Occupy Providence sets up camp in downtown park

PROVIDENCE, RI – Protestors with Occupy Providence are waking up Sunday morning in Burnside Park in downtown Providence. They marched yesterday raising their voices against corporate interest.

They made their mark early on, putting a red and white "Occupy Providence" sign on the base of the statue of Ambrose Burnside and taping an American flag to the general's leg.

Amanda Magee helped set up tents on Saturday. She is a full-time student with four jobs, and she says her situation attracted her to the movement and the message that corporate greed is stealing the American dream.

Looking at the homeless gathered on the other side of the park, Magee says the demonstration is for them too.

"Because the homeless occupy this place already, we're going to be helping them out make sure they're fed," says Magee. "And we're going to be advocates for them too, because they're part of the 99%."

Warwick resident Bob Houghtaling says he's glad the Occupy movement has come to Rhode Island. He remembers the Vietnam protests of the 1960's and says he hopes the occupation will remain peaceful.

"As long as it's done peacefully and as long as it's done with the intent to make positive changes, I think it would be great to let it go," he says. "And I hope it doesn't get to the point where you get people to infiltrate the movement and turn it in a different direction."

Police in Denver cleared an Occupy camp there Friday, arresting 23 people. In Boston, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visited the encampment at Dewey Square on Saturday.

Organizers say they've been assured by Providence Police Commissioner Steven Pare that police will look out for their safety. They say they picked Burnside Park because of its location to City Hall and Bank of America.

Source: with information from the Associated Press

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