Occupy Wall Street rally held in Fort Lauderdale
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A national movement is now turning local as South Florida residents take part in the Occupy Wall Street protests.
On Saturday, local activists met at the Broward County Main Library to stand up against corporate greed, education cuts, unemployment and bank bailouts. "We are looking for solutions. We are trying to come together to feel we are part of a group, feel like we're part of a population," said Joshua Alba of Occupy Miami.
"The root of all our problems is corporate greed buying off politicians," one demonstrator said. "We have to bring it back to what made this country great in the first place."
The protests have gained momentum, extending to the West Coast and even to the nation's capital as a tool to get Washington's attention. DC Protester Eric Lotke said, "I am a middle-aged, middle class person, and I think it's wrong, too, and I think my government has been captured by special interests and captured by corporations."
The protests began four weeks ago on New York's Wall Street. Most of the rallies have been peaceful, but some have turned violent and involved the use of pepper spray and batons. Some protesters have even complained of police abuse.
However, the movement continues to grow, with celebrities like actor Tony Danza joining in on the protests against corporate influence on the U.S. government. "The police are in a tough spot. They've got to control the crowd, but, you know, I think people in America should be allowed to do this kind of gather and protest," Danza said. "You know, I'm from the 60s. I grew up in the 60s, when we did this most of the time."
Thousands of activists have already participated in the nationwide Occupy Wall Street rallies; some demonstrators have camped out on Wall Street for the past 22 days.
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