Economic protesters set up camp in downtown Dallas

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on October 9, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 5:56 AM

Occupy Dallas campsite

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DALLAS — The "Occupy Wall Street" protest is now reverberating through Dallas.  Four days ago, demonstrators moved in at  Pioneer Park in front of the Dallas Convention Center, and by the looks of it, they may be sticking around for a while.

Cooper Caraway from Mount Pleasant is part of the group's protest committee.   He ran for mayor in Mount Pleasant earlier this year and ran several protests against immigration enforcement. 

"I'm an underemployed student, a political science major and an activist," Caraway said.  "I led a demonstration and occupation with other high school students in the downtown square and we said we would not leave until immigration left."

Caraway gave News 8 a tour of the camp site.  More than 20 tents have gone up, including  medical and media tents. 

Donations have been pouring in from strangers all over Dallas, from laundry services, to food, to shelter.  Supporters also donated tents to the group after a weekend thunderstorm washed some of them away. 

"We have more food than we could ever eat," Caraway said.  "The community has been incredibly generous."

The group has been posting updates, including demands and requests, on social media sites including Facebook and Twitter

Atticus Neph plans to stay connected with the movement through the Internet.  He stayed at the camp for two days, but is returning to his job at a restaurant. He got involved because he's fed up with what he calls unfair taxes and corporate greed.

"If I get a $700 paycheck, in reality I might get $400," Neph said.  "I have to pay for groceries, gas, insurance, a cell phone. It's a huge separation between the people here and those on the 100th floor of a corporation."

Demonstrators have had problems with police in other cities.  Dallas police has been keeping an eye on Occupy Dallas for the past four days; no problems have been reported.

Protesters plan similar demonstrations in Fort Worth and Denton starting Monday.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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