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Salt Lake Occupiers move tents to Library Square

Published April 7, 2012 8:43 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Occupy SLC activists who maintained a round-the-clock presence in Salt Lake City's Gallivan Center this past winter on Friday packed up their tents and moved a few blocks south to Library Square, a grass-and-gravel area east of the Salt Lake City Library at 210 E. 400 South.

Since Oct. 6, the Salt Lake contingency has stood in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, a grass-roots movement decrying corporate greed and its influence on society and the political process.

Seth Neily, 31, has played an active role in the movement since its start in Utah's capital city.

"We're really excited about it," Neily said of the new tent community sprouting near the library. "We have great memories from Gallivan, but I won't miss the gale-force winds."

Passersby who witness Neily's efforts to raise awareness often tell him to "get a job,"he said. His reply: "I've got three — one that pays and two that don't."

"The goal is to change our lifestyles," from dependence on consumerism to self-sufficiency, Neily said. "We need to start seeing how we can take care of ourselves and break away from the system. The opportunities are limitless, especially when you put profit aside."

The new tent city, as much a social experiment as other Occupy camps have been, will again feature a free school where nonprofits and volunteers can share their insights.

"Education is one of our first and foremost concerns," Neily said.

The city has granted the group a weekly free speech permit. However, the occupiers pay for their own porta-potties and trash removal, and are not allowed to set up a community kitchen.

cmckitrick@sltrib.com twitter: @catmck