'To build a sense of community': Kitsap 99% Spring Gathering March 24 in Little Boston

LITTLE BOSTON — While many of the nation’s larger Occupy movements have gone underground, locally the calls for social justice have not.

North Kitsap 99% and Occupy Bremerton have teamed up to sponsor their first major event, the Kitsap 99% Spring Gathering at the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Center, March 24.

“The goal is to help build a sense of community in Kitsap County,” said Fran Korten, a North Kitsap 99%  volunteer from Bainbridge Island.

About 50 volunteers are putting this event together, without fundraising or spending money as a group. The groups’ ideas of social change and financial equality are inspired by Occupy Wall Street and its subsequent movements, which began in September. North Kitsap’s group formed in November.

While the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is not aligned with either group, tribal executive assistant Kara Horton said they were pleased to be able to offer space for this public event.

The Spring Gathering will host speakers, among them Sarah van Gelder, editor of Yes! Magazine and co-editor of “This Changes Everything.” The event will center around what Korten called “open space,” a time where anyone is invited to put forth a discussion, workshop, or skill training to the rest of the crowd.

“People can put up their idea at the time, prepared in advance if they want, but the actual process happens at the [gathering],” Korten said. “This comes out of many different traditions, emphasizing the participatory spirit of the whole Occupy movement.”

The all-day event will also feature art exhibits, food vendors and live music.

After two “open spaces,” a general assembly will be held where “people can reach conclusions, if they want,” Korten added.

Kitsap 99% Spring Gathering will be held at the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Center, 31912 Little Boston Road NE. Tentative schedule is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check the website,, for updates.

North Kitsap 99% meets every Monday, 7-9 p.m., at the Suquamish United Church of Christ, 18732 Division Ave. NE, Suquamish.

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