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Posted on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 6:22 p.m.

Chelsea site of support for 99 Percent and the Occupy Wall Street national day of protest

By Lisa Allmendinger

Occupy_Wall_STreet_In Chelsea.JPG

A group of people occupied a strip of grass with protest signs at the corner of M-52 and Old US 12 Thursday afternoon to show their support of the 99 percent and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Lisa Allmendinger |

Colleen Verge and Debra Richards of Chelsea were two of the expected 50 people calling themselves “99 Percent: Chelsea” and carrying signs while occupying a small section of grass at the corner of Old US-12 and M-52 Thursday afternoon to show support for the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“We are 99 percent: Chelsea and part of a national protest day because the American dream is under fierce attack,” Richards said. “We’re here in support of the 99 Percenters around the country.”

Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on Sept, 17 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to more than 100 cities in the United States and actions in more than 1,500 cities globally, according to the website.

Richards said the group hopes that the Congressional Super Committee will start paying attention to the 99 percent of the people, not the rich 1 percent, and work to create jobs, support education, health and infrastructure.”

Verge said the group is urging people to bank locally and take their money out of the “megabanks like Chase and Bank of America and put it in local credit unions and banks like the one across the street,” she said, pointing to Chelsea State Bank.

“People need to get back to work,” she said.


Eileen Wright of Pinckney drove to Chelsea to show her support of the cause.

Lisa Allmendinger | Ann

Eileen Wright of Pinckney said she drove to Chelsea to participate because it was the only local gathering Thursday.

“I’m a retired nurse and I worked my whole life. I feel very fortunate, and to have a retirement plan, but this is for our kids and our grandkids. I’m concerned about them,” she said.

According to its website, “Occupy Wall Street is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.”

It “aims to expose how the richest 1 percent of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future,” the site states.

Dan Walter of Bridgewater Township said he decided to attend the protest because he didn’t think “it was right that people can buy votes; that 1 percent controls Congress."

The lifelong Democrat said he and his parents retired from Ford Motor Company at a time when “You knew you had a job for life but now it’s day by day.”

Carol Timm drove to Chelsea from Brooklyn, Mich., and said, “We need to show (support) visibly, even in Smalltown USA, so the message will resonate better.”

The group, which held a "teach-in" at the library that was attended by about 30 people, planned to occupy the space for an hour. Future events are being organized, they said. “We hope to do this on a regular basis,” Richards said. “It’s a vigil. A sadness. We feel our country has been hijacked.”

Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for She can be reached at For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.

Debra_Richards_Colleen_Verge_Occupy Wall-Street Chelsea.JPG

Debra Richards and Colleen Verge, two of the organizers for Thursday's support of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Lisa Allmendinger |



Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 4:40 a.m.

I would love to show up next time for the next event. I drive by this parking lot frequently and I have seen other people with really nasty signs with a photo of the president with a Hitler moustache! That really set me off....That is so racist and condescending!

B. Sterling Scott

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 5:22 a.m.

Maybe it just me, but does anyone else get bothered by the 99ers saying that they are out there for the 99% of the population. I've got about $2,000 worth of assets, don't own jack, got two part time jobs. But I don't agree with about 99% of what the 99ers say.

Meg Lister

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:39 a.m.

Asking the super rich people to pay more in taxes? You don't agree with that? I don't get it. . .

Jeremy Rapp

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

99 percent modeling

Meg Lister

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

I think it's interesting that so many of the comments here are negative. These protesters are standing in the cold rain to show their support for those of us who don't make millions of dollars each year. . .Um, if I'm not mistaken that's probably all of you who have commented so far. OWS is asking for a better distribution of wealth, accountability of the financial institutions that put us into this great recession, greater taxes on the wealthy - which if you don't make more than several hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, would not apply to you, and better paying jobs with universal healthcare so that less fortunate folks can afford preventative healthcare like the rest of us. What is there to NOT like about that? Get real here people. Do you use roads and complain about potholes not being fixed? Did you send your kids to public school and worry about the quality of your child's education? Are you thankful for your police and fire departments but do you know how far we ask them to stretch with their limited resources? We all pay for these PUBLIC services. We have all benefited from these PUBLIC services. Those who can afford to pay more, should. If you're rich enough to drive on private roads, hire your own private police and fire department, pay for private schools, pay for your own healthcare, and govern yourselves (with your guns) then go someplace else and do that. But the rest of us enjoy paying a little bit of money for the collective good of all of us. And wealthy folks ESPECIALLY should not be exempt from helping to pay for these services. . . That is what the 99% stand for.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

Amazes me that so many Americans have a problem with other people redressing their govt with grievances. Why, it was not long ago that many of these people were praising a group that was founded on the memory of a group of people that dressed in costume and destroyed private property, with hatchets and firearms, if not pitch forks. Keep up the good work OWS! Keep the feet of the TARP recipients to the fire. Keep asking for the supply side winners to actually step up and create jobs, that was the theory, right?

