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Occupy movement emerges in Lake Oswego

Meeting planned for Saturday in Lake Grove


The Occupy movement that surged through cities after starting in New York has made its way to Portland’s suburbs.

A group calling itself Occupy Lake Oswego plans to hold its first meeting this weekend. The agenda includes consideration of an Occupy political action committee, according to a Facebook page promoting the meeting.

Weekly meetings are planned for Saturdays in Lake Oswego, with the first taking place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. this Saturday at 16400 SW Bryant Road, in the meeting room of the former Lake Grove fire station.

“The goal would be to raise money to be distributed among Occupy-friendly candidates for public office, and for lobbying efforts on The People’s behalf,” states the page at facebook.com/OccupyLakeOswego, which had gained 17 “likes” as of Monday morning.

The page went up Nov. 7. At that point, other potential discussion items mentioned included wars, austerity measures, Wal-Mart, coal trains and “the future direction of the Democratic Party.”

The idea is to propose topics, agenda items and actions at meetings, discuss them and vote on them as a group, according to the Facebook page. “Everyone has a voice — and a vote — at Occupy,” it states.

The meeting stems from the movement that began in 2011 with Occupy Wall Street in New York.

It’s unclear whether the new group has any connection to another that attempted to organize an Occupy demonstration last year, but the person promoting Occupy Lake Oswego on Facebook began pushing it after posting comments on the similarly named Occupy Oswego Lake page.

Occupy Oswego Lake never held a floating protest as planned in March 2012. That proposal sprang from efforts to open up public access on Oswego Lake.

While the lake is still considered private — available only to lakefront property owners and their guests or members of easements, essentially private docks and beaches — a lawsuit making its way through the court system contends the lake is actually a public body of water. Occupy Oswego Lake supporters, associated with the Occupy Portland movement, contended the lake access issue provides an example of people with money and influence claiming control of public resources.

In September, Karen Crichton wrote on the Occupy Oswego Lake page: “It would be great to see this group get-active again — this time regarding the issue of the coal trains.” When asked how she felt the Oswego Lake group should act on that topic, she responded: “The companies that will profit from this massive project are being quite secretive about the routes of the trains. It’s entirely possible that the trains headed for the shipping terminal at Coos Bay will pass through LO.”

She said she recently moved near the railroad tracks in the Lake Grove area from North Portland and remains involved with the Occupy group there. Crichton did not respond to requests for more information.




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