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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 25, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Occupiers gather in Week of Action

Occupy Ithaca College began its Week of Action on Monday, in solidarity with worldwide protests that are entering their third month.

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Senior Gabriel Alvarez-Millard sits in front of La Vincita during a workshop on self-protective measures Tuesday as part of the week of action.

The Week of Action is a series of meetings focusing on different aspects of the Occupy movement. It will end with a General Assembly on Friday.

Junior Ren Ostry, a facilitator for Occupy IC, said the week of action is intended to create more student interest in the larger movement.

“The greatest critique of the Occupy movement is a lack of action, a lack of messaging and goals,” Ostry said. “Our hope is that these meetings this week will allow us to recruit and culminate in a General Assembly.”

The organization is holding meetings every day this week at noon in the middle of IC Square. Tuesday, a group of about 15 students sat in front of La Vincita and went over self-protective measures.

Senior Gabriel Alvarez-Millard, who was in charge of Tuesday’s meeting, said he is hopeful for larger turnout in the coming days.

“There is a core of people that is slowly growing,” he said. “The way we plan it, there will be more people each day.”

Occupy IC first started with a mass student and faculty walkout Oct. 14. However, as the movement progressed, student participation has not grown substantially.

Junior Lyndsey Lyman, an organizer for the Week of Action, said the problem is based on inaccessibility.

“It’s because people don’t really know we exist on campus,” she said. “We realize the meetings we have for the General Assemblies, which were Tuesdays at noon, might not work for as many people as we’d like.”

Lyman said the meetings planned for the week are based around preparation for protest and whatever might possibly happen during one.

The week of action comes after heavy student involvement in Occupy demonstrations across the nation. Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park were cleared overnight Nov. 15, but soon returned. Videos of peaceful UC Davis student protestors being pepper-sprayed by police officers caused uproar across the nation.

“We chose to do those in light of recent events,” Lyman said. “We’ve seen more horrific events recently. As the movement grows, these events may become more unpredictable.

There’s always the chance that [something] may happen and people should be prepared to protect themselves.”

Lyman said she is hopeful students can overcome apathy.

“There were some people present who were obviously not in support of the movement,” Lyman said. “General apathy is part of what we encounter. I hope the students can see how the movement will benefit them and how it 100 percent effects them.”