East Bay Clergyman Helps Launch Occupy Fremont

FREMONT (KCBS)— More than 100 people took part in the launch Occupy Fremont on Saturday after a group of local clergy members started the latest branch of the movement.

The Reverend Jeremy Nickel from Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation said he was part of the organizing group after he was inspired and arrested in the latest Occupy Oakland raid.

After his arrest in the November 14 eviction of the camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza; Nickel, a Hayward resident, decided it was time to bring the movement closer to home.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Nickel said he initially got involved when he was on jury duty in Oakland when he walked by their Occupy encampment on a lunch break. Then he began participating in their general assemblies.

“It blew me away. It was the first time I ever got involved in a truly democratic process. It was really empowering,” Nickel said.

Protestors paid visits to the City Center and four banks that received bailouts, yet continued to foreclose on homes. Nickel said the Occupy movement was the “antidote”.

He said Occupy Fremont’s goal does not involve an encampment, but instead would opt to involve more people.

“A lot of people are on the sidelines even though their ideals match because they can’t find a safe way to get involved,” he said.

Nickels claimed his group would be a safe entry point for those wanting to get involved.

Saturday’s event ended with speeches and music at the veterans’ monument at Paseo Padre Parkway.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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