Occupy Louisville Responds to Black Friday, Supports Local Business

by Devin Katayama on November 24, 2011

Occupy Louisville demonstrators are organizing a rally in support of local businesses on Black Friday as the movement continues to target specific ways to express its campaign.

It was a little unclear what occupy demonstrators’ demands were when the movement began. Corporate greed and special interest groups seemed like vague targets. Louisville supporters have since begun picking more narrowed issues to focus on.

“We’re doing a protest outside of Mall St. Mathews encouraging people to buy local and then in the evening we’re going to have our own festivities here,” said organizer Pam Newman.

A report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says businesses with active “buy local” campaigns report higher revenue gains than ones without.

The Louisville Small Business Alliance is preparing a study comparing local business with large corporations in Louisville, said director Jennifer Rubenstein. Results are expected next spring and should give a clearer picture of how small business contributes to Louisville’s economy.

Occupy demonstrators are planning their festivities Friday in the shadow of Light Up Louisville. The group was asked to move locations from Jefferson Square Park for the holiday event as part of the permit requirements.

Occupy Louisville’s event will not conflict with the city’s celebration; instead it should add to the general theme of kicking off the holidays, said Newman.

Although the occupy movement involved stories about struggle and inequality, Newman said she can still be thankful for some things.

“I’m thankful for the ability to protest without having my life threatened,” she said.

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