Montgomery County

Occupiers coming back for Fort Plain street fair

A thousand people are expected to flood the streets of Fort Plain this weekend during the ninth annu

A thousand people are expected to flood the streets of Fort Plain this weekend during the ninth annual Street Fair Days, but not everyone will be there for the flea market and carnival rides.

The “Occupy” movement is coming back to Fort Plain.

“Fort Plain is a pretty conservative little town,” said Marylou Nellis Wagner, Occupy coordinator. “There’s a misconception about the Occupy movement. Even my brother sees it as a violent bunch of hippies, but it’s not like that. We just want a better life.”

Wagner was part of last year’s Occupy Fort Plain event and said it was a successful protest.

“We were one of the only Occupies that closed down a Bank of America location,” she said. “Of course, it was only for half an hour.”

Both planners, Wagner and Amanda Evenson, were part of the group that was recently arrested at Occupy Albany.

“We were just holding signs,” Evenson said. “The amount of police officers they sent to arrest the 20 of us was insane.”

This year’s Fort Plain event is not winding up to be a typical angry protest, and there will likely be no big string of arrests. Wagner expects roughly 20 people to participate in Occupy Fort Plain.

They will host an informational table in Haslett Park today and Friday with pamphlets and signs Wagner got from Albany. They will march through town Saturday, hoping to end up at the bandstand with guest speakers coming in from Albany to spread the Occupy message.

“The more the merrier,” said Fort Plain Community Activity Council Chairman Jim Katovitch, organizer of Street Fair Days. “I have no problem with them coming here.”

The council even waived the customary $55 stand fee, grouping Occupy in with other nonprofits like the American Legion and VFW that are given free tables.

“They even gave us a nice shady spot,” Evenson said.

People gathered earlier in the week in Wagner’s backyard on Route 80 by the Otsquago Creek, pitching tents and taking advantage of what Wagner claims to be the best swimming hole for miles around.

“I’m going to paint ‘Occupy’ on a big tractor inner tube, and we’re all going to go swimming,” she said. “It’s going to be fun.”

They’re using their free time to work up chants such as, “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, corporate greed has to go,” and one credited to Wagner’s 10-year-old neighbor: “Don’t be insane. Occupy Fort Plain.”

While this Occupy might be tamer than others, its organizers hope it will improve the world just as much.

“The mainstream media hasn’t given an honest portrayal,” Evenson said, “so a lot of people in our community aren’t aware of the issues. We want to bring that awareness.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply