DARIEN, Conn. – The Occupy Wall Street movement is going to Darien at the end of the month. Darien resident Margaret Rague has invited protesters to express themselves at Tilley Pond Park on Dec. 21 and 22.
“This is a very wealthy town, and I feel like instead of sitting in Manhattan, detached, they should come here to where the wealthy do live and strike up a conversation,” Rague said.
She is organizing Occupy Darien to encourage a meeting between the 1 percent and the 99 percent. She picked a time near the holidays because she hopes that people doing Christmas shopping in downtown Darien will be curious to hear what the protesters have to say. She is expecting a peaceful protest.
“I think the people here will react very well. There will probably be the occasional person who is insecure and frigid, but I think most would be interested and curious and want to talk. They need to be given the opportunity to see the issues upfront.”
A Darien resident for 23 years, Rague is an attorney and naturopathic doctor. She has been involved with social activism previously but has not gotten involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement so far. She is paying for the entire event so that people can come together and exchange ideas on how to fix the economy.
“People here are employed, they’re influential and they have a real voice. It is their responsibility to speak for the voiceless and empower the disenfranchised. The power and the money that they have is a sacred trust, and hopefully they will honor that trust.”
Rague has invited people from the Occupy Stamford and Occupy New Canaan movements to participate as well as anyone else who is interested. She said the response has been positive, though she can't predict how many will show up.
Rague has invited several speakers that she hopes will come talk at the event, including Trudy Goldberg of the National Jobs For All Coalition and Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Rague also wants people who have been out of work to talk about their experiences and feelings.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. over the two days. People will not be allowed to sleep in the park, but port-a-potties will be set up. Rague has also requested a police presence, though she expects the event to be peaceful.
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