Occupy Petaluma Folds Up Camp

Group says movement is alive and well, but will now focus its energy on campaigns, direct action

Six weeks after setting up base at Penry Park, Occupy Petaluma is folding up its encampment, but members says the movement will continue with nightly meetings, foreclosure prevention work and the weekly “Occupy Our Corner” rally on the corner of Petaluma Boulevard North and East Washington Street.

The group plans to vacate by tonight, which is when their permit expires.

Since arriving at the hilltop location October 29, activists have dealt with one challenge after another: the homeless, and often, mentally ill people who wanted to camp out with the group, angry neighbors who tried to block out the camp with a painting, a gopher infestation, and most recently, cold nights that made sleeping in the park challenging.

“The 24 hour sleeping occupation has posed problems and is eating up a lot of our time,” said John Bertucci, a spokesman for the group. “A lot of people wouldn’t sleep in communal tents, but they couldn’t put up individual tents either."

At the end of the day, the group was tired of having someone on site all the time and made the decision to focus its energy on ongoing projects, like preparing for a foreclosure prevention workshop, which will be held December 18 at .

“The rain and the weather were major stress points,” Bertucci said. “And we got to a place where we felt that our infrastructure is strong enough that we could forego our 24-7 presence...There is a better way to use our resources in the winter months." 

The group will continue to have an informational table at Penry Park and their nightly General Assembly. They’ve also secured an alternate meeting space at . However, members have expressed an interest in keeping one white canopy from the encampment at the park to mark their commitment “to work for change in our community and country.”

Where would you like to see the Occupy Petaluma movement go?

