'Occupy Moncton' protest planned

The "Occupy Wall Street" movement that started in the United States nearly a month ago is spreading to New Brunswick.

Occupy Moncton is being held by grassroots groups that say corporations and the government need to reconsider where the wealth is going.

The group is laying the groundwork for a demonstration in the city at noon on Saturday.

"Occupy is a movement that adapts everywhere it goes," said Remi Frenette, a University of Moncton student who is helping spread the word about Occupy Moncton.

"[It] brings back the importance of remembering the main cause — the umbrella that involves all the small causes that go underneath it."

Frenette said the Occupy Moncton movement will raise awareness of how issues, such as corporate greed and inequality, are affecting 99 per cent of the population.

The protests originally started on Sept. 17 in New York City, with a few dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange.

Since then, hundreds have set up camp in the park nearby and have become increasingly organized, lining up legal help and printing their own newspaper, the Occupied Wall Street Journal.

Other groups have periodically gathered and protested in locations throughout the U.S.

Frenette said in New Brunswick, the issues include unemployment and shale gas exploration.

Danny Légère, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees New Brunswick division, said although it's a long way from Wall Street, the work on Main Street in Moncton hits New Brunswickers in a real way.

"I think we're in a race to the bottom, is where we are. Not just in Canada but also in the United States and across the world," Légère told CBC News.

"With attacks on pension plans, with attacks on public services, with reductions in corporate taxes, reductions in taxes for the wealthiest."

Frenette said the movement is expecting to gather about 800 people at Moncton City Hall.

Several other Canadian cities are expected to get their first taste of the Occupy Wall Street movement this weekend, although it is unclear how much public support the Canadian events will draw.