Thursday, October 19th, 2017

‘OccupyMaine’ protest descends on Monument Square

Posted on October 02, 2011 in News
By Noah Hurowitz

USM social work major Tyler Noddin holding a sign reading &quotSoon there will be nothing to eat but the rich" at the Occupy Maine rally in Monument Square Saturday.
Noah Hurowitz | The Free Press
USM social work major Tyler Noddin holding a sign reading "Soon there will be nothing to eat but the rich" at the Occupy Maine rally in Monument Square Saturday.

Dozens of people gathered in Monument Square yesterday, braving the rain to call for financial accountability, an end to corporate greed and to express solidarity with the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City.

According to the website for Occupy Wall Street, the protest is a “leaderless resistance movement…that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent.”

Protesters in Monument Square ranged widely in age and included a number of USM students. “I’m here to be part of this giant social movement,” said senior sociology major Travis Bonpietro, who showed up with red, white and blue face paint and a long pole with an American flag attached. Bonpietro said he was angry about wealth disparity in the United States. “Wealth shouldn’t be controlled by 1 percent of the population,” he said.

The protesters, both on Wall Street and in Portland, have made a list of national and local demands, including increased financial regulation, and end to corporate personhood and discounted heating oil for Mainers. Common themes at the protests include frustration with the current economic situation and the lack of repercussions for those they see as causing it. Many signs seen Saturday in Portland referred to the “1 percent” — the elite seen by the demonstrators as controlling banks and wealth, and to the “99 percent” — the majority with which protesters have identified themselves.

Seeking to mimic the tactics of the Arab Spring protests this year, the Occupy Wall Street and OccupyMaine protests have had a large internet and social media presence. Tyler Noddin, a social work major at USM said he found out about the rally Saturday through the event’s Facebook page.

“I want to see reform,” said Noddin. “I want to see big business out of politics.”

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  • Anonymous

        This Movement is a Far Cry From the TeaBaggers Agenda,,,This Movement is Way Bigger and will Grow 10x in the Spring , Where is Occupy USM? What are the Students waiting for its Your Future!!!

  • Anonymous

    Occupiers ought to put up candidates who share their views.  They spend too much time blocking traffic they’ll lose the
    sympathy of the American public.  The Teabaggers always had permits,
    never disrupted the lives of others.  For this, they were rewarded
    handsomely in Congress.  Are Teabaggers extreme?  Yup!  Were they
    effective in organizing?  Very!  Occupiers need to borrow from the
    Teabagger playbook.  Personally think Occupiers and Teabaggers are both
    nuts but support their contribution to political discourse 100%. 

  • guest

    There is a tentative list of demands on the info section of the Occupy Maine FB page that has also been distributed to local media outlets.  See it here: and come say hi.  

  • Guest

    It’s okay to have uber wealthy and working class living side by side in society, but not if there’s no opportunities for jobs and values of homes are dropping but no one can by them and cost of everything else is going up.

    Somethings gotta give.

  • Sofia Proia

    An organized list of demands is key. Until I can walk up to a group of these “protesters” and ask what they’re doing and not receive a blabbering crazy frenzy of vague answers, I am skeptical.

  • Thanks for covering the kick off.  The Occupation continues.  Hope to see more stories.