Welcome to Occupy Amherst!

In the fall we greatly enjoyed attending this series at Hampshire College – a very interesting series of panel discussions on Occupy. These were a part of the course “Occupy Wall Street: History, Theory, Practice” led by Professor Margaret Cerullo and Professor Michele Hardesty. The panel discussions with activists and scholars will take place in the West Lecture Hall of Franklin Patterson Hall and are open to the public. These panels will begin at 4pm SHARP. For the duration of the series, Occupy Amherst attended these events and held its weekly meetings at their conclusion, inviting any students, panelists, and professors present to join in.  (Click here or on the poster for the full size pdf version.) (Click here for a detailed descripton of the series.)

There are no plans at present to continue the monthly third-Sunday gatherings which were held last year.

Public Speak-out on How Debt is Affecting You

Friday, October 5, 2012
Amherst Common
Amherst, MA

We are still here! Occupy Amherst marks its one year anniversary on October 5, 2012 with a public speak-out to raise consciousness about one of the ways that vast cross-sections of our society are suffering: personal debt to far-removed, unaccountable, and heartless financial institutions.A year ago on October 5, 2011, students and Amherst residents held the first gathering of Occupy Amherst. Actions took place on the Amherst Common calling attention to crushing student debt, mortgage debt, and credit card debt. The actions were emboldened by an inspiring new social movement, Occupy Wall Street, which was quickly gaining momentum, striking a chord with millions of people across the country fed up with an economic system that works to degrade people and the planet.Since then, groups have met consistently under the name of “Occupy Amherst,” aiming to carry on the energy and inspiration that so many people felt last fall as popular discontent erupted and took the forefront of public awareness in North America.The purpose of this public speak out is to raise the explosive political issue of personal debt. Financial institutions claim to have financial assets made up of the debt accounts that millions of Americans hold. The amounts of money these institutions claim are owed to them far outstrip the amount of money circulating among the 99%. The debts that are owed simply cannot be paid. It’s time we look at how this situation came about, how it is affecting people’s everyday lives, who benefits from it, and what we might do about it to protect ourselves, our families, our fellow students, our co-workers, our friends, and our neighbors.

This public speak out is not a protest. It is a consciousness-raising session in public. We ask you to bring your story of how our society’s rampant level of personal indebtedness affects you. We need to see each other in public to be able to act together effectively. Since this speak out is about telling your story and hearing other’s stories, there will be voice amplification. There will also be time limits, and facilitators will kindly remind you when your time is up.

We are still here! The injustices in our society that spurred the Occupy Movement persist today, and the striving for a better world lives on, always developing and changing. Join us! Bring warm clothes.

Marching May 12 in Northampton Pride parade with our new banner

Occupy Amherst is a local movement in support of Occupy Wall Street, one of many Occupy movements springing up across the country in solidarity with the original Wall Street Occupiers.  We provide a forum for residents of Amherst and the surrounding area to voice issues and discuss solutions. We meet weekly for our General Assemblies (5-7pm Wednesdays in the Bangs Center.

We had a speakout and some street action at our Saturday May 26 event, “Another World is Possible!”  And Gary took a bunch of photos, which you can see here.

  • Occupied Stories collects and displays first-person accounts from around the nation  where we can each tell our own stories. Visit the site to hear about what’s happening with #occupy from the people who are living it–and tell your own story. occupiedstories.com
  • Join our listserv to keep up with what’s going on!   View the archives of listserv messages (if you are a member.)
  • Gallery of photos of events involving Occupy Amherst people
  • On Saturday January 21 we were outside the Amherst Town Hall with a leafletting/drama/rally event, with about 25 participants – Nancy took this photo.  Click here  for a larger version.Demo Jan 21
  • There are handouts, plans for Tiny Tents, and more on the Resources tab.
  • Minutes of our General Assemblies are posted on the sidebar to your right.