Occupy Wall Street marks one-year anniversary

FRESNO, Calif.

Nearly one year ago, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators filled the Courthouse Park in Downtown Fresno protesting the growing wealth gap in the country.

A year later, just a few people remain at the Occupy Fresno encampment, but members like Richard Patch Day, say the message is still strong.0

Patch explained, "The Occupy Fresno encampment, occupy movement is not dead, its transcending into something different."

That something different Patch says is spreading awareness about keeping money in smaller and local banks. Fresno State Political Science Professor Tom Holyoke says although the movement gained steam in the start, it quickly deflated.

Dr. Tom Holyoke said, "The occupy movement is not going to end up being remembered as one of the great social movements in American history."

Dr. Holyoke says the "we are the 99 percent" message struck a chord in many, but the movement didn't have a clear focus.

"There was some real anger and frustration boiling over," Dr. Holyoke said. "It just didn't manage to perpetuate itself as a movement because having sort of identified this gap, what do you about it? What caused the gap and no one seemed quite sure about what to do about that."

Although violence erupted at some protests, the Fresno demonstration has stayed relatively peaceful. A few people were arrested for staying overnight in the park. Patch says although some people associate the encampments with homeless people, it is those people that are keeping the movement strong.

"Because there is too much left to be done," Patch said. "We've got to bring our constitution and our country back to the people, not the corporations."

Although the crowds have dwindled here at Occupy Fresno encampment. Members say they're still passionate and they plan to stay here as long as it takes to spread their message.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.