‘Occupy Glenwood’ crowd wants money out of politics | PostIndependent.com

‘Occupy Glenwood’ crowd wants money out of politics

Collin Szewczyk
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Drawing from the sentiment originally brought to light by the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, dozens of area residents took to the streets with placards in hand – and frustration on their minds.

Converging on Centennial Park in Glenwood Springs Wednesday, the peaceful crowd lined up to speak their piece concerning the current economic and political state of the U.S.

Many rush hour drivers heading along Grand Avenue honked in support of the protesters as the small but determined crowd spoke out against what they see as problems caused by corporate greed and corporate influence in politics.

Signs read: “We are the 99 percent,” “System Failure,” “Wall Street greed means our need,” and “Wall Street – Jesus says: To whom much is given much is required.”

The diverse crowd discussed many topics, but rallied around a unified message: Get money out of politics.

“I’m surprised with how well this has taken hold,” said Judy Jordan, a former Garfield County oil and gas liaison, of the nationwide protests. “There’s really something to this 99 percent movement.”

Jordan sees the problem as too much corporate power influencing the political process.

“The political process is being run by those who don’t have our best interests at heart,” Jordan said. “Our 401(k)s are being robbed, and much of their influence spills over into the environment, negatively affecting it.”

Jordan was also upset by the Republican response to the nascent movement.

“I’m really surprised with the Republican reaction to the protests. I’m dismayed to see the criticism. This isn’t partisan – it’s a people movement,” Jordan said. “Maybe they really do just represent the 1 percent.”

Others took a more philosophical role in the gathering.

Wearing a pin stating, “Make bread, not bombs,” protester Brian Tonozzi, 62, of Glenwood Springs, said he tries to view things on “a world scope.”

“I call it the Human Being Spring,” Tonozzi said, relating the movement to the Arab Spring in the Middle East.

“The problems with Wall Street are just part of the puzzle,” he said. “The hijacking of politics and religion. … We need to get back to the basics and spread love instead of anger. If we can do that, we’ll all live in the Garden of Eden.”

“It’s about time the people wake up,” Tonozzi added.

Recently returning from the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, Barbara Coddington, 63, of Glenwood Springs was impressed by the coherent message of the New York protesters.

“They are cohesive. They are angry, but very well spoken,” said Coddington. “There are a lot of great points under their umbrella, but not enough about regulations. We need to get the money out of politics.”

For about a month now, thousands have been gathering in the Big Apple in an attempt to draw attention to corporate entanglements in government. The protests have created a polarizing situation that some are calling class warfare – the haves vs. the have-nots.

Coddington was not happy with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of the large protest in that city.

“Bloomberg’s first comments were very negative, and then he got quiet,” she said. “I think he’s just waiting for the cold,” hoping it will make the protesters leave.

“Occupy” protests are springing up across the nation, including in Denver, Grand Junction and Aspen.

Above all, those who gathered in Glenwood Springs on Wednesday hold out hope that the country’s financial system will change and the people will once again have a voice in the political process.

“The middle class has been too complacent, but maybe this has more legs than it might appear,” said Jordan. “I have hope. It’s nice to see.”

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