by Max Brantley
As promised, Occupy Little Rock participants assembled outside the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce today to object to the zoning rules proposed for the Lake Maumelle watershed.
The rules, to be considered Dec. 20 by the Quorum Court, were watered down to suit residential developer Deltic Timber, Occupy LR and others contend. The chamber was to have an informational session on the proposal at the noon hour today, but it announced — after the protest was announced — that scheduling difficulties had forced cancellation of the session. Occupy LR hit the streets anyway. One sign said "Deltic is the Devil." Another: "You cannot drink money."
David Koon talked to several of those on the street today:
Occupy Little Rock organizer Adam Lansky was pleased with the turnout at this morning's protest. He called continued development in the Lake Maumelle watershed "a win-win for Deltic, and a lose-lose for the city."
Occupy Little Rock protestor Robert Nunn, who helped spearhead the push to get OLR involved in the fight for protection of the Lake Maumelle watershed, said that while OLR is "late to the party" on the issue, they want to help out those who have been fighting development there for years. "We are specifically protesting Deltic's plan to build 39,000 homes on the watershed," Nunn said. "We feel that is a perfect example of the one percent trying to make a buck at the rest of our expense."
Nunn said the group is trying to raise as much awareness as they can before the Dec. 20 vote. The city is rushing to judgement on the issue, he said. "We are against exploitation," Nunn said. "We are human beings. We are not resources to be strip-mined. This thing Deltic is trying to do is corporate welfare at its worst, and if they get their way, we all will be paying more money so they can make more money."