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Westhampton Beach Resident 'Occupies' Her Front Yard

Patricia Robinson says she hopes her tent generates awareness.

Patricia Robinson has taken the 'Occupy' movement to her home in Westhampton Beach. This week, she erected a tent on her front lawn with a sign reading, "Happy Holidays to the 100 percent."

"I was going to write the '99 percent,'" said Robinson, "But it's the holidays."

Robinson says she has been a participant in the Occupy Wall Street movement since it started in September, traveling back and forth to the city and even closing her Chase bank account.  She has also been a part of area events, including the Occupy the Hamptons movement, held in Sag Harbor.  She says, she believes in their mission — an open conversation is needed to repair the American and world governments.

Robinson said she does not consider herself a "political person" though she openly admits that she has volunteered for political campaigns in the past, including President Barack Obama's. What she says she is though is someone with an open mind, who wants to see various groups come together and have a discussion and working toward helping those who are in need.

"I have always felt that we should do more to have a just and equitable world, not just in the United States," she said.

Wanting to bring more attention to the mission locally — where Robinson says there are many people living in poverty between the area's mansions and large houses — she decided to erect a tent on her Oneck Lane front lawn.

"I hope to start a dialogue. There are a lot of people in town that are admitting that they can't pay their bills, their hours were cut, their car broke down and they can't afford to fix it," she said.

Robinson said so far it's working.

"People have definitely slowed down to take a look," she said.

Robinson says she is not living in the tent, though she said she would if it were summer and there was more traffic on her street.

"The fact is I don't think anyone would notice," she said. "Not many people even know there is a hunger strike going on in New York and in Washington."

Robinson did say, however that if someone who is homeless moves in, she'd be happy to accommodate them.

"That's fine. I will feed them," she said.

Robinson, who is a life-long Westhampton Beach resident and an artist by trade, says she does not think she is "going over the top" with her tent. 

"I could have gone with a whole nativity theme," she said."Jesus was born in a shed, wasn't he?"

Ty Wenzel December 20, 2011 at 01:28 AM
This is awesome! Not only is the gesture sweet, but it's a wonderful example of the holiday spirit. Patti, what a great example you are!
Irina Richardson December 20, 2011 at 12:21 PM
Very clever! Happy Holidays Patricia.
Virginia Whitelaw December 20, 2011 at 01:44 PM
Robinson, you always were a rebel! Rock on!

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