Occupy Park City, having reached ‘peak spot’ during Sundance, regroups
The Occupy Wall Street movement in Park City remains intact with a tiny group of people, but the leader acknowledged recently that it might have reached a pinnacle during the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Tyler Galovich, who started Occupy Park City in late 2011, said the actions during Sundance were a "peak spot" for the group. Occupy Park City aligns itself with the wider Occupy Wall Street movement in its calls for corporate reforms and its criticism of corporate influence on everyday Americans.
Galovich said the Occupy Park City group wants to continue its efforts, but there are no more demonstrations scheduled. He said several more could be planned in the coming months, but he did not have details, such as dates and what sort of demonstration might occur.
The group restarted its weekly meetings at the Park City Library and Education Center after taking a short break. Galovich said four people attended a recent Wednesday meeting, roughly the same number of people who have been at past meetings.
Galovich, meanwhile, has not regularly spoken at Park City Council meetings recently, as he had before. He generally criticized corporate America during his appearances in front of the elected officials.
The actions during Sundance were among the boldest taken by the Occupy Wall Street movement in Park City. During one of the demonstrations, a small group of demonstrators stormed into the lobby of the Wells Fargo branch on Kearns Boulevard before being ordered out by the police. They rallied outside the bank as well. The movement staged another demonstration on Main Street during the festival.
Prior to Sundance, the group’s most notable action, other than setting up a small encampment at City Park, was marching on another Park City bank, which was closed at the time.
"I think it’s pretty well known there’s an Occupy extension in Park City," he said.
Galovich, who lives in the Kamas area, said he plans to travel to other places with groups aligned with the movement, such as Jackson, Wyo.
He also anticipates returning to City Council meetings. He said he wants to talk to the elected officials about corporate-tax issues and the idea of corporate personhood that has garnered publicity during the Republican contest for the party’s White House nomination.
Galovich said he wants the City Council to adopt a resolution against corporate personhood. It is not clear what sort of response he will get from Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council is he makes such a request for a resolution. The elected officials sometimes decline requests dealing with broad national issues, such as the Iraqi war, saying that it is best that the City Council handle localized topics instead of the broader ones.
Galovich launched Occupy Park City in the fall, setting up an encampment on the northern edge of City Park. He later secured a City Hall permit for the encampment. He has said approximately 12 people stayed at the site for at least one night. Park City officials later prohibited overnight camping at the site, and it seemed there were growing concerns about the encampment just before it was dismantled
He said he is unsure whether he will request a permit to build another encampment when the weather improves. If he remains in the Park City area still, he expects to be involved in the decisions about another encampment. If he is not living locally at that time, others with the Occupy Wall Street movement could make the request, he said.
Galovich is not sure where another encampment could be set up if City Hall opposes City Park. The City Park location could be problematic for Park City officials in the summer and fall given the amount of activity in the park at that time of year.
"I honestly can’t say what’s going to happen with Park City," he said.
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The planning committee and the newly formed task forces will continue to work on the master planning priorities and will present to the Board of Education at its meeting Dec. 17.