Occupy group incorporates

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Predicts growth

Occupy NL members ( from left) Thomas Jordan, Justin Bryant and Thomas Clarke, are seen outside their Occupy NL headquarters at Harbourside Park in this Jan. 6 photo. The Occupy movement can now accept donations. — Telegram file photo

It may have stemmed from a global movement protesting corporate greed, but Occupy NL has become an incorporated entity.

But it’s far from an “if you can’t beat them, join them” scenario.

“We just want transparency,” explained Terry MacEachern, who’s heavily involved with the group.

Occupy Newfoundland started in St. John’s in mid-October as the Occupy Wall Street movement spread across North America.

While most, if not all, of the Canadian Occupy camps have long been evicted or shut down, the St. John’s camp at Harbourside Park is still standing.

And judging from the steps MacEachern and other organizers are taking, it could be on its feet for a long time.

Occupy NL became Occupy NL Inc.  Jan. 19.

In an interview Friday, Mac-Eachern said it incorporated to assure the public and government that monetary donations go back into the organization.

“We’re going to lead by example,” he said.

MacEachern noted a number of things, such as propane and water, are being donated to the organization.

People have offered money, but he said Occupy NL hasn’t accepted any because there was no formal set-up in place.

That’s changing.

With the incorporation done, MacEachern said he and some others would be heading to a credit union today to open a bank account.

The plan is to then add a donation button to the occupynl.ca website.

Any money given will help the organization fight for equality, social justice and other issues.

“Inequality is the big thing, but there’s so much that needs to change,” MacEachern said.

He noted between five and eight people stay at the encampment each night, despite the frigid temperatures of late.

He said members of the group are in it for the long haul, and suggested the numbers will grow, and the movement still has momentum.

“I think it will only get bigger as we go.”

As for the irony of Occupy NL incorporating, MacEachern said it was a necessary move.

“There might be a need for corporations,” he said, “but I don’t think there is a need for greed.”

sbartlett@thetelegram.com

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Recent comments

  • Terry MacEachern
    February 07, 2012 - 23:51

    I'm happy to have met everyone with the occupy movement. I'm well educated and do pay my taxes. Even though I don't stay at the site I do go to the weekly GA's. I'm one person out of the hundreds involved here in N.L. I'm only 1 out of the 2998 on our facebook site. We are teacher's, accountants, performers, tradesman and woman etc and ya some might live on the street, but there my friends to. I keep my judgement open to people with good hearts that want to help out. If your a good person and want to make some good positive changes in the world and maybe even yourself I'm sure the Occupy site door is always open. The rules at posted at the front door... One more thing, I was talking to the Port Authority tonight and they said that the park has never been so good. There is no crime there anymore and no drunks or drug users there anymore. They said quote "it makes our job easy."

  • Ian power
    February 07, 2012 - 18:07

    why don't ya use your real name for a change and not hide behind the safety of the net. The guy who did that stabbing was not a real part of the occupy nl, maybe if you had gone down and seen what it is all about you would know, but alas you are one of the misinformed ignorant persons of society. As for the taxes one guy was complaining about, its the political greed that causes that, maybe if all the politicians got paid a reasonable salary instead of the inflated ones they get now, maybe your taxes and mine would go down, that is what it is about. Corporate and political Greed, bottom line. But you dont know that, being a sheeple and all.... The occupy nl is possibly one of the most outright open and to the point groups in North America, g down and ask them questions, you might just learn something. I dont mind paying taxes so that they can have a bit of electricity, they can take that money out of MINE.

  • Randy
    February 07, 2012 - 11:52

    STANN clearly a few people in a single park aren't why your taxes are so high. Kent most in the group don't even stay at the park and fyi most all of the "shut down" occupy groups are still operating aswell. On the stabbing thing the person did just squat occupy NL helps people in need, he didn't take part in meetings. It'd make as much sense to be against newfoundland for having him as a resident. Clearly background checks aren't being done on people that come in and this would have happened just the same even if occupy nl didn't exist.

