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Occupy Fraser Valley to hold meeting in Chilliwack

The Occupy Fraser Valley movement is planning a "general assembly" at Chilliwack's Central Park at noon on Saturday.

While tent cities set up by Occupy groups in Vancouver, Toronto and New York City are being shutdown by civic authorities, Fraser Valley organizer Rachel Murrell said she doesn't foresee similar "attacks" here.

"We don't have any encampment plans," she said. "You can't shut down an idea."

And one of those ideas is to encourage the public to buy locally from small businesses in order to "not to feed the corporations," Murrell said.

Karly Engstrom, a member of the OFV's media committee, said the group is promoting a 'Buy Nothing Day' and an 'Occupy The Holidays' campaign on its Facebook page.

Buy Nothing Day started in Vancouver in 1992 as an international protest against consumerism, and its now celebrated on Nov. 25 - called Black Friday since sales that day can make or break the Christmas season for major retailers.

The Occupy the Holidays campaign urges Canadians to give gift certificates for the services of local barbers, restaurants and others, instead of buying products mass-produced by international corporations and imported here.

"When we care about other Canadians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine," OFV says on its Facebook page. "This is the new Canadian Christmas tradition."

Said Engstrom: "This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?"

Murrell said the Occupy movement may have lost some support because of apparent drug-related deaths in Vancouver, but the Fraser Valley group is "autonomous" and wants the chance to show its own ideas to the public.

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