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Occupy the Debate Continues Press To Challenge Status Quo, Hatch New Idea


by Don Preziosi
​Published in Washington Park The Profile
Roya Brown wants you to know the Occupy Denver movement is alive and well.
Brown told The Profile, “We are very active, though our outreach is not very good. People think we’re leaderless, but that’s not the case. We are working on issues surrounding foreclosures; we continue to protest the (recently passed) camping ban; we’re involved in other issues affecting the homeless – and since the first presidential debate will be held here in Denver, we’re very involved with Occupy The Debates, a nationwide movement to broaden the discussion of issues important to Americans.”
For those wanting to have their voice heard in the political dialogue, Occupy The Debate 2012: People’s Dialogue will be a two-day open forum discussion of critical social and political issues to be held in downtown Denver, Fri. & Sat., Sept. 28 & 29.Occupy The Debate kicks off on Fri., 4-10p.m., in Civic Center Park with a continuing People’s Forum, where individuals will present their priorities on the issues facing our country and ideas for viable solutions. Planned entertainment includes live music, slam poetry, drumming and a performance by political comedian Lee Camp.
The exchange of ideas continues on Saturday with a daylong conference at Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman St., 9a.m.-5p.m. (registration begins at 8:30a.m.), featuring knowledgeable people speaking on a variety of topics. The conference will be followed by a march to the Capitol building at 5p.m.
Kevin Zeese has more than 30 years experience writing, speaking, and advocating for a broad range of issues around peace, justice and democracy. He is co-director of It’s Our Economy, which “seeks to educate, organize and mobilize Americans to shift the power, from concentrated capital to the people ... and create an economy that is democratized, where people have greater control over their economic lives and greater influence over the direction of the economy.” He’s also an organizer of the National Occupation of Washington, DC and one of the original organizers of Occupy Washington, DC.
Zeese echoes the belief that the presidential debates are not only unfairly limited in their participants, but will actually hinder an open discussion of the important issues facing American voters.
“They’ve created a self-fulfilling prophecy, making sure the debate stays with the two parties,” Zeese told The Profile. “The Commission on Presidential Debates is co-chaired by former Democrat and Republican chairmen; it’s funded by alcohol, tobacco and other corporate interests. They need to be sure the discussion stays limited, because if differing voices were heard with so many millions watching, individuals with a radically different agenda could become credible candidates.”
Zeese’s partner, Dr. Margaret Flowers, explained that, “Kevin and I were thinking in the spring, ‘How do we make a contrast between the false conversations that are restricted by campaign donors and the real conversations happening in the public?’ We support Occupy Denver’s work to make that real discussion occur.”
Occupy Denver and a coalition of other activist groups will hold a march on Oct. 3, according to spokesperson Pat Boyle. “We’ll release the time and meet-up location the day before,” said Boyle. “We’re calling the action ‘Stop The Empire.’ The point being that as far as the debate, and Democrats or Republicans, whoever wins, Wall Street wins. The military-industrial complex will win the election no matter what.”
Marchers will ignore “the free speech zone that is often set up for such events. They pen protestors into a fenced-in area and call it free speech, which is ridiculous. Our march will be a moving free-speech zone.”
For information about Occupy The Debate 2012,, the Occupy Denver Facebook page or attend an Occupy Denver general assembly meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7p.m. in Civic Center Park.


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