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Published November 02, 2011, 10:38 PM

Occupy GF Holds First Demonstration, Meets Opposition

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The Occupy Grand Forks, East Grand Forks movement hit the street Wednesday night. A group of about 50 people gathered at the intersection of DeMers Avenue and Washington Street to show their support for the international movement.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The Occupy Grand Forks, East Grand Forks movement hit the street Wednesday night. A group of about 50 people gathered at the intersection of DeMers Avenue and Washington Street to show their support for the international movement.

The movement is just starting to grow. Many with the group hope that this first rally brings more attention to what they say are problems in our society.

"We all know something is wrong, we don't agree on the solution but we agree on the problem. And we need to draw attention to the problem and let our politicians know we're not going to shut up, we're not going to go away until they fix it," Occupy Grand Forks Co-Organizer Meg Brown said.

Meg Brown and about 50 others with the Occupy Grand Forks movement are rallying to let people know that America's troubles are not going away.

"Thankfully North Dakota is very well off economically, but that doesn't mean we're not immune from these problems going forward, or that we're not in solidarity with people who have it tougher than we do," Occupy participant Aaron Wentz said.

But this first demonstration met some opposition.

"These people come and protest and they say that they are the 99 percent. And I mean, we're broke college students, we're the 99 percent as well. We just wanted to make sure that everyone knows that there's two sides to the story and that not everyone in the 99 percent supports higher taxes on the rich and anti-capitalism," John Mitzel with UND College Republicans said.

The Occupy Grand Forks movement may not have a set agenda, or even a solid structure. But many say that doesn't matter. They just want a common acknowledgement that a change is necessary.

"Obama doesn't have an answer. The right doesn't have an answer. The business community doesn't have an answer. I'm not sure that we have an answer either, but we're interested in asking some different questions, important questions," Wentz said.

"A lot of the protests are showing up all around the country and they've even said themselves they don't have a message yet. You need to have a message if you're going to protest," UND College Republicans President Kristin Emmons said.

The Occupy Grand Forks group plans to hold more public demonstrations in the future. The group from UND says they plan on showing up at those protests as well to show their support for the other side.

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