PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In the shadows of the banking giant BNY Mellon, the Occupy Pittsburgh encampment on Mellon’s property has a summer camp feeling, albeit a tent city after a deluge of rain.
The occupation could last awhile.
“Personally, I plan to stay here indefinitely. The march and rally was just a kick-off to the occupation. It was a way to show that this event was starting,” says David Meieran of Point Breeze.
Many tents were empty during the day, as some occupiers work or attend classes. The site already has a medic tent, a solar panel, and a food tent which, is attracting donations from supporters.
“They’re making sacrifices for all of us,” says Dan Kovalik, an attorney with the United Steelworkers Union, as he deposited cash in at the food tent. “We live in a very difficult time economically. Unemployment is rising, poverty is rising, and we appreciate it.”
The park is a public thoroughfare, and BNY Mellon says it will not block access to the public or occupiers.
The area is attracting other protestors, too.
One group walked Grant Street, chanting, “Hey, hey, ho ho, Senator Toomey’s got to go.”
Occupy Pittsburgh has no single message although one large theme is the corporate control of America, claiming one percent of Americans get big salaries and bonuses while others have low pay, no pay raises, or no work at all.
“It’s not fair, it’s not democratic, it’s not American in my viewpoint,” notes Alexis Cromer of Lawrenceville. “And I definitely think we need to take more control of our country.”
Not all are sympathetic.
“No one gave me what I have,” says Brian Hazlett of Plum Borough. “I’ve worked hard for it, and I think that’s what this country is all about — if you work hard and get a good education, that you’re able to make whatever you can of yourself.”
As the Occupy Pittsburgh movement moves into its first full week, it’s unclear what dimensions it will take.
But certainly the folks camped here today say this is not going to end anytime soon.