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

"Keep up the good work OWS! Keep the feet of the TARP recipients to the fire." ... even though the real problem is the TARP distributors, who are about 300 miles southwest of Wall Street.

Roy Munson

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

I am part of the 99% according to your definition, but please stop lumping me in with you. It is embarrassing and offensive. You are making me look bad. Stop it!!!

Chelsea Larry

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

Thursday afternoon, sorry, I was one of the 91% at work. Good luck OWS movement, but get focused, or you'll be gone before you get started.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

I strong believe that changes need to be made, and that we all need to start standing up for what is right for this country starting with the politicians that are in office and abusing many privileges, i.e. like have inside trading information which just recently has been reported. However, I am not in favor of those groups who have been totally disrupting New York and Oakland--many of these individuals are mainly not the "main stream" Americans either. This group seemed to be peaceful and speaking out--great for you.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:30 a.m.

That's the first occupy person who proposed a coherent reason for being there. Pulling money out of megabanks and supporting .local banks and credit unions is a good idea. I suspect, however, these folks would not fit in in New York or Oakland.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2 p.m.

If you found that to be the first time you heard this refrain, you have not been paying attention. Perhaps a new source of information is in order.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 3:21 a.m.

The 99% thing is getting pretty tired. I'm not sure how they can claim to represent us when neither I nor anybody I know has ever been asked whether they can speak for us. Just be honest - you're a fringe group with a complaint. There's nothing wrong with that.

Susie Q

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

I suppose they are a fringe group much like the Tea party people are a fringe group. Politicians tend to lump us all together, we constantly hear their statements begin with "The American people want....." or "The people of Michigan want.....". Basically, most of us DO want the same things.....gainful employment, opportunities for advancement, a secure future, secure retirement. The devil is in the details and how we get there, that is what we disagree about. I suspect the Occupy folks AND the tea folks do want the same things,


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:40 a.m.

Snapshot: Like: "Eileen Wright of Pinckney drove to Chelsea to show her support of the cause. " for instance? So, there's one of the "gang of nine" that wasn't sleeping in a tent. But, come to think of it, that probably would make her one of the smarter ones....... So, we need some on the spot reporting. Just how many of our merry band are still there? ...and since when does sleeping in tents for weeks mean anything? Strange world we live in. Anyway, it looks like our friends in deer camp have been heroes all these years and we never gave them credit. They sleep in tents after all. Maybe half credit for a leaky cabin?

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 3:26 a.m.

This has been the funny part of the whole occupy silliness - the camping. It means nothing. Wake up, get to the park early, make your noise, and go home for the night. it's the same thing. the people you're complaining about aren't there to hear you at night. "There are protesters outside." "Eh, so what?" "And they're CAMPING!" "Oh, well, that's different! I guess we'd better listen to them!"

Jim Nazium

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:37 a.m.

Good for them, they represent US and braved the cold to stand up for what they believe in. Full credit for standing up and representing US 99%ers. I am proud to say that I pulled my savings out of B.O.A and joined a local Credit Union, should have done it a Long time ago. It wasn't the $5 proposal of the Debit card fee ( which they decided not to enact after all the backlash) the last straw for me was the letter I received saying they were going to start charging me $35 and month beginning at the end of December for my lousy checking account!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:48 a.m.

I pulled out of a bank 25 years ago when Great Lakes Savings was bought out by a banking company out of state-- transferred to credit union and have been thoroughly happy. Awesome group. Hope you are as happy with your credit union


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:43 a.m.

Good for you! Making capitalism and efficient markets behave. You have done more for your cause than half the buffoons dragging signs from one protest to another. That is now it is supposed to work. Not with pitchforks and torches.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

EyeheartA2, I would not hazard to mock people who are willing to spend weeks in tents.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 12:59 a.m.

"Colleen Verge and Debra Richards of Chelsea were two of the expected 50 people " ummmm, yep, I count like.....9. Maybe next time get them to stand closer together for the picture. That is, it couldn't be, but maybe there only WERE 9? Nah. That's just crazy talk.