A grassroots movement has sprung up across the United States as Americans – fed up with what they perceive as corporate greed and a sinking economy – are organizing to take back control.
In September, the Occupy Wall Street movement, which aims to point out the difficulties of 99-percent of the wage earning population, began in New York City. Although the people on the actual Wall Street are already into a fifth week of protesting, smaller efforts in American cities have sprung up in support.
Stockton is one of them.
On Oct. 12-13, locals held a protest to show support for the movement at De Carli Square in downtown near the intersection of El Dorado and Channel streets.
The maximum amount of people attending at once was around 50, according to organizers.
About 100 attended over the course of the two-day event.
“We are standing in solidarity with the Wall Street movement to raise awareness for the issues in our government, as well as our own local issues,” said Motecuzoma Sanchez, one of the event’s coordinators.
By 5 p.m. the first day, the crowd had thickened.
Many people were in work clothes, while others had chairs and umbrellas, indicative of them being their since early that morning.
All age groups and ethnicities were present, from young adults to seniors.
There were reasons all across the board for being there: lost jobs, housing problems, disability, tough time finding a new job among the reasons.
“This is raw democracy, people coming together to have their voice heard,” Sanchez said.
Listening to the crowd, one could tell the people who showed up for the movement were passionate about it. Enthusiasm spread, especially when people in cars honked horns when driving by
Sayings such as “We are the 99 percent” and “We are the working class!” could be heard throughout the day.
Several Delta College students were present, including as Garrett Daniells.
Daniells had been at the protest almost the entire second day.
“This is basically the 99 percent of Americans controlling one percent of the money, who are pissed off at the one percent of Americans controlling 99 percent of the money,” Daniells said, “We’re just trying to spread awareness.”
Also in attendance at the event was Delta College student Ryan Camero.
Camero said that despite the fact that he is doing well financially, he felt the need to speak up and join the cause.
“I feel strongly about this because I feel that our generation is so apathetic that they honestly don’t know/don’t care about the situation. I think it’s a strange dynamic- our media encourages substances, molding our generation into it and leaving us completely unprepared. I’m not much into politics, but I feel like people should look into the facts because I see way too many people that don’t care,” he said.
A march for the cause also took place on Saturday, Oct. 15, starting at DeCarli Square and reaching as far as the Miracle Mile.
Event organizers also collected donations such as clothes, food and blankets for the homeless.
• Search “Occupy Stockton” on Facebook for local group