Left Justified: Occupy Rockford featured at Nov. 7 event

October 26, 2011

Stanley Campbell

By Stanley Campbell

Wasn’t it amazing how swiftly this “occupation” movement swept over the country? Fox News is still trying to figure out “what they want,” but I think a good tax increase for Rupert Murdoch would help.

I’m going to host a program to analyze this at 7:30 p.m., Monday Nov. 7, at 201 Seventh St. Because the occupation came to Rockford! I enjoy movements that happen when I don’t have to do anything. I helped copy some of their fliers, and I tried to give some advice, which no one seems to pay attention to. But I don’t mind, because someone is doing something radical here in Rockford!

If you know about the “occupation of Wall Street,” then skip this next paragraph. It was started by some disgruntled Americans who want Wall Street tycoons to be taxed at least the rate of us regular folks, and maybe even throw some of them in jail (at least the ones who caused this economic mess). Since then, the movement has taken on a life of its own, with meetings, arrests and demonstrations across the country.

When people here in Rockford started “occupying,” I suggested a regularly-scheduled march instead of an occupation. I said, “Keep it non-violent, even when the teabaggers yell nasty stuff.” I suggested using humor, recommended they try not to rant and suggested they keep the action kid-friendly. The more attractive, the more people will join. So far, so good.

Frankly, I did not expect this movement to make it to Rockford. I was pleased Wall Street got occupied. Those are some of the folks who got us in this economic mess, and they are sitting pretty.

An occupation is expensive. Food, water, a little shelter, a place to relieve one’s self, and invariably a bond fund. That all takes work, and takes away from whatever message you want delivered. But there are people who seem to want to occupy someplace (here, it’s usually in front of Chase Bank on East State Street in downtown Rockford).

I think the movement is amazingly versatile. There doesn’t seem to be anyone in charge, but everyone seems to have a voice. However, the slogan “This is what democracy looks like” is incorrect; more accurately, it should be “This is what a good demonstration looks like.” Democracy takes place on voting day, once every 365 days, if we are lucky. We Americans complain about having to put up with all these politicians wanting our vote, but the USA rarely gets 50 percent of its population to cast a vote.

Imagine if we had to vote on everything our politicians vote on.

Speaking of politicians, I am so disappointed with the new Winnebago County Forest Preserve District Board voting to purchase that old fishing hole. It was not on any lists, or showed much environmental value. But it was owned by the former Sheriff, Don Gaspirini, which gave me pause. Are the board members using our hard-earned tax dollars to benefit one of their good, ol’ friends?

Anyway, I digress. The topic is Occupy Wall Street, and how the movement is getting support even here in little old Rockford.

I’ve invited friends who visited the Wall Street Occupation and took some good photos. They’ll show those photos beginning at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 7, at JustGoods, 201 Seventh St., Rockford. Free and open to the public (of course, munchies and donations are welcome). Jenny Tomkins, a reporter for In These Times, a Chicago newspaper, will address the difficulties of organizing an “Occupy Chicago” movement. And I welcome good friend and attorney Kim MacCloskey to talk about the Occupy Rockford movement.

I also welcome anyone else to give their 2 cents worth, and I would never demand even a nickel.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

From the Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2011, issue


  1. nobama4me

    October 26, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I support your right to protest, as long as you do not trespass, litter, assault others, and leave areas at times required by law, with posted hours. Also, since you do not believe in capitalism, I hope you have no money in any stock, or any interest bearing account. But, our country, being based on capitalism, you do not have any right to any of what I have earned. If you wish to pay more taxes, or some taxes, as 47% pay no federal income tax, the IRS will accept your donation. I am a 53percenter, and pay plenty of taxes on my middle class income.

  2. Mary

    October 26, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Obviously nobama4me isn’t paying attention to the movement (or the gradual dismantling of the working class by the few guys inhabiting that shining city on a hill he’s hoping to move into someday).

    The Occupy movement has never claimed that it is against capitalism. Capitalism is BASED on the concept of competition, which is dying off in the face of the ridiculously imbalanced regulation our government applies (or doesn’t apply) based on the financial klout of the party being regulated. We want to work and earn, we want to give our children an economy they can work within. We don’t want to be slaves to debt because we weren’t born with a trust fund or a healthy stock portfolio.

    The numbers that nobama4me is using (cute name, by the way -does your mama call you that or are you just too insecure to stand by your own regurgitated buzzwords?) are propaganda fed to those who’d rather pretend that they aren’t a part of the 99%.

  3. Richard Kanak

    October 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Gandi and Martin Luther King both ascribed their nonviolent protest methods to Thoreau and for both their lives were ended by violence.

    If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
    Henry David Thoreau

  4. John

    October 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Stanley’s back!!!! Finally, after months of an impersonator, the real left-nut, non-sensical socialist Stanley Campbell returns, and he brought a friend, “Mary.” How nice.

    Just so you know, I am a Tea-Party supporter. I guess that calling me and people like me “teabaggers” is supposed to be an insult. Is that really the best you pea-brained zombies can do? Maybe you should go back to reading Karl Marx instead of talking and placing your ignorance on display.

    I believe that our political elite are out of touch with America. I believe they need to be replaced by people who will spend our tax dollars like it was their own. I believe we need to get rid of Demo-rats who treat our hard-earned money like it was Monopoly money.

    So call me all the names you want. At the end of the day, I’ll still be voting to get rid of the scum-bags who reside in Washington and Springfield. I’ll still be laughing at those un-employed idiots who prefer to “demonstrate” rather than look for work…Losers!

  5. Paul

    October 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Woodstock returns and Poor Mary joins them because “We don’t want to be slaves to debt because we weren’t born with a trust fund or a healthy stock portfolio.” Tell that to Bill Gates or Steves Jobs when they started working out of a garage for years to earn their fortunes becasue of ther intelligence, work ethics and vison.

    What makes you or anyone else think they deserve their share of the fruits of somebody elses labor.

    If you think businesses and corporations earn to much or extremely profitable why don’t you invest in the company stocks and reap some of the profits. Or if you think CEO’S make too much money why don’t you go out and become a CEO rather than march on a courthouse or campout in a parki crying “Oh woe is me.”

  6. Jolly Roger

    October 30, 2011 at 11:44 am

    John, you need to reset your moral compass along with your clock. Fortunately these demonstrations will have a greater impact than Fox and Friends.

  7. nobama4me

    October 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I will add, no poor person has ever been my employer!

  8. kitty

    November 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I noticed that the “pro-1%” have debased themselves to name calling AGAIN!! I just do not understand why that happens. I was taught in grade school that name callers didn’t know how to express themselves properly so they had to resort to name calling.
    Anyway, HURRAY for the protesters!! At least they are NOT apathetic to what is truly going on in the country!! Remember that old chant “POWER TO THE PEOPLE”? Well, it is about time that happens!!

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