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'Focus on building alternatives' to capitalism

Occupy Worcester draws some from Southbridge area

One of the early-arriving protesters sports a hopeful sign. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
October 12, 2011
WORCESTER — For Elizabeth Marcinkowski, the growing Occupy movement is an opportunity to challenge what she dubs the "vacuum economy" or the "trickle-up economy" — the tendency for the labor of common American citizens to make the wealthiest people even richer, with little benefit to themselves.

"[The rich] are getting handouts from people who have nothing," she said. "This is about people coming out and voicing their concerns and not having an authority tell them what to do."

Marcinkowski, a Charltonian attending the Southbridge Quinsigamond Community College campus, was one of about 100 people from the region, mostly the city itself, who gathered behind Worcester City Hall Monday, Oct. 10 to be part of pushing for change. Their group discussion largely focused on moving personal money from and protesting the behavior of the major banks, such as foreclosing on homes, taking vast sums in bailout money, jacking up credit card costs and corrupting the political process with huge campaign funds. But it also touched on such concerns as helping poor folks weatherize homes, environmental protection, reaching out to the suburbs, supporting the larger Occupy efforts and addressing various local issues. All of those things fall under the movement's self-identification as representing "the 99 percent," in contrast with the wealthiest 1 percent who, as speaker (and local ACLU chapter Director) Ronal Madnick noted, control "half the wealth" of the United States.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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