horrible injustices he thinks are present in “the system.”

“I’m excited to see people actually starting to speak up about these issues and take action,” Putney said.