Occupy Fort Wayne Takes Over Summit City

By Katrina Helmer
By Max Resnik

October 15, 2011 Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 6:43 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Approximately 300 demonstrators turned out for Saturday’s Occupy Fort Wayne event.

The protesters, like occupy protesters world-wide, are united against corporate greed. They say there must be more jobs made available, and those jobs must be respected. They say they are part of the 99 percent of Americans negatively affected by the nation’s wealthiest one percent.

Saturday’s demonstration began at One Summit Square where chants, signs, flags and Northeast Indiana residents flooded the lawn. Alison Gerardot arrived at One Summit Square with her infant. She says today was about the child wrapped in her arms.

“I want my children to be able to have social security when they retire. I want my children to be able to afford to go to college. I want them to have health insurance and right now, the way things are going, I feel that might not happen.”

Steve Sternberger recalls a time when he and other baby boomers fought for rights for women and African Americans. He likens the occupy rallies across the world to that time. He says that for him, Saturday is about employers remembering the value of their employees.

“Employers feel that people are liabilities and not assets and that's why we hear so much about cuts that are supposed to be a good thing but they don't realize that cuts involve people and it involves income and how they raise their family."

The Occupy Fort Wayne movement began with a Monday meeting of approximately 100 occupiers. Deputy Chief of Police Marty Bender says that at Saturday’s peak, he could count a little more than 300 occupiers.

After beginning at One Summit Square, demonstrators moved to the Allen County Courthouse, Freimann Square and to their place of occupation at Headwaters Park.

As to any confusion regarding the solidarity of the movement, Kevin Krajewski, says he hopes today will provide a cohesive message. He says today is not about bringing an end to capitalism.

"I think most Americans at these rallies here and across the country are supporting our capitalist system. They want changes though, and I think these changes are long overdue."

Approximately 20 Fort Wayne Police Officers blocked streets and guided protesters today for easy movement for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Occupiers have been advised that they will be able to occupy Headwaters Park until 11 p.m. Sunday when the park closes. After that time, occupiers could be subject to warnings, citations and arrest for failure to vacate the park.

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