Two men plan Wall Street-style protest in Grand Junction

Protesters are preparing to occupy downtown Grand Junction, possibly on the plaza around the chrome buffalo in front of the Wells Fargo bank on Main Street, in a demonstration patterned after similar actions in New York City.

Occupy Grand Junction organizers are beginning plans for actions in Grand Junction, including “general assemblies” every night, organizer Chris Robinson said Wednesday.

Plans posted on the Web called for the action to take place Oct. 15.

Another organizer, Jacob Richards, an unsuccessful candidate for the City Council in 2010 and an activist for homeless people, was discussing plans for Occupy Grand Junction with city officials, Robinson said.

“We want it to be as peaceful as possible,” Robinson said.

Similar efforts have sprung up around the country, including Denver and Salt Lake City. The Occupy Grand Junction Facebook page on Wednesday morning used a photo of Lou Wille’s “Chrome on the Range” sculpture in downtown Grand Junction, but it was replaced later with a closed fist painted in the colors of the Colorado state flag with the letters “OTGJ” on the fingers and a peace sign on the United States flag on the thumb.

Robinson was working by himself until he learned on Wednesday that Richards also was trying to set up an Occupy Grand Junction event, Robinson said.

City officials are aware of Occupy Grand Junction, spokeswoman Sam Rainguet said, but “it was not something that came to us through the (event) permitting process.”

Occupy Grand Junction likely will be sympathetic to a list of demands proposed for Occupy Wall Street, Robinson said.

“People are tired of 1 percent of people holding all the money,” he said.

Among the demands are a “living wage,” regardless of employment, free college education, a fast-track to the end of the fossil-fuel economy, decommissioning of all nuclear plants, immediate debt forgiveness, and open-borders migration, Robinson said.

He said similar events have touched raw nerves across the country.

“We’re kind of getting stuff ready, stressing nonviolence,” Robinson said.

“People have something to say” about the economy, joblessness, housing market and other issues, he said. “More people want to take back the country.”

Energy companies are buying up patents for engines that work on alternative fuels, even on water, which rubs raw when gasoline prices are high, Robinson said.


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