Fed-up protesters rally for visit from Ben Bernanke

By Christine McConville
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 
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Occupy Boston members want to have a chat with Federal Reserve Bank boss Ben Bernanke, who is due in Boston today at the bank’s offices just across from the protesters’ makeshift camp at Dewey Square.

But they want him on their occupied turf.

“I’m going to tell him, ‘Come on over,’ ” said Occupy Boston member Ryan Cahill, a veteran of the Iraq war who acts as one of the loosely organized group’s spokesmen. He said he’d love to talk with the head of the U.S central bank. “Let’s have an open dialogue.”

Occupiers don’t plan on confronting Bernanke directly at the Fed.

“The Federal Reserve Bank is federal property,” said Devon Pendleton, 21, a University of Vermont student who has taken on a leadership role in the purportedly leaderless group. He said he doesn’t want protesters tussling with federal agents.

“It’s a polluted, toxic system, and the last thing we want to do is expose our people to that,” he said.

Bernanke is expected to deliver the keynote address at the Boston Fed’s 56th annual conference.

Boston Fed chief Eric Rosengren and 26 other high-profile economists will join him to discuss the recession’s effect on Fed doctrine and practices.

And just across the street, members of Occupy Boston say they are forming a new, pure “horizontal” democracy. They say the current system is broken, because, they claim, the nation’s politicians now only serve the wealthiest Americans.

“We are replicating our society, to show what life could be,” said Storm Garrison, 23, of Providence.

To many protesters, who have drawn “End the Fed” signs, Bernanke and the bank he governs are parts of the problem. Bernanke, during his Fed tenure, has injected $600 billion into the banking system to stimulate the faltering economy.

Meanwhile, an effort to expand the Occupy movement in the Bay State failed, when eight Occupy Boston members traveled to Worcester in a fruitless effort to ignite a similar movement there. But Garrison said that when city police told about 45 people who had gathered that they couldn’t stay in a Main Street park near City Hall, they relocated to the state-run Lake Park, then decided to pull the plug — for now.

“The plan is to get more publicity, so they can build some momentum,” Garrison said.

Yesterday afternoon, other Occupy Boston members teamed up with the groups City Life and MASSUNITING and traveled to Malden, where they attempted to block a constable from putting an eviction notice on a woman’s home.

Occupy Boston - Oct. 18, 2011:

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