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Meet The Brave Faces Of “Occupy The Tundra”

Meet The Brave Faces Of “Occupy The Tundra”

Most media attention has focused on the noisy, boisterous Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in American’s biggest cities. But some of the most powerful statements about corporate greed and the government’s refusal to curtail it are made in much smaller towns.

Diane McEachern is an assistant professor in the rural human service program at the University of Alaska’s Kuskokwim Campus. She lives in Bethel, Alaska — a town of only 6,400 — but knew that she had to find a way to bring the message of Occupy Wall Street home for her friends and neighbors.

McEachern started by sharing a picture of herself (above) holding an Occupy Wall Street sign in the middle of the Alaskan tundra. She posted it on the Occupy Wall Street Facebook page with the caption, “I am a woman. The dogs are rescues. The tundra is outside of Bethel, Alaska. The day is chill. The sentiment is solid. Find your spot. Occupy it. Even if it is only your own mind.”

Since posting it on Facebook, McEachern’s picture has gone viral, sparking stories in Reuters, the Washington Post, Yahoo! News and countless other websites.

The foreclosure crisis may not have hit bush Alaska in a huge way, but people in Bethel are paying $6.87 a gallon for gasoline, McEachern told the LA Times. Stove oil prices for heating homes are equally unaffordable. Cuts in social services to rural villages are pending.

“And right now, they’re proposing here the largest gold mine in human history, the Pebble Mine, that’s going to do catastrophic damage to the environment and the native community, in the premier wild salmon habitat in the world,” she said. “So I’m not well-versed on the larger economic system, but I can relate to the idea of corporate wealth being lopsidedly in the hands of so few, when so many are struggling.”

Occupy The Tundra now has it’s own Facebook page with over 175 fans, and the tiny occupation in Bethel, Alaska, has grown from one woman to a small group of sympathetic Alaskans determined to make their voice heard as members of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

As winter begins to cover the hundreds of Occupations around the country with a blanket of cold and snow, just think about this tiny but determined group up in Alaska…and stand strong. We are in this together!

Occupy The Tundra Group

Related Reading:

Guerrilla Gardening Project Blooms At Occupy Wall Street

Oil Spills Expected If Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved

Iraq Veterans Announce Support For Occupy Wall Street

Image Credit: Diane McEachern/Occupy The Tundra

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8:11AM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

That's courage.

2:15AM PST on Dec 5, 2011


11:58AM PST on Dec 4, 2011

Now THAT takes dedication. Personally, I take the position that if God meant for me to be out in those conditions, He would have made me a polar bear. I definitely have to admire their resolve!

10:42AM PST on Dec 4, 2011

Just beautiful. Together we can do whatever we can think of. Stay together, stay strong guys!!

5:23PM PST on Nov 13, 2011

~It's inspiring to see people like this all over the US taking a stand to get their issues known!~

1:26PM PST on Nov 10, 2011

This is GREAT!!!!!

8:57AM PST on Nov 10, 2011


5:28AM PST on Nov 10, 2011

you guys are awesome, we love you all, a hello from Australia and a high five!

5:47PM PST on Nov 8, 2011

we need to occupy every corner of the planet, take back what is ours. thank you to all those who hold the signs and who inspire the rest of us.

11:38AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

Fantastic work! A beautiful picture!! And a inspiration to us!

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