Linda Rowan December 16, 2011 at 12:06 AM
PS Remember poor little Polly Klaus??? In your OWN back yard. Maybe Petaluma forgot:(
Concerned Citizen December 16, 2011 at 12:21 AM
Molly, The Occupy Movement is still going on in the nation. Open your eyes and take a look around. Occupy will be around for a long, long time. Just because they left Petaluma means what, excatly? And my Troll Comment was aimed at Linda who brought Jerry Sandusky into the Occupy thread. FWIW, I changed my ID because of folks like you. for you to take a Screen Name like "Dem Slayer" infers that you feel "superior" to those who oppose your views. And a Dem Slayer in Northern CA is amusing I must say. I, as a "Concerned Citizen", stand against who feel that they have free reign to distort the truth in order to get their supposed point across. If the shoe fits.....
Concerned Citizen December 16, 2011 at 12:24 AM
Linda, a Troll is someone who posts Inflammatory comments not relevant to the conversation in order to bait other posters. Sandusky is a polarizing and disgusting figure who has no place in the Occupy conversation. Find the appropriate to post comments about him in.
Concerned Citizen December 16, 2011 at 12:35 AM
So you actually agree with posters who bring Jerry Sandusky into the conversation, or or talking about Polly Class? How can anyone have an intelligent conversation when tactics as inflammatory as that are used? Seriously..But you should be disturbed...but not completely for the reasons you've stated.
Linda Rowan December 16, 2011 at 12:51 AM
Concerned Citizen.....how are my posts inflammatory? I mentioned Sandusky since he is the lateset in the NEWS. I support the safty of ALL children and was just making a point since Sandusky is in the NEWS daily. Occupiers should support ALL wrong doings,not just Wall Street,etc. Like I said before....they can occupy the shipments at the ports,etc but NOT support a better and tougher Justice system when it comes to criminals? How is my posting on this subject baiting????? Hopefully this will give the occupiers some ammo in the Spring? Again...this has to do with OUR children in EVERY aspect,housing,healthcare,schools and PROTECTION!!!!! And you are a Concerned Citizen??????
Concerned Citizen December 17, 2011 at 08:10 PM
Linda, I've given you examples of your Inflammatory posts regarding Sandusky. That you can't discern a movement against Wall Street, which has single handedly brought the world to it's financial knees, versus Child Molesters, is simply your attempt to bait other posters. Certainly every thinking and caring human being would like to see justice served in the Sandusky case. There are a lot of things in the "latest" news, but Occupy is about Wall Street, not the Justice System.
Go Occupy! December 18, 2011 at 06:26 AM
Mr Morrey/Ms Rowen, you'll know soon enough. You will be both kicked off of ebay for this stalking. I hope you have something else to do. I suggest a hobby like coin collecting or horses. It will be my pleasure to reopen your (real) suspension cases with Trust & Safety.
Karina Ioffee December 18, 2011 at 06:54 AM
To all posters: Please familiarize yourself with Patch's terms of use, which can be found at petaluma.patch.com/terms. "While we encourage people to be honest and post what’s on their mind, there are some types of content that we simply can’t allow on Patch. We understand that everyone has different opinions, but Patch will make the sole determination as to whether Content is acceptable for the Service. When you sign up for Patch.com, you agree that you will not post or transmit to other users anything that contains Content that: is defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane or offensive; infringes or violates another party's intellectual property rights (such as music, videos, photos or other materials for which you do not have written authority from the owner of such materials to post on the Service); violates any party’s right of publicity or right of privacy; is threatening, harassing or that promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual; promotes or encourages violence; is inaccurate, false or misleading in any way;
The Webster Street Crew December 18, 2011 at 02:13 PM
The comments of a failed desperado, LOL
Roy Bean December 18, 2011 at 08:39 PM
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
Roy Bean December 18, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Dear W.S.C. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
Linda Rowan December 19, 2011 at 01:18 AM
My Aunt lives in Petaluma and I visit her. And yes,I was born and raised in California. I am a advocate for our children since I had a personal experience with a family member and a "let out too soon" criminal. All I suggested was that the Occupiers ALSO stand up for our future. And as far as my trolling Twitter??? Please show me these horrible things I supposedly posted. GEESH! I am being trolled now and because my beliefs do not go with certain posters...I am the bad guy?:(
Concerned Citizen December 19, 2011 at 01:26 AM
So "Molly the Dem Slayer"... You know a bit about Hypocrisy I see. And you said Occupy achieved "nothing"...LOL
Concerned Citizen December 19, 2011 at 01:29 AM
Linda, What happened to you was obviously horrible. Please find an advocacy group that can use your energy and input. Occupy is not one of them unfortunately.
Go Occupy! December 19, 2011 at 02:31 AM
Concerned- don't believe a word she says. Remember, she invoked the death of Polly Klass just to get her trolling reaction fix. I did copy and save the obscene tweets someone named Linda Rowen left on my Twitter account before blocking and reporting her to Twitter. I don't know your age but there was a character on Leave it to Beaver named Eddie Haskell. The post she just wrote was an entire Eddie Haskell-ism.
