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  1. October 29th events narrative for HCTV (Nov 17 taping):

    On Saturday, October 29, about 125-150 persons from across the state of Montana gathered at noon time Hill Park in Helena to begin an event called “Occupy the Capitol” – it was a statewide gathering of people from Occupy Movement groups from at least 16 cities and towns in Montana. Some of the towns represented were Helena, East Helena, Townsend, Helmville, Victor, Anaconda, Boulder, Butte, Missoula, Lewistown, Dillon, Livingston, Bozeman, Clancy, Kalispell, and Missoula and others. Occupy groups in Great Falls and Billings held Occupy rallies in their towns that same day and sent reports and messages of solidarity with the Occupy the Capitol events in Helena.

    After meeting old and new friends from the various Occupy groups, we worked to together to make signs and banners to display at Hill Park and to carry in our march to the Capitol steps. Some of the banners were: “Meet People’s Needs, Not Wall Street Greed” – “We’re the 99%” — We’re the 99% Reclaiming Our County and Congress from Wall Street Control” — “Heal America – Tax Wall Street” – Occupy Helena in Support of Occupy Wall Street – We are the 99%” – “Corporations are Not People” – “We are the 99% — Occupy Butte.” The signs represented our hope that the grassroots democracy movement that Occupy Montana in support of Occupy Wall Street represents will be the beginning of a new and beautiful movement for justice and respect and dignity for the 99% of the country whose interests are not being represented by the greed of Wall Street investment banks whose reckless actions brought them billions in profits while it brought the 99% immense unemployment and loss of savings and suffering.

    The 140 people present gathered at 1:30 across the street from Hill Park at the Federal Reserve Bank Building on Neill Avenue – a local manifestation of Wall Street’s presence in our midst right here in Helena — and we began a mile-long march to the Capitol building steps on Sixth Avenue. As we carried our signs, we continued our conversations about the grassroots movement for the needs of the 99% that we are beginning for ourselves, our children and grandchildren.

    People who were unable to march the route from the Federal Reserve Building tot the Capitol steps, increase the number participating to about 150, and we began our rally at the Capitol Steps at 2:30 with reports from people representing the 12 Occupy movement groups from across Montana that had sent representative to Helena. We also heard a report and message of solidarity from the Occupy Billings group that had its own rally in Billings on October 29.

    Then, in the spirit of openness and inclusive that is an essential part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, we gave everyone who wanted to speak a chance to say whatever they wanted to share by using the microphone, addressing the 150 Occupy movement folks assembled on the Capitol steps.

    When the Capitol steps rally ended at 4:30, we marched back downtown to Women’s Park, where we shared a soup and bread supper prepared by Occupy Helena members. Continuing our dialogue during the supper helped build friendships and connections with people from the 16 Montana towns that were represented (not all of which had already founded local Occupy Wall Street groups).

    Then we held the first Occupy Montana General Assembly in support of Occupy Wall Street. General Assemblies are the Occupy Wall Street Movements’ decision-making meetings and, as is the case in all General Assembly meeting in the Occupy Wall Street Movement we used a nonviolent, respectful consensus process, making sure that everyone had a chance to share their view with respect and dignity. One of the main decisions made at the Occupy Montana General Assembly was a commitment to continue cooperation and communications among all the Occupy groups across Montana so we can do our part to grow the grassroots 99% Occupy Movement with hope and nonviolent actions that will reclaim democracy in the US from Wall Street’s control.

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