Occupy Auburn to take stand in Downtown

Day-long protest rally at clock tower planned
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The Occupy Wall Street movement arrives Thursday in Auburn. Two months of “occupy” protests have taken place in communities throughout the nation but the planned rally and march would be Placer County’s first. The rally will take place at the Downtown Auburn clock tower from 11 a.m. to twilight at approximately 5 p.m. A march from the clock tower to the Placer County Courthouse in Old Town Auburn for a rally there with speeches will follow starting at 5 p.m. A group calling itself Placer County Citizens for Action announced the plan Wednesday for an Occupy Auburn rally. Auburn’s Jacquelyn Kracke, one of the organizers, said the rally is the product of a non-partisan collective of area residents varying in political outlook, religious background and social economic class. “This isn’t about Democrats vs. Republicans or left vs. right,” she said. The group is also aligning itself with a “99 percent” movement that draws attention to the disparity in wealth between the nation’s richest and its poorest. “The 99 percent movement is open and prepared to share sidewalk space with anyone who cares to join them,” Kracke said. Kracke said the Occupy Wall Street movement and its offshoots reflect growing dismay among Americans over “corrosive banking policies, lack of corporate accountability, lack of retribution and ineffective governmental response to the bleak financial forecast for millions of Americans.” Through social networking, Kracke said she expects about 50 people to turn out. There will be an information table, sign-making station and free cookies, she said. “We’re really hoping to start a conversation about financial institutions, accountability and the concentration of extreme wealth,” Kracke said. “We’re not trying to camp out overnight. It’s a daylong rally with intermittent marches.” Kracke, 25, is a recent University of California, Santa Cruz graduate employed in Sacramento as an environmental biologist. She attended an Auburn teach-in earlier this month on issues surrounding the Occupy Wall Street movement and was surprised when 45 people showed up. That resulted in establishment of the Citizens for Action group last week and organization of Thursday’s rally, she said. Is Auburn ready to be occupied? Area residents had mixed feelings when asked Wednesday about the planned protest. Derek Wautlet, an Auburn resident, initially questioned the idea of Occupy Auburn. “It’s really going to happen here? Really?” Wautlet asked. “That’s something else.” Wautlet said he didn’t know much about the movement and wondered whether Auburn made sense as a protest site, compared to more prominent protests in urban locations such as Oakland or New York. But Wautlet said that he supports a group that would help retain the United States as a nation with freedoms. “It’s basically tyranny that we need to fight against,” Wautlet said. “A well-armed populace is one of the best defenses.” Learning of the event, Gary Stuck of Newcastle said he would turn out Thursday for Occupy Auburn. “I’ll be there,” Stuck said. “I think everyone’s got run over. The wealthier have gotten wealthier and the poor poorer. Until there is some serious civil disobedience, there will be no consequences.”