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A Conversation with Occupier and activist Molly Eames
By John Wesley Wilson–
The Occupy Wallstreet movement had humble beginnings but has now blossomed into a global debate and conversation about wealth disparity and unfair economic practices. People of all classes and age groups have participated in Occupy events around the country, and the University of Louisville is no different. A number of students have taken up the cause, including Molly Eames, a Junior Political Sciene major and LGBT studies minor. Molly spoke to the Cardinal about the movement’s presence on campus and in the city.
Q: Why did you join the occupy movement? What drew you to it?
A: I was attracted to Occupy Louisville when I first saw all of the news coverage about Occupy Wall Street but wasn’t seeing coverage on the news, like Huffington Post or CNN, or mainstream media. I was seeing it on Tumblr. I was seeing all of this stuff and wondering why it wasn’t on CNN or NBC. The more I looked into it, the more impassioned about it I got. Then there was a Facebook event created for an Occupy Louisville. There were some planned meetings in Shelby Park a few days before Jefferson, and we went from there.
Q: What specifically do you do within Occupy Louisville? Is there something you focus on?
A: We have working groups and committees on a variety of issues and topics at the occupational phase. There’s sanitation, education, public outreach, peacekeeping and media logistics, you name it. I haven’t really aligned myself with one group in particular, but I like to focus on the outreach stuff, and a lot for the University of Louisville students at the occupation try to do outreach and try to bring students down, like the walkout on Monday.
Q: So you are a full-time student right now? And do you go to class and split time with occupy? And you work as well? If so, how do you balance that?
A: Oh my gosh! My schedule… I haven’t actually been in a week or so because of a death in my family, so I’ve been playing catch-up. But it’s basically work, class, stuff I have to do for work outside of hours, go to the occupation, write papers at the occupation and go to more class. I’m also involved in a lot campus organizations. I’m part of Common Grounds, which is the largest LGBT organization on campus. I’m also part of T2, a transgender activism group. I’m in the queer writers group on campus. I’m really busy. There’s not a lot of downtime.
Q: How’s the reputation with the city government and the local police?
A: I think they realize that we’re inevitable and you can’t evict an idea. You can’t silence people who are this furious and devoted to a cause. Our relationship is not terrible. There is no brutality. There haven’t been mass arrests. We haven’t been point blank evicted. When we were at 4th and Jefferson, before the permit, we had to pack up our stuff every night. There were police hovering around all of the time. But once they realized that we weren’t trashing the park or causing trouble and that we were holding teach-ins and meetings, they kind of backed off after that.