Following the trend of protests across the country, about 30 people took advantage of the First Friday publicity to show signs of support of reforms so the government represents the 99 percent of the people who are not corporate leaders.
Mandy Maurer, of Williamsport, started a Facebook event to invite friends and friends' friends to march around the city.
Her quest began because she wanted to support Occupy Wall Street, described as a leaderless resistance movement that wants to change how the government is run. Since she could not reach New York City because of family commitments and work, she decided to host her own movement in Williamsport.
Protesters, assembled in solidarity with the “Occupy Wall Street” initiative in Manhattan and other major cities, wave signs Friday along W. Fourth Street near City Hall and the Sun-Gazette building. Protesters said they want reforms to shift the balance of power away from the most well-connected and wealthiest 1 percent. See more photos on cu.sungazette.com.
"People can affect politics," Maurer said. "We need representation of the working class."
As the protesters, growing from four people at 5:30 to about 30 people an hour later, stood on the corners of Hepburn and West Fourth Streets with signs that read "I have the most to lose" and "Occupy Williamsport."
One of the protesters drove from Lock Haven after discovering the event while searching for information about Occupy Wall Street.
"We can't necessarily trust the government anymore to provide a safety net," Cyndi Korick said, "There might be some people in government who want to do that."
Korick said she thinks that with so many people working together, they can probably accomplish something.
"I'm here to see what (the rally) is about," she said. "I want to see the direction of it. I hope it's a good thing so we can create a future for all of us."
Korick said she will hold her own demonstration next Friday at 4:30 p.m. in Hanna Park, Lock Haven.
Sega Diakite, originally of Mali, West Africa, who has lived in Williamsport for eight years, carried a sign that bore "Books Before Bombs" because he felt that government needed to spend more money in education than in defense.
"There's a big disconnect for the people who represent the majority of us," Diakite said. "Once they're in congress, they forget about the constituents."
As the protesters held their signs and offered peace signs and waves to the motorists and pedestrians passing them, some people offered support. Many motorists honked their horn. A few walkers stopped by their group to ask questions about what they represented. One man in a truck drove by the corner, returned the peace sign and shouted, "Give my country back."
Ildiko Seitzer, of Loyalsock Township, knew exactly what she wanted as she stood among the crowd.
"I think it's time Obama's jobs bill got passed," she said. "It worked for FDR. I think it might work again."
Another protester, Heather Dincher, of Williamsport, held her borrowed "It's time for an economy that works for everyone" sign for a reason.
"I'm here to make a change," she said. "I'm hoping for a change for people like us, the 99 percent who have to decide between buying food or paying rent for the month."
For Maurer, it was her first time taking control of a rally.
"What we do today impacts (the public) as well," she said. "Someone needed to speak up. It's not just in New York City, it's not just small town America. It's both."