300 protest corporate greed as Occupation of Youngstown begins

Saturday, October 15, 2011

300 protest corporate greed as Occupation of Youngstown begins

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

About 300 demonstrators gathered in downtown Youngstown this afternoon to rally against corporate greed and state Issue 2 as part of a growing national protest movement.

Occupy Youngstown demonstrators carried signs, led petition drives and listened to speakers, most of whom assailed what they viewed as exploitative policies of banking institutions and corporate America.

“Wall Street started the war, and we the people will finish it,” Democrat state Rep. Robert Hagan of Youngstown told a fired-up crowd.

Jacob Harver, an organizer of Occupy Youngstown and owner of the Lemon Grove Cafe in downtown Youngstown, said “there’s nothing wrong with making money in a business.” But he added there is a big problem with the “exploitation” used by many big corporations.

He also called Senate Bill 5 ”the best thing to happen in Ohio in a long time." That's because it has awakened many people and drawn them out to protest and become active, he said.

SB 5 would weaken collective-bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio. State Issue 2 on the Nov. 8 ballot asks voters to support or reject its enactment.

Alice Lynd, longtime Mahoning Valley social activist, urged those at the rally to keep the movement nonviolent.

“Don’t give in to disillusionment and despair,” she told them. “We need people to keep on keeping on.”

Read the full story on the Occupy Youngstown rally Sunday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.