Between Bronough and Duval streets you can find people discussing issues they feel lawmakers need to address. They make up Occupy Tallahassee
Occupy has several committees that meet weekly as well as a general body meeting that meets twice a week. The group began meeting at All Saints Café Oct. 15 and were later able to acquire a permanent spot. Essentially they wanted to find a place that the city was comfortable with. Protesters and police have been civil and no arrests have been made. Occupy Tallahassee not only has protesters, but people to entertain and educate others of the movement.
Since the organization’s start, many have chosen to stay and camp out in downtown Tallahassee in hopes of shedding light on the 99 percent of Americans who own the smallest share of wealth. Their goal is to protest economic injustice.
Ralph Wilson has recently been camping out and has been a passionate supporter of the movement since day one. He said its importance in Tallahassee is substantial, especially because it’s the capital of Florida.
“It’s really important that there be a sustained presence of people who are really involved in making their voices heard. It’s actually trying to change the way that the state responds and hears people,” Wilson said while watching the Mickee Faust Academy for the Really Dramatic Arts perform a skit.
The Mickee Faust Academy performed Saturday night for Occupy Tally. Their skits were created specifically for the movement. People watched while they joked about the Tea Party, other “Occupy” movements and the one percent.
Barbara Roberts is one of the performers with the Mickee Faust Academy. She is still fighting for the 99 percent.
“I’m one of the little people. I bust my behind. I’m working three jobs to make ends meet. I don’t have health insurance and I’m barely getting by. I deserve the same things that the one percent has. I just wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and it’s ridiculous to withhold things because of that. It’s more about equalizing the playing field. It’s not a fair playing field at all. There’s one percent that have the higher ground and they expect us to be content with that.”
While many supporters have been there since the beginning, almost all vow be there as long as it takes and that it is not always about the numbers but getting support.
People have driven by shouting ruthless comments baffling the supporters. Bonnie Calhoun is among those who wish to promote awareness among the 99 percent. People have walked past her not knowing this affects them too. Calhoun does not believe they are being heard. She’s asked people why they aren’t occupying Tallahassee some have never heard of it.
“It’s for everyone. I’m shocked that the numbers aren’t huge,” Calhoun said.
December ninth through the 11, protesters from across the state gathered in Orlando for the People’s Convention of Florida. It was the first statewide occupy convention. They drafted a list of legislative proposals. The proposals were taken back to their respected cities to be passed and ratified through the general body. They are building to the first day of session.
“What I would like to accomplish is to have our state officials become accountable to the will of the people instead of the people with wealth,” Ernie, a protester who did not want to give his last name, explained.
Occupy Tally continues to go strong. Each week you can find various events encompassing the movement.