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Occupy Indy divided

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At a Nov. 21 General Assembly, Occupy Indy members discussed efforts to attract new members and their desire to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. Some aggressive behavior and theft have been reported during the local Occupy experience. - REBECCA TOWNSEND
  • Rebecca Townsend
  • At a Nov. 21 General Assembly, Occupy Indy members discussed efforts to attract new members and their desire to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. Some aggressive behavior and theft have been reported during the local Occupy experience.

Some crazy twists to the Occupy Indy story have emerged over the last couple of weeks: a contentious financial document, a faction divide, arrests and an unsuccessful Taser deployment.

On the face it, Occupy Indy looks a lot like it has over the few weeks since it started — a rotating bunch of characters encamped at the Indiana Statehouse, sometimes protesting with signs decrying financial injustice or advocating individual freedom, other times huddled under the building's eaves to stay warm in the bone-chilling rain.

Beneath the surface, though, some fractures are evident among the various personalities that have contributed to the local occupation.

A group calling itself the Occupy legal committee issued a statement last week announcing that the group would sever ties with Deanna Erickson, one of two Occupy Indy participants who had been arrested during the protest.

Another group, IndyOWS, issued a Nov. 17 news release to "renounce the behavior of the individuals occupying the State House lawn under the guise of Occupy Indianapolis." The statement cites the election of leaders in "a leaderless movement," the tolerance of violent members and suspicion of the revocable living trust established to handle donations.

In separating from the Statehouse group, IndyOWS vowed to work "to educate the public on corporate involvement in the government and working towards policy change at the state level."

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