By now, most of us have heard of the Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Denver, and maybe you’ve even driven by the local Occupy Fort Collins protesters. Whether you are in favor of the protesters, or opposed, the Occupy groups seem to be gaining global momentum.

But what is the message the Occupy groups are trying to send and what are they all about? I wanted to find out for myself so I stopped by the Occupy Fort Collins camp based at the corner of College Avenue and Maple Street in Old Town Fort Collins to ask them.

What is Occupy Fort Collins?

I visited with Benjamin David Gilmore, a Fort Collins business owner, war veteran and a member of Occupy Fort Collins. One of his goals with Occupy is to show support to end the wars and bring our uniformed men and women home. After talking to Gilmore for a few minutes, he raised up his left arm to show me he was missing his left hand, an injury he suffered while fighting for our country.

Benjamin David Gilmore, Occupy Fort Collins Protester

You can’t bring back my hand, you can’t bring back sons and daughters that have been lost during these wars.

- Benjamin David Gilmore, Occupy Fort Collins


As I talked to the protesters, one message seemed pretty clear, they all were there for different reasons, but all seemed to want change. But what change do they want? What is their purpose?

“We as the masses have been living in an age of self-inflicted apathy” Thanks to the Occupy Wall Street protests, however, people from the left, the right, the Republican and Democratic parties, the young and old are speaking out against all issues they deem important.

Eric Eisen, via the Loveland Reporter-Herald

According TO their website:

Occupy Fort Collins is a non-violent assembly of people from all walks of life exercising our rights to free expression. We occupy in solidarity with OccupyWallStreet and peaceful occupy movements all over the world. We do not support or promote any party, politician or group, we are here for the people as a whole to stand up to the greedy politicians and corporations.

Occupy Fort Collins has been occupying the corner of College and Maple since last Monday, October 10, 2011. How long will they stay? From the protesters I spoke with, they aren’t leaving anytime soon.

An Occupy Fort Collins protester goes through signs

Some Colorado State University students are also joining the movement. Last Friday, CSU students had their own Occupy protest on campus by walking out of classes and down College Avenue to join the Occupy Fort Collins group.

Patrick Messall, who recently graduated with his master’s degree in education from CSU, was one of those who spoke at the gathering and marched downtown.

“I am both shocked and pleased that it has taken off the way it is.” Messall said. “We are near a tipping point where this has become a major democratic movement in the country.”

Occupy Fort Collins Protester

Occupy continues to expand in Northern Colorado. Tomorrow, the first Occupy Greeley general assembly will meet at Gunter Field at 4:00PM, according the their website and Facebook page, it already has 180 fans. The Occupy Fort Collins general assemblies are held daily at 5:30PM.

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