George Barich February 05, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Let's clarify a few things. First, there are no spokes-people for Occupy Petaluma. They have said so themselves, and what was supposed to be so beautiful about the movement before it was hijacked by the far left to forward their own agenda. Second, for those local business people like myself who attended the Executive Committee meetings on rare occasion to explain to them how City Hall works, and simple things like how the seasons change and very cold weather was forthcoming, etc, it was clear that some of these people were mentally ill themselves and should have felt right at home with any homeless or mentally ill people who approached the camp at night. For anyone to think that any of these "problems" were not reasonably foreseeable just has no common sense or delusional. Angry taxpayers, gofers and other vermin were all to be expected. Thousands of cars passed by the encampment everyday.. Yet, the movement could not muster more than a few dozen supporters in a town of over 40K. Seriously, is anyone really surprised? When support became so weak in number and money, Tim Noone actually suggested bringing a slide projector to the hilltop to project an "Occupy Petaluma" logo to the wall of the bank across the street at nighttime to gain support for the movement and encourage financial contributions. This is how absolutely desperate these people were to gain enough support to hopefully break down the doors at City Hall and take over the building and burn the flag.
George Barich February 05, 2012 at 05:29 PM
They would have to use a gas powered generator to power the projector during the night. These wannabe occupiers claim to have gotten tired.... Let's spell it out and stop being so politically correct. The movement failed miserably. Had the movement been run by people who actually run a business and included everybody in Petaluma, it may have had a fighting chance, but it was doomed for Day One because it was so outside the mainstream most people simply looked the other way and humored these folks in hopes their cars or businesses would not be vandalized. Appeasing them allowing the movement to burn itself out was the prevailing attitude in Petaluma. I visited the park yesterday and thought what might have been if the movement had a coherent message rather than stick it to the man. Some self proclaimed occupiers vowed to us at the executive meeting that they would simply take their Marxist and anarchist movement underground. This is their legal right in America. Some of these folks were very nice. Others were simply tribal and suspect of anyone who disagreed with them which sabotaged the Occupy Movement. They were just too blind to see their ignorance before it was too late.
Go Occupy! February 06, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Teaparty much George? Here is an article just out in SF Gate the disproves each and every word you wrote http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/06/MN0U1N1TBH.DTL I guess it's back to the old "Hey you Marxist kids, get off my lawn." bit.
George Barich February 06, 2012 at 06:02 PM
What other groups did Occupy Petaluma demand be excluded from the movement aside from anyone who ever attended a TEA party rally to rail against bailouts for banks and failed car companies? The SF Gate article had nothing to say about my personal experience with Occupy Petaluma, and the attempts of some of their local supporters to censor honest hardworking property owners, business owners from asking questions and having their voices heard. No one I ever met told Marxists to go away, and many like myself would have defended their rights to speak with our own lives. Problem is, nobody was buying what they were selling. I was so embarrassed for them it almost brought me to tears. The radicals within the group simply ruined it for the rest of us who wanted everyone's voice be heard. But diversity of thought was not to be tolerated and that's a fact. Now that they enjoy the comfort of heat produced by fossil fuels and the American corporations that bring them the necessities of life, they should be safe and healthy to take their narrow and limited message to the public come spring. http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/occupy-oaklands-planned-march-ends-chaos/nHKXs/
Go Occupy! February 06, 2012 at 07:19 PM
If they (Occupy Petaluma) are as bad as you say they are, you have to ask yourself "What is it about ME (George) that makes them want to run away from me? Why would a group that I publicly denigrate and despise so much, not want ME to be a part of it?" The good news for you is that the Teaparty will welcome you with open arms. They just love people that can write misleading and nonsensical content.
Concerned Citizen February 06, 2012 at 09:04 PM
How is the Black Face costume working out for you these days? Or maybe after your recall from the Cotati City Council, you've just got too much extra time on your hands? My point George? You have issues too, and for you to be throwing stones in the Glass House called Occupy brings me
George Barich February 07, 2012 at 04:31 PM
