Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Vigils Will Bring the Occupy Movement to McHenry County

McHenry County residents will now have a way to participate in and support Occupy Wall Street and the popular movement of protests that has spread around the country.  Weekly road side vigils will be held every Saturday at 1 PM beginning November 12 on the sidewalk along Lake Street outside of the Woodstock Wal-Mart.

Organizer Ann Legg, a veteran local activist for peace and social justice, was inspired by a similar regular vigil being observed by Occupy Elgin on the Kimble Street bridge in that city.  She also drew on her experience with the McHenry County Peace Group, which held similar weekly vigils in all sorts of weather through the first several years of the Iraq War.

The vigils will last about an hour.  Participants are asked to bring signs.  “We want to let people tell their own stories about why they are there—unemployment, home foreclosure, lack of health care, small businesses squeezed by big banks, student loan indebtedness, you name it,” Legg said.

The Wal-Mart location was chosen not only for its high visibility on a busy street, but because the discount store chain, owned and operated by one of the wealthiest families in America, is a symbol for many of the “corporate greed” which has plunged the nation into crisis.  “The stores have forced independent Main Street merchants out of business, contributed to the demise of American manufacturing by buying almost exclusively from China and the third world suppliers, exploited the workers in those countries in near slave-like conditions, and paid low wages with few benefits to it ‘associates’ while fiercely battling any attempt to unionize,” Legg said.

And don’t forget the Rally by the 99% of McHenry County in Support of the Occupy Movement the following Tuesday, November 15 from 5-6:30 PM in front of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Woodstock.  Bring a donation of supplies for the people at Occupy Chicago.  Hats, gloves, wool socks, coats, blankets, and all sorts of cold weather gear are particularly needed. 

Two great opportunities to get involved.

For more information on the Occupy McHenry County vigils call Legg at 815 338-4838 or e-mail her at

For information on the Rally by the 99% sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Woodstock call Patrick Murfin at 815 814-5645 or e-mail .

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