The protest movement known as “Occupy Wall Street” now has spawned similiar groups in Iowa. 

 There’s an “OccupyIowa” group on Facebook and Twitter, planning a rally in Des Moines on Sunday.  Last night, the “OccupyIowaCity” contingent gathered in the basement of a public art space to discuss the New York protests and how they might stage an “occupation” of their own.  Letting everyone have a say is the movement’s hallmark, so after two hours of discussion, the group of about 100 people in Iowa City made a decision. 

“I guess we’re going to occupy ‘College Green,'” one woman said and the assembly erupted into cheers and applause, before the woman who wound up leading the discussion continued:  “I think the next question is when.” 

Jared Krauss, a University of Iowa student, spoke passionately about the movement during last night’s meeting.

“Remember that we have to be unified together. It can’t just be our occupation and then another occupation, and thinking oh, ‘Well, I want this,’ and ‘We want this.’ No,” Krauss said. “It has to be, ‘We’re united all together.’ And so if we all focus on what we want here, we’re not going to achieve anything. We have to be focused on what we as a country want and what we as a people want.”

Corporate greed was mentioned repeatedly, along with fears of mounting student debt and a shrinking job market.

The “OccupyIowaCity” group plans to protest Friday in downtown Iowa City. Other groups are planning similar “occupations” in Fairfield, Mason City and at the capital in Des Moines.