FREDERICK – Early one morning this week, John DeArmon sits alone in an information tent waiting for curious by passers or visitors to stop and ask what Occupy Frederick is all about.
“I’ve talked to three or four people who haven’t heard of Occupy Wall Street before. That’s why we have to bring it out of the big cities and into the small towns” said DeArmon, of Frederick. “People can ignore the media, but they can’t ignore it if it’s in front of them, in their town.”
As a small town Occupy movement, Occupy Frederick struggles for support. Fewer than 15 people consistently spend the night in the small tent city next to Carroll Creek in downtown Frederick.
They will be holding a rally at 1 p.m. Saturday on Carroll Creek to drum up support. They feel they need to recruit more people to justify continuing their occupation.
There are, however, some advantages to staying small.
“You can keep it cleaner. It’s on a smaller scale,” said occupier Melanie Hafner, a student at Frederick Community College.
They were also able to print a zine, a small homemade magazine, detailing each protester’s reasons for occupying. They display copies on a table inside the information tent.
“You can make connections with people easier. I just dropped some flyers off to the guy at the corner store and he’s going to remember who I am,” said Rob Fisher of Frederick.
Frederick isn’t the only small town Occupy movement popping up in Western Maryland. Cumberland and Hagerstown also have Occupy movements in the works. Frederick Occupiers hope their encampment will inspire other local Occupy movements to get off the ground.