Occupy Oswego Group Seeks ‘Positive Change’

OSWEGO, NY – The occupation has come to the Port City.

A group of concerned citizens are following in the footsteps of the Occupy Wall Street movement and hope to bring positive change to Oswego.

Sue Matthews of Oswego spoke on behalf of the group at Monday’s council meeting.

Sue Matthews addresses the Oswego Common Council on Monday night
Sue Matthews addresses the Oswego Common Council on Monday night

“As Occupy has sprung to life in small towns and cities across the world, the people involved have come to a consensus that one of the best and fastest way to bring positive change is on a local level,” she told the council.

One of the grassroots group’s current needs is a central location where they can gather in town at least once a week.

“If the city could offer us such a space we would consider it a show of good faith,” Matthews said. “We would consider any offer of this with great thanks and hope you will give us a prompt reply.”

Shortly after she left the podium, in the few minutes between the end of the public session and start of the regular meeting, Councilor Connie Cosemento mediated a possible deal with Mike Smith, DPW commissioner. They offered the group a possible meeting site, weekdays, in the McCrobie Civic Center on Lake Street.

Starting this week, they have a small, local group that will attempt to attend every public city council meeting in Oswego and take part in working toward forwarding the community in a positive way, Matthews added.

“We will continue to gather facts and make public, relevant issues, in an attempt to defeat the apathy that has allowed the current misuse, waste and corruption to exist on just about every level of our government,” she said. “We would like to foster more interaction between the college and town, support local business, attract new businesses and tourism, in an environmentally sound way. We invite everyone to join us.”

This week’s Saturday march will highlight the importance of buying locally and supporting local business, she said, adding that “where you spend your money speaks loud and clear to the big corporations that have stolen your democracy.”

A group is traveling to Dansville on Wednesday for the hydrofracking hearings to ensure the water is protected, she noted. Another is working on the issue of large power corporations negotiating down their property taxes and leaving local school budgets woefully short, she added.

Some of the group’s members are working on the beginnings of a youth activity center.

They will soon get information to the public on the working groups and their goals in hopes that others will come help, she said.

“We strive to be known by our good works. In the meantime, connect with your local groups and find out what is going on locally, every place has its own issues and you are all welcome to attend our biweekly general assemblies to start your own group,” she said. “We have much work to do to take back our democracy. We remain united in our number one goal as issued by the Occupiers on Wall Street. We know what we are protesting and we are not going away.”

”Personally, I know there’s a lot of issues that will take a long time to fix, a lot of work. I have a little issue that you can fix real easy. It’s a personal request. I request that the plastic inflatable environmentally insulting Christmas Ornaments not appear on the lawn of Oswego City Hall again,” Matthews told the council. “Please, can you upcycle or recycle them? A tree, some greens and a candle in the window would be lovely.”

She invited people to attend their meeting. If they have an issue that’s not being addressed maybe they can help get it addressed, she said.

The group’s newly created official website has links to their two Facebook pages (one is for planning and working on local actions and the other for posting information and gathering, sorting and disseminating facts): http://www.facebook.com/l/mAQE_xOBOAQF1cevww0ET8UV_4U4MaaQcbtAsbug_QJlm3g/occupyoswego.com/

“You will also find a calendar there that was just created, so it may not have every event yet. We have people working on it,” Matthews said.

Many members prefer to remain anonymous, she noted.

“Our contact list is used mainly for emergency calls to action. Like when somebody is getting maced or evicted. I’ve received private messages from some small businesses that are very supportive but don’t want to express it publicly for fear of alienating a segment of their customer base that listens to the bad press that the corporate media has been spewing,” Matthews told Oswego County Today.

She isn’t sure exactly how many members they have, but added, “there are more every day. Seems like it about doubles every week.”

“People come and like it and bring a friend or two next time. People are hungry for good news and solutions to their problems. It feels good to be heard and take back your country,” she said. “No one can take your power; the only way you can lose it is if you give it away. All we need is 50% of the 99% by the next election and we the people will win.”

