OCCUPY IOWA: Efforts “Fizzling Out”
In 2011, 500 people gathered for an Occupy Wall Street rally at the state capital and dozens more camped out in Stewart Square in Des Moines.
Since then, Occupy Iowa protests have dwindled in size and frequency.
“I think anybody who was studied the movement has kind of disappeared in lots of ways,” said protester Frank Cordaro.
Nine people gathered today in front of a sustainable agriculture company`s building in Ankeny.
They protested the effects of bio-technology seeds on the world`s food supply.
“things are messed up and it`s time for a change and for people to realize that they have a voice and they can use it,” protester Kaylinn Strain told Channel 13 News.
They hoped their chants and signs would get their message across to passing cars and employees.
“Even when someone just reads our signs, they’re seeing this when they usually wouldn’t see something like this out here,” said Strain.
According to occupy organizer Ed Fallon, simply delivering the message isn’t changing the political or economic landscape.
“It’s not just about trying to make people feel better. It’s about getting things done.”
What the group has actually done can be difficult to prove.
Fallon acknowledges the movement has weakened in Iowa, but insists that it isn’t dead.
“The challenge is reinvigorating our base of support,” said Fallon.
To regain the momentum from 2011, the group will look for a new identity.
“It can’t just be a protest movement. It has to be about lobbying, electoral politics and building a political force that can accomplish and deliver,” Fallon told Channel 13 News.
They’ll work to capture the attention of the once 5,000 people Fallon says showed interest in Occupy Iowa.
“There’s a lot of energy, a lot of fire, and a lot of passion for change in this movement. I hope that will reinvigorate the effort in Iowa.”