“I’m out here representing the 99 percent,” said demonstrator Angel Warner. “The people that live in this country, that are tired of watching our wages diminish, while the rest of the 1 percent get richer and richer.”
“We are against the corruptness in capitalism and we are against the greed in capitalism,” Warner continued. “We are against government being bought by all these huge corporations and the 1 percent telling the government officials that we elected what to do, while in the meantime, we are being ignored.”
Another demonstrator, Mike Santos from Palmdale, said a solution to corruption in capitalism on a policy level would be to reintroduce the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA), a 1930s response to the Great Depression, which separated investment and commercial banking activities. GSA was repealed in 1999.
“Glass-Steagall will take away half of the problem because of all the CDO’s [collateralized debt obligations], the CDS’s [credit default swaps] and all the derivatives,” said Santos. “That’s what kind of brought us down.”
He said talking to representatives would not yield real solutions because representatives were too busy listening to lobbyists.
“They’re listening to Wall Street, so that’s why we’re going after Wall Street,” Santos said, adding that it starts at the local level.
Another demonstrator, Roxie Patterson, said the march was part of a larger movement to establish the group’s presence in the community.
“It will let this conservative community know that we’re here and we have a right to be heard and maybe wake up some people that are sleeping,” said Patterson. “We’ve been relaxed too long… We need to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
The 50 demonstrators started out at Lancaster City Hall at 10 a.m., and then marched the length of The BLVD, waving signs, pumping their fists, and chanting loudly to the beat of a Bongo Drum.
“THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” the group responded.
At other times the group shouted: “WE… ARE… THE 99 PECENT! WE… ARE… THE 99 PECENT!”
Several drivers on The BLVD honked their horns to cheers from the group. Demonstrators stopped in front of each bank on The BLVD to voice their dissatisfaction.
“I had a Wells Fargo Mastercard; interest rate 12.9%,” said Booth McKeown in front of the Wells Fargo bank on The BLVD. “All the payments were on time, but when I lost my job, the interest rate went up to 29 and a half percent.”
“SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!” demonstrators screamed at the glass doors to the entrance of Wells Fargo bank.
They also chanted:
“BANKS GOT BAILED OUT, WE GOT SOLD OUT!”
When the group came to the intersection of Sierra Highway and Lancaster Boulevard, half the group crossed the highway and gathered at Boeing Plaza and the other half gathered in front of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station. Both groups directed their chants to passing cars on Sierra Highway and some drivers honked their horns in support.
The demonstration appeared to be peaceful and non-violent. Several deputy patrol cars could be seen observing the march, however, none attempted to halt the demonstration.
Saturday’s march will be followed by a Move Your Money March and Demonstration on November 5th. The occupation is scheduled to begin immediately following the march on November 5th.
For more information on Occupy Antelope Valley, visit their facebook page.