Ithaca College students are joining the efforts of thousands nationwide with their own Occupy Ithaca College protest.
As of noon, more than 200 students had responded on Facebook to attend to congregate at 4:30 p.m. at the Free Speech Rock in the academic quad to rally with the “99 percent.”
Junior Ren Ostry, who helped organize Occupy Ithaca College, said the protest is in response to a call to action by occupycolleges.org and is part of a national college walkout movement for today. She said as of this morning, more than 144 colleges were registered to join.
“Today is a call to action,” she said. “Today is a wake-up call for our communities to begin to recognize that things are just not OK right now.”
Ostry said students have had no choice about the economic situation they are entering.
“Right now, we are standing together in the similarity that, as students, we are forced to enter a job market and economic society that we had no form in shaping,” Ostry said. “That is completely unjust to us, and we want to start working on solutions.”
Some of the speakers at the event will include Tom Shevory, professor of politics; Michael Smith, associate professor of history; Bob Proehl, community outreach coordinator at Buffalo Street Books and senior Gabe Alvarez-Millard.
Ostry, who will also speak today, said she hopes to bring the passion of the Occupy Wall Street movement to the college.
“The whole purpose of this movement is not to just stand in solidarity, but to duplicate and grow and organize,” she said. “We will be helping students get down to Wall Street, but we’re also bringing Wall Street to Ithaca.”
Today is the first step toward making a point, Ostry said, and they are demanding accountability.
“We are physically pointing a finger at injustices,” she said. “That is a way to unify people. It is a way to step forward in the movement, and it is a way to really vent the way that we’ve all been feeling for so long — and it’s only the first step.”
At noon Tuesday, students will meet on the Quad in front of Campus Center in a General Assembly, similar to those in New York City.
The event is co-sponsored by the Ithaca College Environmental Society, Labor Initiative in Promoting Solidarity, ELAN and Ithaca Slowfood.
For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=249721045073819