NORFOLK, Va. (CBS Washington) — “Occupy Norfolk” is struggling to find an identity as some protesters laugh about what the goal of the movement is.
While the movement has taken the steps to set up a campsite and base of operations in Commercial Plaza– symbolically close in proximity to Bank of America and BB&T locations — they reportedly haven’t worked out the specifics of what they want to do.
WAVY-TV quotes several protesters who seemed less than sure of the details regarding how the movement will make an impact.
“Oh, I have no idea,” one participant reportedly said while laughing, after being asked how this sect of “Occupy” will reach its goals.
Jeffrey Musselman, one of the lead organizers for “Occupy Norfolk,” feels this characterization of their occupation is unfair.
“We’ve been here around the clock, working toward finding a common end goal,” he told CBS Washington, adding that an official mission statement is in the works, and should be finalized soon. “I think it’s sort of misguided to say we lack direction. We don’t have a definitive end list of things that we’re trying to accomplish, but we definitely have a great head on our shoulders about what we’re doing.”
Presently, the “Occupy Norfolk” website has a rough draft of their mission statement posted.
Musselman, who noted that he and others have been organizing the local occupation for at least a month, added that “Occupy Norfolk” is especially frustrated by a seeming federal tendency toward corporate coddling and favoritism.
“(The phrase) ‘Separation of Corporation and State’ seems to resonate with a lot of people here,” he added.
At present, the “Occupy Norfolk” Facebook group has over 4,500 members, and hundreds turn out to take part in marches and general assembly meetings. Between those two activities, the “Occupy” branch has at least one thing planned for every day and night of the week.
“I think the (entire “Occupy”) movement as a whole is sort of open-ended. I think everything relies upon building a consensus within the group … (so) we’re reluctant to push out one specific goal, or a couple. We want everyone’s voice to be included.”
It’s a work in progress, and Musselman cited other plans organizers have come up with to develop “Occupy Norfolk” through short-term plans into a respected and long-lasting occupation.
“We have strategies for expanding our presence in the area … and we’re also looking at getting into more targeted demos – similar to our marches, but more targeting one particular thing,” Musselman said. “We’ve also been in contact with some other movements in Virginia, looking for ways to get state-wide activity going.”