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The Ninety-Nine Percent

occupy_bankFRESH DIRT > Occupy Santa Cruz protestors rally for national and local causes

A man dressed up like a Wall Street banker, wearing a wrinkled button down shirt, khakis and sneakers, wheels a speaker system out of a car parked in front of the Santa Cruz Courthouse.

Someone else speaks into a megaphone, “Alright everyone, let’s march!”

The gathering was a “Corporate Ball” themed march organized by the Occupy Santa Cruz protestors on Wednesday, Oct. 12. About 75 participants marched through Downtown Santa Cruz, blasting music and chanting in unison as they stopped at the three major bank branches in the area—Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

The Occupy Santa Cruz protestors first gathered one week ago in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Both groups hope for increased taxes on corporations and the wealthy, greater scrutiny on large banks, and higher wages for the average American worker.

“I think we’re on the same page, completely,” says Susan Worth, 51.

occupyBut some of the Santa Cruz protestors also have local demands on their minds—such as overturning the city’s sleeping ban.

“Fundamentally, I think [the movements] are the same,” says Sita Jones, a 22-year-old massage therapist. “But what a lot of us are trying to do, for Santa Cruz, is to get rid of the sleeping ban to help out the homeless a little bit more.”

The Santa Cruz sleeping ban prohibits people from sleeping outdoors and in cars between 11 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. Violators, who are largely members of Santa Cruz’s homeless population, can be issued tickets or receive a misdemeanor charge.

“I got five tickets in one week,” says Lawrence McGregor, 40. “I hope the changes that are happening now might help the homeless more. We have a lot of street people here and the cops just want to give us tickets every time.”

Occupy Santa Cruz will hold a “Rally for Global Change” on Saturday, Oct. 15, in conjunction with protests in more than 950 different cities. Protestors will meet at noon at the Santa Cruz Courthouse and a march will begin at 2:30 p.m.


Photos by Irena Eaves (top) and Keana Parker (bottom).

 

Comments (6)Add Comment
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written by But really !, October 17, 2011
Getting rid of lobbyists, well that's a start. Our leaders are corrupted by corporations, influence pedaling and campaign contributions. Too bad these protests are also being corrupted by the substance addicted bums of Santa Cruz.
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written by J Carl, October 16, 2011
How shallow of the Good Times to take this "movement" and report it as if it were a "homeless" issue. Shame on you.
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written by jay1948, October 15, 2011
Lets get to the lowest common demonator...all the country's financial problems comes down to special interests, lobbyests and the criminals in public office that take bribes to vote for corporate breaks in stead of voting for the well being of the USA. Get rid of the lobbyests, then we'll see political public servents that work for the public, not wall street.
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written by XDem, October 15, 2011
The Huffington Post reported the the numbers of protestors in New York "swelled to about 2000", there were no more than 75 demonstrators in Santa Cruz. Your photo at Chase showed 2 protestors.

$1 ice cream cones at Baskin-Robbins draw larger crowds.
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written by XDem, October 15, 2011
It is presumptuous of these idiots to claim to represent 99% of the people. While factually, I am not a member of the 1%, I vociferously reject being included in their 99%. There are probably hundreds of millions of citizens who would agree.

If you amassed all the left wing loons participating in these demonstrations, they wouldn't total 1% of the population. Showing the same 1000 protestors on tv time and time and time again doesn't add up to a mass protest.
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written by Try Again, October 15, 2011
Pick a subject and protest it. Come up with a solution and propose it. You cant just complain and say make things better. Its too broad and nothing will get done. Protesting in front of local business accomplishes nothing. The people who work there are part of the "99%." They are not rich. They have gotten rich off of no one. They have bills and are trying to stay alive like the rest of us. Harassing them and the customers of these banks just makes you look bad. Peaceful protest you say, That is not what I saw when I went in to do a deposit.

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