Ash floats listlessly through the air as the smell of cigarette smoke saturates Downtown Seattle’s Westlake Park. People of all ages and walks of life dot benches throughout the park, yet many centralize around a makeshift canopy that serves as the operation’s home base. There, everyone from Hispanic civil-rights advocates, retired state workers and the homeless gather to protest as one.
But in the park, the drastic differences between protesters are difficult to miss.
Participants in the Occupy Seattle movement hail from across the city and its surrounding area, and all have different goals they hope to accomplish during the demonstration.
OccupySeattle.org, the group’s main tool for public outreach, states the overriding goal is “to take our government and country back from the big-money interests that currently hold undue sway over decisions affecting us all.”
But ask the protesters in Westlake Park, and an array of objectives will surface.
“The immediate goal is to preserve the movement’s conquest,” said a Seattle man who identified himself as Danny. “But, personally, I see it as a struggle — a warfare — against the top 1 percent that own everything. We’re all from Seattle and are here to support our brothers and sisters on [Occupy] Wall Street.
Many other protesters exhibit Danny’s diligence, whether staying for days at a time in the park or volunteering for one of Occupy Seattle’s many work groups in charge of supplies and community outreach.
“There are so many ways to help,” said volunteer and Lake Forest Park resident Keenan Reed. “People need to come down here and be the change they want to see.”
Reed, who recently canvassed arts and entertainment venues around Westlake looking for business supporters, also has a different end goal for the Occupy movement.
“I just want to save the economy. I just
. OCCUPY SEATTLE, Page 7