The Occupy Wall Street movement spread to Patchogue Monday night as protesters assembled after working hours at the plaza building.
The protest, spurred on by the that began in lower Manhattan on Sept. 17, aims to get the attention of the general public and turn them on to the perceived injustices being perpetrated by the federal government and large corporations.
“What inspired me to come down here is the whole movement on Occupy Wall Street,” Michelle Redlein, 31 of Bohemia said. “Unfortunately, I don’t have the time right now to get into Manhattan to organize with the people there so I just figured let’s start local.”
Redlein, who organized the protest along with two others, said she became politically active eight years ago and has become frustrated with the lack of knowledge that most people have about the policies and actions of corporations that affect their lives.
“We educated people and there’s a lot of people with a lot of complaints - and not that they’re not warranted - but you have to wake up and do something, you have to act if you want there to be change,” she said. “I understand people go to work, they have kids, they’re tired and need to come home and relax, but there’s more that you can do."
Redlein said that people should read and educate themselves on government issues, and start slowly if it seems overwhelming.
"Just pick one thing and start from there and it will grow,” Redlein said.
Approximatley 13 other people joined Redlein by 7 p.m. Most held signs that had slogans such as “We are the people” and “Think global, act local.”
A member of the Patchogue Village Public Safety sat in a car across the street from the protest, but besides one instance of a man yelling disparaging comments as he drove by the protest was uninterrupted.
The group made a strong insistence that there were no “leaders” but just a select few who help.
Scott Perino, another who helped organize the protest, was adamant about seeing change in the United States.
“There’s really no one set thing that’s inspired me aside from seeing all my brothers and sisters in the city getting it together," Perino said. "For the longest time I’ve wanted change and this is a podium and an opportunity to put that into work and get the ball rolling.”
Perino and the rest of the group plan on returning to Main Street each night this week, as well as on Saturday.