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    Posted October 17, 2011 by
    La Crosse, Wisconsin
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Occupy Wall Street

    mediaman and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Occupy Wall Street protests
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    Occupy Wall Street Inspired by Wisconsin Protests- Occupy La Crosse


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mediaman has been covering the political environment in Wisconsin over the past year. He observed and photographed an Occupy protest in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on October 15. 'I did not sense a specific agenda or organized agenda, but rather people getting together to share stories, frustrations, anger, and mutual venting,' he said.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    La Crosse, WI- As Occupy Wall Street continues to spread across the U.S. and the globe, some have suggested the protests in Wisconsin earlier this spring may have helped plant the seed for social action. In La Crosse a small group of protesters gathered for Occupy La Crosse on October 15th. While the event was loosely organized, and numbers were relatively small, the intimate personal stories shared mirrored the feelings from the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Craig Brandfass , Viroqua, WI donned a yellow Union cab hat with a sign saying, “OMG-GOP-WTF.” He commented that the protests in Wisconsin earlier this year are connected with the protests in New York. He was recently listening to a NPR talk show and had to call in and say that what is happening in New York really started in Wisconsin. He came to Occupy La Crosse to help people understand what is at stake. Brandfass has been unemployed for over a year.

    Kari Brown brought her son Liam to the Occupy La Crosse. Liam was carrying a sign framed with the Cookie Monster which said, “Occupy Sesame Street, 99% of the cookies are eaten by 1% of the monsters.” Kari’s mother, Chris Brown, stood nearby with a sign which read, “Vote-You Got a Job to Do- Dem? Rep? American people must win. She went on to say, “I am glad that people are finally standing up.”

    Reporters and journalists at the center of the NY protests are trying to make sense of it all. Paul Krugman of the NY Times, recently wrote, “You see, until a few weeks ago it seemed as if Wall Street had effectively bribed and bullied our political system into forgetting about that whole drawing lavish paychecks while destroying the world economy thing. Then, all of a sudden, some people insisted on bringing the subject up again. And their outrage has found resonance with millions of Americans.”

    Some 1000 miles from New York, a small grass roots event La Crosse carried the same message from around the globe. A sign held by an elderly woman on a street corner said, “We are the 99%- NO MORE SILENCE.”

    In the distance, you could still see Craig Brandfass standing near a street intersection waving at people and blowing his whistle to catch people’s attention, his OMG-GOP-WTF sign proudly displayed. On the opposite side of his sign was a small red bumper sticker. It read, “RECALL WALKER.” Perhaps Brandfass’ assertion was quite accurate- the events from Occupy Wall Street grew from the Wisconsin protests. In Wisconsin, there is more than one issue to protest.

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