  • Oh My
    February 06, 2012 - 17:10

    Another news outlet says that although the guy who stabbed the woman on Torbay-Elizabeth is of no fixed address, he was last known as a resident squatter of the Occupy NL tent in Harbourside Park. Enough said...........

    • Gudahtt
      February 07, 2012 - 12:10

      That would be Dave, he was well known downtown for the past two or three years at least. He's got practically nothing to do with us. He's one of the handful of homeless people in the city that are always on the side of the street downtown, sure I remember last year there was a 6 month or so stretch where he was sitting outside of Subway on Water street 24/7 with his friend and his friend's dog. If you spend any time downtown, it was hard not to run into him once in a while. Seemed like a nice guy, kinda quiet/shy, never talked to him more than a couple times personally. He hung out at the camp for a few days a few months back when his friend spent some time there. This friend didn't stay long though, and we haven't seen him since. It turns out he stopped by recently to stay the night and find some shelter from the harsh weather, and that's it. He wasn't there very long, and he hasn't been involved in the movement whatsoever. If people want to blame OccupyNL for sheltering the homeless, I don't really know what to say.

  • shirley ryan
    February 06, 2012 - 16:27

    to Kent and Stan, on your frude asnd ignorant comments. Must be two off the rich crowd . occupy nl is doing a good, trying to shorten the gap between the rich poor and no, i ho[pe they do not go anywhere. fight the fight to the end, its lack of knowledge and pure ignorance and as well s hiding the cowards you are to make a statement like you two have.

  • Kent
    February 06, 2012 - 13:54

    This incorporation is nothing more than a way for these people to equip themselves for their little outdoor sleep-overs. You have had your 10 minutes of fame playting the social activist card (very transparent by the way)... Time to pack up and move back to your parent's rec-room kiddies.

    • Gudahtt
      Gudahtt
      February 06, 2012 - 17:31

      We have *started* the process of incorporation in order to transparently receive and allocate donations, that's the only purpose it serves. The camp is only a small part of what we're doing, our activities extend far beyond that. Check out http://occupynl.ca for more information on our activities; lots more information and documents to be added in the coming weeks. We're doing what we can do improve our society and our community. If you disagree with anything we've done, or want to help out, please attend one of our meetings or send us an email!

  • Stann
    February 06, 2012 - 11:52

    Time for Mayor and council to get off their lazy duffs and send those free loaders packing from Harbourside park. They are already sucking the hydro from the tax payer and before long they will have squatters rights. I pay $2500 to 3000 in city taxes and can't get the streets cleaned properly. Send these bums packing now!!!!

    • Gudahht
      Gudahht
      February 06, 2012 - 17:35

      We have no rights to the ground the encampment lies on; no more than any other citizen at least. It's public, federal property, so it belongs to all of us. Which is part of why the tent is also open to the public, everyone is welcome so long as they don't cause trouble. And since you mentioned cleaning, we've done an awful lot to keep harbourside clean and tidy since we arrived. We regularly pick up litter/trash around the park, as well as shovel parts of the path and the sidewalk before the city can get around to it (if they ever do). The prevailing attitude down at Harbourside is not that of a group of lazy teenagers expecting handouts, as seems to be the common impression. We're taking the initiative to improve our community, rather than expecting others to do so for us.

  • Gudahtt
    February 06, 2012 - 09:03

    Great job explaining the situation Terry. Clarification: OccupyNL inc. is not currently affiliated with OccupyNL (http://occupynl.ca) , so technically we're not incorporated yet. It needs to be approved by a General Assembly first. As Terry said, this is bring done in an effort to be as transparent as possible with donations. And important distinction has to be made here: Occupy is not against corporations. Indeed, all registered not-for-profit groups are considered to be corporations, as are the school board, churches, and various other organizations usually considered to be "benign". It might be more appropriate to say we're against those that perpetuate income inequality, condemning others to poverty in the name of profit/greed (though this group has not officially taken this position). We're not motivated by profit.

    • J
      February 06, 2012 - 09:29

      Succinct way of putting it. Nice and clear. Something that I hadn't seen in any of the other occupy movements and that's why I never got involved. It seemed each movement was rallying against something just a little bit different than the next. Nice to know exactly what you guys are doing. Thanks!