Sat, 02/11/2012 – 18:03 The Associated Press
On any night in New York City, which remains a hub of the movement, a dozen working groups on issues like “food justice” and “arts and culture” meet in a Wall Street atrium, and “general assemblies” have formed in 14 neighborhoods. Around the country, small demonstrations — often focused on banks and ending foreclosure evictions — take place almost daily.
If the movement has not produced public leaders, some visible faces have emerged.
”I’m finally going to make it to the dentist next week,” said Dorli Rainey, a Seattle activist. “I’ve had to cancel so many times. It’s overwhelming.”
Rainey, who is 85 and was pepper-sprayed by the police in November, has been fully booked for months. On a recent Thursday, she joined 10 people in Olympia, Wash., who were supporting a state Senate resolution to remove U.S. soldiers from Afghanistan. She led a rally near Pike Place Market against steam incinerators, which the protesters complain release pollution in the downtown area. In March, she plans to join Occupy leaders in Washington, D.C., for events that are still being planned.
”People have different goals,” Rainey said. “Mine is, we’ve got to build a movement that will replace the type of government we have now.”
Jumping on a proposal from Portland, Ore., groups in 34 cities have agreed to “a day of nonviolent direct action” on Feb. 29 against corporations accused of working against the public interest. Then on May 1, they will try to persuade thousands of Americans who share their belief that the system is rigged against the poor and the middle class to skip work and school, in what they are calling “a general strike” — or “a day without the 99 percent.”
”Inspiring more people to get angry and involved is the top priority,” said Bill Dobbs, a member of the press committee of Occupy Wall Street and a veteran of the Act Up campaign for people with HIV and AIDS. He added that people could “take action on whatever issue is important to them, whether economic justice, the environment or peace.”