Professor to teach students about Occupy

Palomar College may soon be offering an opportunity to learn about the Occupy movement and collaborate with fellow San Diego protestors.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been taking the world by storm since Sept. 17.

What started as a small protest against corporate greed in Liberty Square has now spread to over 100 cities nationwide, including San Diego.

Dr. Phillip Debarros, professor of anthropology, has taken a particular interest in the Occupy movement. Before the protests began, Debarros had already been dealing with his own frustrations about the dysfunctional aspects of the American government. He wanted to organize a demonstration for CNN, but once Occupy Wall Street started he decided to move in their direction.

“I was very happy to see a spontaneous, mass movement against the economic inequities and lack of true democracy in this country,” Debarros said.

Debarros read about the Occupy SD march and jumped at the opportunity to participate. He drove down to San Diego and exchanged names and numbers with fellow participants whom he hoped might collaborate with him in the future. Soon enough, Debarros was brainstorming ways to hold some sort of demonstration at Palomar College, but his planning was put on hold.

“What I had originally wanted to do was have some kind of larger demonstration, but after talking to Palomar students, I’ve realized that they don’t really know what it is all about,” Debarros said.

After discovering that students lack a proper understanding of the Occupy movement, Debarros has decided to plan an informational forum instead. He wishes to educate students about specific goals of the movement and teach them how to get involved.

He recognizes that many young protestors seem to participate simply to be a part of a riot and express “a generalized anger about what Americans are upset about,” instead of understanding the true purpose of the protest.

Debarros has a green light from the school.

“Any group can request to set up a forum,” Director of Student Affairs Sherry Titus said in an email.


Debarros hopes to have a variety of people participate, including Sean Rowland, one of the organizers of Occupy North County.

Debarros has been trying to collaborate with ASG and get the forum started as soon as possible, but he hasn’t received any definite answers yet.

“I can tell you that the ASG decided to make a plan on how to educate students about the Occupy San Diego/Occupy North County San Diego movement. The ASG decided to not take any stands on favor or against the movement,” ASG President Evelyn Lucero said in an email.

Whether ASG partners with Debarros or not, he said he will still progress toward taking action.

“One of my first goals is to move forward more aggressively. I’m not letting go of this thing. I think it’s a significant movement that reflects changes in American society,” Debarros said.

The forum date hasn’t been set yet. As more details are finalized, information will be posted around campus as well as on

Author: Dariel Walker

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