OGDEN -- Freezing temperatures greeted the Occupy Wall Street movement's Ogden debut Saturday morning as about 40 protesters gathered at the front steps of the Ogden Municipal Building.
The nationwide movement has burgeoned in recent weeks to assail, peacefully, the excesses and failures of the nation's biggest banks since 2008 that have fueled the current economic downturn.
Demonstrators also protest the government bailouts of those same banks.
Wielding signs reading "Burn the Banks" and "Arrest the Banksters," plus "I Bailed Out A Bank And All I Got Was a Debit Card Charge," the Occupy Ogden group encouraged Washington Boulevard motorists to honk and wave.
"We want to show people what real democracy is like and demonstrate it in the local town square," said Christine Marx, one of the Occupy Ogden organizers who is a Weber State University math professor. She stressed she was not representing the university.
As she waved to motorists, she said she was encouraged by the honking, waving and thumbs-up signs the protesters were receiving.
"More waving and thumbs up than honking, but I'd say it's about every other car ... Oh, we just got the bird," she noted, referring to one unflattering gesture from a driver.
Marx said such rallies as Saturday's will hopefully become weekly, possibly daily, events. "We're discussing tents."
Stan Gardiner, a patrolman with the Ogden Police Department, monitored proceedings at the protest site after being assigned specifically to maintain a presence there, he said.
"I'm getting four hours of overtime pay, so I'm all for it," he quipped.
But for a few times telling ralliers to step back from the road and up onto the curb, he cited no problems.
Edward Swift, of Brookings, Ore., said he is an outreach coordinator for Occupy Wall Street and has been involved since the movement began in New York.
He had just left the movement's campsite in Salt Lake City's Pioneer Park.
"I've also been to Denver, Chicago and St. Louis, and I'm on my way to Portland next," he said.
While saying the movement is "leaderless," Marx was the facilitator for the noon assembly where the group talked logistics and strategy.
Occupy Ogden planners have set up a Facebook page that, according to a news release, earned 200 friends in its first five days.
By 12:45 p.m. Saturday, protesters left the municipal grounds in the blowing snow.