A waxing moon rises in the East as protesters start to assemble, fishing signs out of the back of a pickup truck. ‘Honk if you’re the 99%’ ‘End bank lies’ ‘Foreclose on corporate greed’ The wind whips up, snatching pamphlets for the local credit unions and sending organisers scattering after them, and the security bank in front of the Bank of America branch watches with a studied expression as passing cars honk in solidarity.
Fort Bragg, California, is exactly the sort of town many urban residents write off as nonessential and irrelevant, with a population of approximately 7,000 living within city limits. Struggling with an economic depression since the closure of the local lumber mill, the city has been hit hard by the recession, as the growing numbers of vacant businesses on Main Street attest. It doesn’t have enough residents to furnish a full-time campout downtown, and makes do with weekly protests at the farmers’ market on Wednesdays and in front of the conveniently side-by-side Chase and Bank of America branches on Friday afternoons.