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Occupy Berkshires Assembles at Colonial Rebellion Site

By Joe Durwin
Special to iBerkshires

Protesters with Occupy Berkshires rally in Great Barrington on Sunday.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The first "general assembly" for the rapidly emerging Occupy Berkshires movement was held following another sizable rally in downtown Great Barrington on Sunday, Oct. 16.

A Main Street demonstration, held from 1-3 on Sunday, drew around 150-200 supporters over the course of the afternoon.

About 40 people attended the assembly meeting held immediately after next to the iconic gazebo behind Town Hall. The location of this first Occupy Berkshires General Assembly is interesting, as it was at this location that the first open and armed resistance to British rule in America occurred on Aug. 16, 1774.

Basic ideas of how to proceed in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street and other Occupation movements now taking place in more than 100 cities in the U.S., and more than 1,000 worldwide, while adapting the movement to the practical needs of the local area were discussed. A few volunteer working groups were formed, such as one to facilitate communications within the local movement and coordinate with the large Occupy movement, and groups for education and outreach.

The "working group" model is one employed widely throughout the Occupy movement, following the example of Wall Street occupiers at Zuccotti Park, where there are about 15 such loose subcommittee-type groups.

Occupy Berkshires has another rally planned in Pittsfield on Thursday, Oct. 20, in conjunction with the final 3rd Thursday street fair. The group plans to hold weekly general assemblies for the local movement every Sunday hereafter, and are currently seeking an indoor location to relocate these meetings to as the weather becomes colder.

For more information, go to occupyberkshires.com.

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