Occupy Memphis protesters say their movement has grown - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Occupy Memphis protesters say their movement has grown

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Occupy Memphis protesters spent a cold night in the streets of downtown Memphis after police were called to their site earlier Wednesday.

Occupy Wall Street participants pride themselves on being a loosely-organized group of like-minded people.  To make the protest long term, organization has been necessary.

"Here we have medical personnel, we have a legal team, we have food, we have waste management," said protester Owen Franke.

Food is dropped off by anonymous people who want to support the effort.

Police have stopped by the tents to tell protesters to stop using city power.  Since then, the extension cords have been removed from light polls.

"We don't rely on that, we have other power sources," said protester Gordon Ginsberg.

Loudspeakers are not allowed, so protesters rely on the old-fashioned way of communicating.

Many said they have their own personal reasons for being there.  Ginsberg, a Memphis firefighter, said it was out of empathy.

"It breaks my heart when people want a job and they can't get a job," said Ginsberg.

Others are more radical.

"Make no money, spend no money, pay no taxes," said protester Steven Devald.

The Occupy Memphis movement supports the Occupy Wall Street movement, but protesters said their concerns are specific to Memphis.

Meanwhile, a few blocks away on Monroe, BarDog owner Aldo Dean has turned current event into a temporary ad campaign.

"Occupy BarDog," said Dean.

Some on the downtown mall appreciate the humor, but some do not.

"That's demeaning to what we're trying to do," said one protester.  "I don't agree with that."

"Not a mockery of it because I think it's very important that people are protesting, but we just wanted to have some fun with it," said Dean.

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