People say they want transparency in government, but the left want you to stop when it comes to posting your Halloween costumes from a decade ago on your own blog. It was fun showing people how the left operates, how racist they really are, and my supporters and I are right on schedule. Problem is, the far left is well versed in dodging the issues and changing the subject here. The issue here is, the park encampment which posed as an occupation (with their permits and small fees) folded for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason being the movement was hijacked by Marxists and anarchists who practiced censorship to keep a hold on power. Systematically, and with the precision of trained snipers, they took aim at anyone who did not agree 100% with their redistribution of wealth and entitlement mentality. They alienated all those who had complaints with the government that government spending, bailouts, and entitlements were out of control. They were particularly jealous of those who owned property and ran successful businesses. Furthermore, the recall worked out perfect for me, galvanizing Cotati citizens who voted to retain me by 40%, the highest percentage of support for anyone candidate in over a decade. The recall exposed the racists, the big spenders, the tax raisers, and the socialists at City Hall for all to see and has situated me perfectly for the 2012 election. The purpose of getting elected is to show real leadership. Mission accomplished.
George Barich February 07, 2012 at 04:33 PM
You can see how the Occupy Cotati movement worked out in the January edition of The Cotati Independent. http://host.thecotatiindependent.com/The%20Cotati%20Independent,%20January%202012.pdf
Concerned Citizen February 07, 2012 at 04:44 PM
George, You publicly apologized in the P.D. for your actions, then you were recalled as a public official. RECALLED! You caused more financial trouble for Cotati than any Occupy member could have imagined. Spin it ANY way you want my man, but you are a lose cannon.
George Barich February 07, 2012 at 05:11 PM
If you know how to read, I did not apologize for my actions in the PD, and only apologized if I offended anyone. That's it. Get it right. Fact is, I made it clear that I did nothing wrong on my personal web blog by putting a one inch photo of my Halloween costume at the top which was spun by the far left in town as somehow racists. Dozens of people came out in my defense and the city completely embarrassed themselves for playing the race card before the eyes of the press and gave themselves a big black eye. They even called in the handful of NAACP members from the east bay to condemn my brownface likenesses of Motown music stars as inappropriate for a private website. It was hilarious to watch them try to make their case with a straight face and did more damage to Cotati than anything to date. I also saved the taxpayers over $400K by voting against an emergency sales tax increase which delayed the tax increase by six months until the regular election. I am proud to have honored my campaign promises and did not fall into line with the left wingers on the council and represented my constituents to the end. Leadership is about compromising when possible, and standing on principle when necessary. All of this is taught in most political science courses at reputable universities and is not found in Saul Alinsky's book, "Rules for Radicals" from which the Occupy Petaluma movement relied on for guidance.
Go Occupy! February 07, 2012 at 05:19 PM
But George, what about Herman Cain and the 999 plan? And didn't Saul Alinsky retrofit an early version of a previous work from resplendent indoctrinations of residual Pan-Pacific pre-Occupiers?
George Barich February 07, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Since you are out of arguments about Occupy Petaluma packing up and shutting down, which brought down Occupy Cotati with it, is there anything else about my life you care to discuss? Now it's Herman Cain? Wow. Is it any wonder the Occupy movement has failed and hundreds arrested in Oakland in recent days? I think the Occupy movement should regroup and address their real problem, which is being exclusionary to all political unrest, be it on the right or the left. Until then, they have alienated hundreds in Petaluma citizens by their actions and their bank account proves it. I attended one executive meeting at Penry Park when the issue was they were out of money. There was no money coming in and no money for the most basic of necessities. Nobody in the meeting would donate another dime. No local business owner was willing to take them in to conduct their meetings and get them out of the cold which was fast approaching. I had to suggest bringing the meetings into the library, but they said that would be contrary to the movement because it would not be in the spirit of occupying it by signing up for the government room like everybody else. It became clear, they wanted to act outside the law, wanted to snub their nose at the city and the establishment. Only because they were so few in number were they then forced to pay the city park rental or go to jail. It's very sad. It was a huge waste of time and effort. This is what happen when the left is in charge.
Go Occupy! February 07, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Out of arguments George? Really, as I said, wait until springtime, you'll see that the Occupy movement was merely taking a break and regrouping over the winter. One thing they talked about was you and how they need to keep you as far away as possible from all meetings and to not open anymore mail from you. This comes straight from NYC headquarters. Whatever you were writing to them surely got their attention. I invoked the memorable Herman Cain as I assume you are on the same wavelength as him, or is it Glen Beck?
George Barich February 11, 2012 at 05:16 PM
USA Today Editorial: 'Occupy' movement fading out in a whimper. http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/story/2012-02-09/Occupy-movement-wealth-income/53032740/1
Active Thinker May 09, 2012 at 04:46 PM
I get the idea..agree with the 99%...but lets get real...what a waste of time...how much does the city need to spend to maintain this area and clean it up...glad they are going to focus on helping others now...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something