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I have gone to several of the Occupy movement events here in Bend, Oregon and I believe these local Occupy supporters are as patriotic and well intentioned as is the Fourth of July crowd. Everyone here in this small city of eighty thousand seems to want what is best for the country and the whole world as well as for our local community. Bend is geographically as remote from from America as it is possible to be and still be in the contiguous lower forty eight states, but its heart is dead center. It’s a two hour drive over mountains to another city of over one hundred thousand in the Willamette Valley and four hour drive to Portland which is only half a million. To the east there are very few people for hundreds of miles, only a gas station or two along the highway.

First Presbyterian Church Bend OROccupy meeting at the First Presbyterian Church Bend OR 44.053 -121.2924

This is the Occupy meeting held at the First Presbyterian Church’s, small chapel last week. As you can see most of the people were relatively old to be involved in a radical movement, but they are definitely concerned citizens. I don’t think these people can have any significant impact on American politics or the economy via this particular movement as I discussed in my blog post The Occupy Movement verses the real American elite, but they can have a real impact by giving the equal amount of time and effort to standard political causes and working through the usual channels.

Occupy_Wall_Street_Bend_OregonOccupy Wall Street protesters at the Bank of America in Bend, Oregon. 44.0603 -121.3127

This was part of The Occupy Wall Street movement in Bend, Oregon last October when standing in front of the Bank of America. It was as well organized and polite as a church picnic. The July 4th in Bend, Oregon, with Pets on Parade was another demonstration of polite but sincere public spirit.

Bend, Oregon kids, flags and patriotism on July 4th 2011 – 44.0593 -121.3127

Real political effect will be had by putting people into positions of power.