Hundreds of demonstrators including PCC students have been camping out in front of Los Angeles City Hall for weeks to protest against the issues in a demonstration called Occupy Los Angeles.
Students and other protestors, who refer to themselves as Occupy Los Angeles, gathered together at Pershing Square on Oct. 1 to join the cause of Occupy Wall Street, another sector of an ongoing protest currently going on in New York. The protesters began marching toward City Hall from Pershing Square at about 10 a.m. and were accompanied by Los Angeles police officers that briefly stopped traffic at intersections for the marchers. Police were cooperative as campers set their tents on the sidewalk just outside City Hall. Tents where food, medical supplies and other miscellaneous items can be donated have been set up around city hall.
“I have been so frustrated that the 99 percent which is the working class, have to pay taxes and yet huge corporations don’t? A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one percent,” said Luisa Palacios, a PCC sociology major as she explained her motivations for attending Occupy Los Angeles. “There is so much corruption involving the Wall Street investors, and yet they continue to get bailed out and not pay for their crimes,” she said.
The Students for Social Justice members went out and are continuing to go out and demonstrate their views on education and human rights.
“This movement is nationwide and people from all over the world are rising up,” Palacios said. “There are more than 34 cities in the U.S [protests] occupying. If not now, then when? If not us, then who? People are becoming aware and waking up, a shift is coming and we need to be ready for anything.”
Corporatism, human rights, health care, and education are all part of the 15 issues that can be found on the website for Occupy Los Angeles. The website also gives short descriptions on why each is an issue to be discussed.
At the site of the protest, Occupy LA hosts general assembly meetings where the public can come together to talk about the issues that they are demonstrating for.
“I would like to see economic reform, so that if the banks scam the people again, they will go to prison and receive the right punishment for it,” said Christian Tringali, PCC physics major. He also said that he is one of those affected by budget cuts in the educational system. “I feel that our government has been taking the interest of the rich before that of the majority and I would like that to change.”
Protestors and students have been camping out in rain or shine since Oct. 1. Since then many other cities in the US have been joining in on the ongoing demonstration.
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