UPJ ‘Occupy’ joining a nationwide movement

Erin Fowler, Staff Writer

Occupy Pitt-Johnstown, a campus version of Occupy Wall Street, is to have begun on the campus mall near the library this week.

The movement is being led by freshman Ron Moose, who is vocal about what he calls economic injustice.

“There’s something inherently wrong with how the U.S. is run now,” he said.

Moose said he believes that people with money are in control and that control is an economic injustice to the U.S. majority.

Assistant Sociology professor Andrew Sherwood is involved but would not comment.

But, assistant Political Science professor Christopher Cook said he agrees with Moose.

“I think the notion that the middle class is being destroyed and there has been an unprecedented concentration of wealth for corporations and the rich is the empirical truth,” Cook said.

Moose said he hopes to get students, professors and community members involved in the movement.

Currently, Moose is the sole organizer of the project, but said he would like to establish a better structure.

“I absolutely think people will get involved,” Moose said.

The movement was specifically placed on campus so that more people can participate.

The ultimate goal of the movement is to let other regional protests, such as Occupy Pittsburgh, know that the university and Johnstown city are supporting them and to raise awareness about America’s current economic situation.

“We are not going to just die and let things keep happening the way they are,” Moose said.

Moose said he hopes to gain support from not only students, but also from professors and the community.

But Cook added that eventual turnout numbers may not reflect peoples’ attitudes.

“I am sure there will be support from the campus and local community. As with all movements on college campuses, it can be hard to organize and promote.

“But failure to show up does not mean people do not support the idea that underpins the movement,” Cook said.

Moose said he remains confident and passionate about Occupy Pitt-Johnstown.

“We will stay as long as people are willing to be there and as long as we are allowed to be there,” Moose said.