Local man joins Occupy Seattle protest
November 15, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
The ongoing demonstrations at Occupy Seattle and other Occupy Wall Street-inspired rallies launched a national discussion about economic and social equality.
The local demonstration also attracted Reece Allawatt, a Sammamish resident, Eastside Catholic High School alumnus and recent Gonzaga University graduate.
“It’s like the Constitution says. It’s ‘we the people.’ We’re the ones who have the power,” he said. “If we don’t like the way that our representatives are representing us as a people, then we have the right to voice our dissent.”
In between LSAT preparation and part-time jobs, Allawatt joined the crowd at Occupy Seattle.
“Some of us Occupys have real jobs that we actually have to take part in,” he quipped.
The protest remained peaceful and Allawatt did not see any clashes between protesters and police officers.
“I’ve never taken part in any protests or anything before,” he said, but added he decided to join after learning more about the Federal Reserve.
The idea germinated as Allawatt started researching the 2012 presidential election. In the process, he read Texas congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” — a book arguing against the Federal Reserve.
“The media is trying to portray the movement as the liberals’ Tea Party, which is really sad because that’s not it at all,” he said.
Then, after seeing Occupy Wall Street unfold since mid-September, Allawatt joined Occupy Seattle last month to raise awareness about “ending the Federal Reserve, ending corporate personhood and getting money out of politics.”
(The demonstrators relocated from Westlake Park downtown to Seattle Central Community College on Capitol Hill late last month.)
“The money from Wall Street and the bankers gets funneled directly back into politics,” Allawatt said. “Everyone knows this. Everyone knows about lobbyists and corporations that can literally buy out whatever they want. It just feels so distant that we don’t really have any chance of making that change.”
The slogan, “We are the 99 percent,” nods to the difference in income growth between the wealthiest 1 percent and the rest of the population.
“What the 99 percent stands for to me is,” Allawatt said, is a chance to “help people and really make lasting change.”
The key to success for the Occupy Wall Street movement, he said, is strength in numbers.
“You can’t do it on your own, but the masses, the 99 percent, that’s how you make actual change,” Allawatt said.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.