Occupy Miami marches on banks
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Occupy Wall Street protesters in Miami marched against what they call corporate greed, Friday.
The protesters have been camped out in front of the Stephen P. Clark Center for nearly two weeks now. On Friday, at 11 a.m., they gathered to march with signs, T-shirts with "99% STRONG" emblazoned on them and chanting, "We are the 99 percent," a phrase that references the fact that one percent of the population holds 40 percent of the wealth.
The protesters targeted what they call corrupt banks and financial institutions that do business unregulated by government. A group of around 120 people marched to protest the widening divide between the wealthy and the poor. The protesters are working in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York and similar rallies all over the world.
The Miami protesters first marched to the Bank of America Building in Downtown Miami, where security guards rushed to lock the doors, locking down the building, not allowing anyone in or out. Outside of the Downtown Miami Bank of America branch, protesters chanted, "If you pay and I pay, why not B.O.A.?"
Demonstrators then visited other financial institutions throughout the day, including Chase Bank, Citibank, RBC Bank and Goldman Sachs.
Kevin Young of Occupy Miami said, "After the Chase Bank, we'll be going over the bridge to the Citibank [for the] same reasons: bailout money, holding on to that money, not giving it out small business loans, not giving educational grants, and then raising interest rates."
Occupy Miami demonstrators also visited the courthouse. "The courthouse has the ability to stop foreclosures," said Young, "so we're going to tell the courthouse, 'Just say no to foreclosures.' They're telling us to Just Say No to Drugs, we're saying, Just Say No to Foreclosures."
Jack Leiberman supports Occupy Miami. "I'm making a contribution because I think these people are doing the right thing. We need to take our country back from the bankers and the corporations. We need to make the banks pay for the corrupt practices that they carried out," he said. "They literally robbed billions of dollars from the federal treasury and from consumers through fraudulent mortgages, fraudulent banking practices. They need to pay."
The Occupy Miami protesters said they plan to stay camped out in front of the Stephen P. Clark Center for as long as it takes to see change.
The movement will hold a standing rally at the Torch of Friendship on Saturday, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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