Despite fading from the headlines, the people-powered protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street that sprang up in New York City's Financial District this past September and spread like gangbusters from coast to coast, is still alive and well right here in Palm Beach County. Occupy Palm Beach County (OPBC) is the sole remaining "Occupy" movement in South Florida with a permanent encampment, and one of the longest-running protest campsites of its kind in the United States.
Unlike the original Occupy Wall Street location at Zuccotti Park and others in Oakland, L.A., D.C., and Norwich, Connecticut, that were ultimately evicted from their campground sites, OPBC has persevered.
Since late October, the City of West Palm Beach, out of respect for the
First Amendment, has been kind enough to grant OPBC use of the grounds
in and around the old City Hall downtown -- including
access to water and electrical power. "The site has been a model of
civic responsibility, self-policing, peaceful, clean, and sanitary,"
said one OPBC organizer, who wished to remain anonymous, in an email to
New Times. "The long-vacant building has been put to good use: hosting
teach-ins on the economic crisis, offering foreclosure counseling,
screening free films, offering shelter to the homeless and food to the
Now it seems that the City of West Palm Beach has grown tired of flipping the bill. If OPBC activists want to continue their good works and objections against economic inequalities in the U.S., they will have to raise the funds to pay for the city's utilities themselves.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
With that in mind, OPBC is organizing a benefit concert, currently titled "Benefit for the 99%," to raise awareness, create solidarity, and most importantly pay the rent bill. The concert is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of February 25. More details are scant at this point.
They are asking for a "little help from friends." So if you are a musician in tune with the 99 percent who would like to get down with the cause and/or are a performing artist in other media, including poets, dancers, and acrobats, you're also welcome. Contact email@example.com to get involved.