NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 15, 2011

'Occupy Boston' movement draws local supporters

AMESBURY — As hundreds of protestors continue camping out in downtown Boston's Dewey Square as part of Occupy Boston, protesting what they believe is an unfair distribution of wealth in this country, a small group of Amesbury residents has gotten involved as well by driving supplies to protesters and then sitting in for several hours.

The Occupy Boston movement, which has transformed Dewey Square in the Rose Kennedy Greenway into a sort of mini-tent city, began Sept. 30 and was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement that started in New York City on Sept. 17. Since then, similarly organized protests have sprung up in cities across the country as more people voice their frustration and discontent with this country's economic and political systems.

On Tuesday, 129 protestors were arrested by Boston police after authorities say protestors left the designated area around Dewey Square and moved to another section of the Greenway. Authorities warned the protestors that if they moved to another section of the Greenway, they would be arrested. Police records showed none of the arrested individuals were from the Newburyport area.

A day later, three Amesbury Quakers representing Friends Meeting House in Amesbury drove a carload full of blankets, water, hand sanitizers, soap and medical supplies to Occupy Boston participants.

Jeff Hipp and his two fellow Quakers, Kathleen Wooten and Kevin Gallagher, loaded up his Subaru Outback Wednesday afternoon and arrived shortly after 6 p.m. The supplies were placed on a sidewalk and brought to a medical tent by Occupy Boston protestors.

"I share concern for the cause, and I think providing aid and making sure they have supplies to have their basic needs taken care of is something I feel good about," Hipp said.

Wooten said the visit made sense, considering the Quakers' mission.

"We as Quakers are very supportive of nonviolent action and we wanted to support people there who were trying to make a statement peacefully," Wooten said.

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