For more information, visit: http://www.facebook.com/l/BAQEnbNVyAQFk8_0ogOWc3o5QYfM_jzIQovod8UFjYteZow/occupyoswego.com/get-involved/
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  1. Yes, we the people, the OCCUPY MOVEMENT is here to stay for the long haul, we are not going away…there is a lot of work to be done and people all across the nation are willing to to their duty as US Citizens to right the wrongs that have take away our right to representatives that represent us, not the big corporations or special interests groups they (the politicians) owe their money backing to. The Occupy Movement is about true DEMOCRACY in action. Power to the people, for the people are too big, we are the majority, and we will get the big money and special interests out of Washington!

  2. I am one of those that would prefer to remain anonymous, but the truth is, this is bigger than the loss of a few customers in my business or any other business. It is the loss of my whole livelihood, and almost everyone else I know.

    Because I DO believe that this movement is an important one in regaining citizen-based government. Over and over, I have thought, if big business, and big government doesn’t pay attention, and learn from the past, we may indeed have something similar tothe French Revolution, and/or the Russian Revolution.

    According to Wikipedia, and in regard to France, I am paraphrasing here: Absolute royalty which ruled for centuries fell in three years. The society behind that rule which included a system of feudal landlords, and aristocrats disappeared with an assault from radical groups of peasants who joined with urban dwellers in ousting outdated ideas on monarchy, aristocracy and The Church (which was mostly the Catholic Church at the time, and extremely powerful politically). This system was abruptly overthrown (I would emphasize the word ABRUPTLY). Known as the New Enlightenment, the ideas which came into effect at this time were of equality and unalienable rights for the citizenry. ”

    The basis of our government was founded on many of these ideals, and are that which we still hold sacred to the contemporary American lifestyle. In my opinion, it doesn’t really exist anymore. Maybe it never really did, as economic opportunities have never truly been equitable (race/ethnicity, etc), but when there is a loss of opportunity to gain an equitable lifestyle, Opportunity is the key point I am making. With domestic jobs, and opportunities to profit from our energies not only economically (MO$$$TLY economically), but also with a good quality of life out of balance, then the lowest tiers will rebel. THOSE quality of life disparities result in high crime, and low income communities.

    The wealthy elite who make that 99% have found a way to not only encapsulate the majority of profits, but are also not paying their share to sustain the infrastructure of the communities in which they reside. That is left for the masses to absorb, making their quality of life difference even greater. When a corporate employee loses their home to foreclosure, the lower middle class is enabling s/he and the family to remain their mortgage bailouts, when in an equitable society, the lower income person would not lose their home, either. But when they can’t pay their taxes, the lower-class home is certainly foreclosed upon! It is difficult for those of us residing in modest housing to watch those in half million dollar homes getting ‘relief’ with our taxes. THIS bothers me probably the most about this system. The bail-outs.

    A hundred years later, in Russia, the citizenry had their own uprising, circa 1917, based on 99 percent rule vs. 1 % of the citizenry, which was largely peasant and poor, vs. wealthy royals.

    We know how that turned out. BUT, George Orwell noticed that with the second example, in Animal Farm (his allegorical novel on totalitarianism), that very soon an elitist group of socialists began to usurp the egalitarian (equality for all, not just for some, and not some “more equal than others”).

    I think we are in the same boat here in the US today. Our government parameters are shifting, and the elite (99%) have made their fortunes, just as they were made in France over centuries on the backs of the masses.

    WE are the masses. In Oswego, I don’t know that we have ONE of the 1% residing here, but I DO believe we have many, many, if not most of the 99% in our COUNTY.

    And, IF we hope to regain our liberty as our forefathers stated in the Declaration which founded this nation: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —

    That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

    I think it’s time.

    Deborah Engelke
    Time & Again Books & Tea

  3. Thank you Debbie for one of the most significant and well stated posts I have read in some long time. I hope you copy and paste and send that to every single American who will listen. And Sue Matthews… WELL DONE!

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