It has occurred to me that the picture painted in the media of the Occupy movement is being done so with a very wide brush and limited color palette.  There seems to be a lot of interest in identifying those involved as hippies, drug users, or young people that do not know any better.  From conversations among my friends and peers, many of whom are small business owners that identify with the principles of the movement, I suspected there to be more diversity and genuine concern for our country than we are being shown.  Naturally, the only way to know for sure is to mosey on down there for yourself and talk to the good folk, something I recommend everyone do.

I did.  On a cold and dreary, rainy and sleety Friday afternoon, I struck out for the Occupy Richmond gathering at Kanawha Plaza with the purpose of meeting people, asking who they are, and why they are there.  More often than not, I got much more than just that.  I’ve got to say, this is largely a diverse group of very intelligent people who share genuine concern for our country and the survival of its lower and middle classes.

My intention was to capture photos of these people, and couple them with a little bit about their subjects and why they feel the need to be involved.  I did my best to keep up with what they were saying, but I am no reporter and I had no recorder – what you will see below is actually paraphrased to the best of my ability.  There were themes, however, that kept coming up among everyone I spoke to:  the inequity of income distribution in the US;  joblessness;  homelessness;  and, almost universally, everyone spoke of the joy and sense of purpose that grew from what they were creating peacefully together, there in the shadow of the Richmond Federal Reserve.

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