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Occupy Claremont: small group, big message

November 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
An Occupy protest is taking place in just about every major American city.

There are large ones in Los Angeles and New York, but what about Claremont?

Pitzer College student Charlotte Colton is one of three Occupy Claremont protesters who have been camping out in front of Claremont City Hall.

The trio has been there on and off since Sunday. They have pitched one tent.

"It starts small, but hopefully we can build it," said Colton on a quiet Friday afternoon. "Claremont is not a large space and I don't expect a ton of people, but hopefully more."

The Occupy Claremont demonstrators are calling for a general assembly on Sunday afternoon. While such an announcement might raise concern in other cities, Claremont officials don't seem too concerned.

"They've been very cooperative, they've moved when asked to move," said Joseph Lyons, a member of the City Council. "I think that we will survive without incident."

Claremont has a long history of activism. Some folks may look at its Mayberry-like charm and think it's an odd place for the Occupy movement. However, people more familiar with Claremont take it all in stride.

"It's the Berkeley of Southern California, basically, so it doesn't surprise me that it would be here," said Michelle Allred of Riverside.

"By coming here, even with three people or four people, it's a statement," said Ontario resident Robert Washer.

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