After an initial meeting and with more than 100 in attendance, Occupy the Hamptons will meet again at the in Sag Harbor Sunday.
The event is planned from 3 to 6 p.m., and the activists have planned to continue meeting each Sunday for the near future. The date and time was settled on through the Occupy Wall Street "general assembly" method, in which decisions are made via consensus and there is no leader or hierarchy. Facilitators said that as a leaderless organization, Occupy Wall Street could not be shut down by a couple of arrests.
Already 28 attendees have RSVPed via Facebook. Last Saturday's meeting had far more attendees than those who RSVPed online at Facebook and MeetUp.com.
Gail Simons of Springs told Patch after the initial event that Occupy the Hamptons came together organically. She explained that two weeks prior she made an off-the-cuff remark on Facebook that, "We need an Occupy the Hamptons."
"I didn't expect the response that I got," Simons said. "And some of it was extremely positive. And some of it was extremely negative, because people view this as the 1 percent. They think that it's all the 1 percent who live here."
The Occupy Wall Street movement positions itself as the 99 percenters up against the 1 percent who control much of the country's wealth, and therefore politics and policy-making.
Simons said she wanted to raise awareness of those is the Hamptons who struggle. "It's very hard to get by here," she said.
Her friend Ty Wenzel of Springs jumped on board, then they stumbled across Sag Harbor resident James Monaco's post on MeetUp.com that scheduled Occupy the Hamptons for Sag Harbor on Oct. 15. Simons and Wenzel then spread the word with a Facebook invitation and page, and it grew from there.
"I don't see it as a movement of any particular party or any particular -ism," Simons said. "I see it as a movement for all of us — a hundred percent of us, not the 99 percent."
For me, it isn't just about finances. It's about saving the planet. Things like what happened in the Gulf, and fracking and deep water drilling are heartbreaking to me.
"I see these things happening and I see that my children's future is slipping away, because there is a very real possibility that there will be no planet left for them to live on."
Simons said getting money out of government would enable lawmakers to make responsible choices and laws that will save the planet.
Wenzel, a former Manhattan resident who has written an unpublished book on the student revolution in Turkey, said she never expected the populist movement that reached the Middle East, Europe and South America would take hold in the U.S.
"I used to think Americans were very lazy about stuff like that, but I think it's gotten so bad that it actually worked on Wall Street," Wenzel said. "Having lived there so long and having so many friends there I decided I'm going to go ahead and do this, even if it's a joke and people laugh at me, I'm just going to do it because that's what I believe in. And I want my son to know I fight for things I believe in."