Part-time participants help fill 'Occupy' ranks

By STEPHANIE REITZ | November 4, 2011 | 2:00 PM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Participants who've pitched tents at Occupy Wall Street and other sites are finding support in their ranks from part-timers, who squeeze in visits around work and other obligations.

The part-timers often stop by with food and encouragement and join the gatherings that the groups call their general assemblies.

And while they may be less visible than their tent-dwelling compatriots, the part-time occupiers say their concerns are just as strong and they're willing to make the visits a priority in their schedules.

Some protests, including in Boston and Hartford, have seen particularly large part-time support from college students and professors.

Many have also traveled to Wall Street, saying they want to see the epicenter of the movement.