Monday, December 12, 2011

Occupy Carbondale

The Occupy Movement started in New York City on September 17, 2011. Since then, it has exploded into an international movement against corporate greed and government corruption. It is the biggest story of the Revolutions of 2011 aside from the Arab Spring, which the organizers of the movement say inspired it. Occupy protests have sprung up in every major city on the planet and in smaller cities, including college campuses.

That includes Carbondale, Illinois. Occupy Carbondale started in October of this year. Its first meeting was at the Gaia House, which is right across from Quigley Hall and the SIUC campus. I've been tracking the protests since I attended the first meeting in September. While I count myself as a supporter of the movement, I had to take up the role of journalist while I did my project.

For my project, I attended a general assembly of Occupy Carbondale at their old location in front of Quigley Hall. I had actually been to the site several times before, mostly to get a few questions out of the participants and several organizers had agreed to be interviewed on a later date. Pay attention to that, guys.

About two weeks before Thanksgiving break at SIU, I went to a general assembly on a cold Thursday night. Since the origins and the purpose of the movement is already well-known to the general public, the better idea was simply to see how the general assemblies were conducted.

Things got under way, but I found some complications during recording. One of the organizers asked to pass a resolution that I be allowed to record. The thing is, there was someone there who already knew I was going to come with a recorder and interview people. I felt like I'd been cheated or something.

Luckily, my recording was approved. But, I only had about 7 minutes worth of recording time on my recorder, so I was forced to make it quick. It didn't help when the woman who put my recording up to a vote announced they were leaving the site for the Big Muddy IMC.

Once the assembly was over, all that was needed to do was to interview people. It went really well, since the people I asked were eager and willing to talk. The guy named Dan though, he was really interesting, since he was straightforward and to the point. One other interviewee, though, went on an anti-IRS and anti-FED rant before I turned off the recorder because they were getting too long. However, the others were very intelligent and offered good answers to my questions. I wish I could have done more, but I think that I did the best I could with the material I had.

Here's the link to the documentary

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