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Occupation sets up shop in St. Joseph

Anthony the facilitator starts the Occupation by explaining the process for allowing speakers an opportunity to be recognized and heard.

Occupation is a word that is quickly redefining itself, since the “people-powered movement” began on Wall Street roughly three weeks ago.

These “occupations” are spreading across the country, and one was born at 6:30 p.m., October 5, 2011, on the back steps of City Hall in downtown St. Joseph. As those attending the inaugural meeting quickly found out, the process is more formal than the media has been portraying.

Adam Young, one of the organizers of the occupation, said that he is from the area and helped with the event on Wall Street, and he kicked things off by congratulating everyone attending the occupation.

“I’m glad, actually, I’m amazed at the turnout,” Young said of the dozens attending the meeting.

Facilitation was the key point of Young’s address to the gathering: He said that the purpose is to give everyone that wants to the opportunity to be recognized and heard.

As people got a feel for exactly what the purpose and point of the general assembly was, they began coming forward to voice ideas and opinions.

Several in attendance are blaming the corporations and their CEOs. Some were adamant that the game has been rigged by CEOs so that most can never truly succeed or reach the same level of success.

One of those speakers was Eddie Miles, a Western student. He told a story to make an analogy between corporate greed and treasure hunting.

“They [corporate executives] are asking us, ‘hey, help me make this product,’” Miles said, “then they’re giving us minimum wage and keeping billions for themselves.”

Tom Dale, a Central Missouri State University alum, was the first to step forward. Dale was the first of many to voice a concern over lost jobs.

Dale has been unemployed since June and has yet to find a job in his chosen career path of economics and finance. He had found work managing a restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., but lost that job to a member of the owner’s family searching for work.

“I think companies should be fined. I think companies should not be allowed to make products in other countries while we’re all sitting here looking for jobs,” Dale said.

Dale isn’t like many, blaming CEOs of companies; he said that he doesn’t blame them for the money they’re making and said that they got to their position by educating themselves.

“I educated myself; I just can’t find a job,” Dale said.

Jobs and were obviously a topic headed toward a consensus for the group as they look to further the movement and grow it.

Those interested can follow the group on Twitter @Occupystjoseph or at their Facebook page Occupy St. Joseph for future events and dates.

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