December 25, 2011
As 2011 comes to a close, it’s fair to say Occupy has occupied the land.
Far from the opening and closing bells of Wall Street, and its powerful bull, here in the southern Berkshires, Occupy Berkshires demonstrates each Sunday (excepting this Sunday) from 1 PM to 2:45 PM in front of Great Barrington’s Town Hall on Main Street. It then holds its General Assembly at 3 PM at the Quaker Meeting House on 280 Main Road (Route 23 towards Monterey.) There are similar groups in Pittsfield and North Adams.
It’s easy to get rhetorical about the extent and impact of Occupy but a recent study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) found occupy movements in 143 small towns and cities in California alone.
“Big cities got the movement early. The spatial depth of the movement to small towns is not well-known,” said Christopher Chase-Dunn, a distinguished professor of sociology who is known internationally for his research of social movements.
People in medium and small-sized towns are occupying space, organizing events, and lending their voices to the movement in their own towns, graduate student Michaela Curran-Strange added. “They are focusing on local issues as well as national and regional ones.”