Occupy movement leaves courthouse lawn

The Occupy Grand Junction movement will soon look different.

Discussion among the movement’s participants has prompted organizers to branch it out to other places in Grand Junction, freeing up the old Mesa County Courthouse lawn for maintenance and preparation for winter.

Participants had been protesting and occasionally camping at the site since Occupy Grand Junction formally began more than a week ago.

“We spent eight days here and we thought we achieved what we could,” said movement participant Sean McNeal, who was at the old courthouse Sunday afternoon, helping pack things and disseminate information about future plans.

Occupy Grand Junction members have decided to stage weekly daytime protests or demonstrations at other Grand Junction businesses, banks or health care facilities to continue with the group’s message of general frustration with corporate practices and government bank bailouts.

“Grand Junction consists of more than Sixth (Street) and Rood (Avenue),” McNeal said.

McNeal said he did not want to speak for the whole movement but expected future daytime protests to be at least once a week, if not more frequently. He did not know specifics.

Occupy Grand Junction has held a 6 p.m. meeting daily on the lawn of the old courthouse to discuss the movement and make plans.

By noon Sunday, there were only a few people on the old courthouse lawn because the group decided that Sunday would be “a transition day” to give participants a chance to regroup and focus on future protests.

In fact, all Grand Junction Police Department presence at the old courthouse site was gone by Sunday morning.

“It’s my understanding that we are done,” said Police Department Sgt. Matt Smith of patrols at the old courthouse location.

The Occupy Grand Junction movement, which was sparked by other much larger “Occupy” movements around the country, began nearly a week ago and has included, at times, more than 100 people.

The Occupy Grand Junction organizers also are posting updates on its Facebook wall.


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