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Hundreds Attend Launch of Occupy SalemTim King and Dexter Phoenix Salem-News.com
They want the richest citizens of this country, shielded from taxes in ways never seen in the country's past, to pay their fair share.
(SALEM, Ore.) - The spirit of Salem sometimes steps up and surprises people and the Occupy Salem event that kicked off Monday is a great example.
Like Portland, where crowds swelled in excess of 10,000 during its opening last week, Salem saw a larger-than-anticipated turnout with several hundred attending its kick-off.
"When our nation is under attack, what do we do? Fight back!".
That was one of the chants of this crowd that was loud and clear about how it sees the current U.S. position in the financial world. The elimination of the middle class is having a massive impact and brings to mind the old saying, "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer". Never before has that been so true.
The participants, who range in age from children to people well into their 80's, hailing from all walks of life, are set up in a tent village at Wilson Park adjacent to the Oregon State Capitol building. They are joining activists in hundreds of U.S. cities who are making their voices heard and their point is a change in the structure of taxation in America.
They want the richest citizens of this country, shielded from taxes in ways never seen in the country's past, to pay their fair share. This may not seem too far-fetched to the average person, after all those who make the most logically would pay the most, but not in America, not today.
This is the battle U.S. President Barack Obama has been waging against Republican legislators who will not work with him under any conditions, literally stonewalling his efforts to improve the country. They are the enemies of the common man and too slow upstairs to know the legitimate problems associated with Obama' their objections are frivolous and false, and their efforts undermine the good of people at large.
One man I spoke with who is 85-year old David Scott of Monmouth, is literally a child of the Great U.S. Depression. I asked him if things today are appearing to be a resurgence of that period. "Well I think so probably we might be, but if we were pulling together like we were then we wouldn't, but what 'everybody's got mine and to Hell with you'".
He says there is a new spirit among this crowd that demonstrates hope for the future. Nothing will change until the rich begin paying their fair share.
Some call it wealth redistribution, however it is sort of hard to 're' distribute what was taken under immoral and unscrupulous circumstances in the first place, and many protesters say that defines Wall Street and the need for these ongoing demonstrations.
Sharon and Jerry Scott have been involved in a public call for peace and justice since the days of the Vietnam War. She said, "So many of us have been marching in the streets, in the antiwar movement, recent wars, I mean we have been out there but not in these numbers, in this many cities, except for when we tried to stop the war in Iraq, millions all over the world, and now we have millions doing this!"
One man carrying a bullhorn, wearing a Ron Paul hat, said the numbers are growing and people are tired of the madness and the violence that America represents in the world today. He said, "It is time that we exposed the military industrial complex, and we expose the media."
Sharon Scott took it a step farther, explaining that there is not a great degree of trust, "The corporate owned media is beginning to take notice, sometimes we have to get so many in the s street before they pay attention and I think they still try to spin it." Anyone really paying attention can easily see that the media of this nation is long corrupted and perpetually afraid of offending advertisers, losing revenues, etc.
Groups like Salem-News.com are among the few that interpret events in a way that we believe tilts the scales toward peace and the end of war and violence, but this is not really the typical media take on stories. Some, particularly the right wing AM talk show circuit; root for war, justify occupation, defend the rights of corporations and deep pocketed Wall Street types, and they are well funded for the positions they take.
Streams of money poured into these pundits who peddle fear and hatred have divided the country, however it is less divided on this day as non-wealthy Republicans increasingly discover that they have been backing the wrong horse. And for the record, that is not a defense for Democrats who are often just as bad, and less easily forgiven at the end of the day for parading as politicians for the people.
It is a new day in America and this photo essay captures some of the excitement that accompanied the first day of Occupy Salem.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience in broadcast and Internet news. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with the U.S. Army and Marines.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim is a member of the Orange County Press Club in Southern California. You can send Tim an email at this address: email@example.com
Dexter Phoenix has worked as a staff and freelance photographer since the mid-1990's and has a wealth of professional experiences on his resume. We welcome his presence to our staff and Salem-News.com.
This native of Great Britain moved to Los Angeles in 2007, where he photographed general news, general Interests, sports, freelance model photo work, and also stock images. Dexter Phoenix has had photos published world wide, in many magazines and newspapers and online. Throughout the course of his career he has experience with technology of all imaginable types. As a photographer Dexter has covered stories in Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, France, Mexico, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Somalia, Tunisia, Algeria. Angola, Iran, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Colombia, and the United States. Email inquiries about photo purchase to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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