Occupy Ypsilanti to host first teach-in on Saturday at Woodruff's
The event is the group’s first teach-in and will boast a variety of speakers from 3 to 5 p.m.
Topics to be discussed include the history, purpose and role of unionized movements in America, as well as current events and state and federal policies, said Mark Maynard with the local Occupy organization.
The event also will serve to define the direction of the Occupy movement in Ypsilanti.
Maynard said events like this help to promote understanding and empower people.
“I think so many people feel frustrated and alone with what’s going on in America right now,” he said. “Their jobs are tenuous, they don’t know what they’d do without health insurance so doing this is really about establishing camaraderie and letting people know that other people are facing the same things.”
For children in attendance Saturday, there will be an origami workshop led by SolarYpsi’s Dave Strenski. SolarYpsi is a volunteer-based organization committed to promoting and achieving sustainability in Ypsilanti.
According to Occupy Ypsilanti’s Tumblr page, there are six speakers scheduled to appear. They will include:
- Howard Bunsis — former treasurer of the Eastern Michigan University faculty union.
- Natalia Harris — a once homeless Ypsilanti teenager who was awarded the Ann Arbor Jaycees’ Outstanding Michigander Award in October.
- Peter Linebaugh — historian and author of “"The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All.”
- Maria Cotera — assistant professor of American culture and women’s studies at the University of Michigan
The Occupy Ypsilanti movement is still fairly new, Maynard said.
“We’ve had a few little marches in town recently with a dozen or so people with signs about ending corporate welfare and funding our schools and other things that resonate with us,” he said.
He said the best part about a “do-it-yourself” movement like Occupy is there aren’t any real leaders and it can be whatever the community involved strives to make it.
The speakers will help share different perspectives on how people of color and of various stations in life can become involved in or might view the movement, Maynard said.
For more information, contact Occupy Ypsilanti at firstname.lastname@example.org.