Washington protests march into second week

Published: Monday, October 10, 2011, 17:29 [IST]
 
Washington protests march into 2nd week

Washington, Oct 10: Hundreds of protesters marched in Washington, angered at what they said was the US government's willingness to bail out rich corporations while neglecting the nation's hard-pressed citizens.

The Occupy DC movement, a fledgling activist group which set up a makeshift headquarters at McPherson Square on K Street one week ago, showed signs of growing as people from across the country headed to join them in the capital.

Sunday more than 200 demonstrators marched to Freedom Plaza, near the White House, and a second demonstration saw a similar crowd head towards Malcolm X Park in northwest Washington.

"There are a lot of people in this country who cannot afford to educate their children and live in an educated society. I don't want to live in a third world country," said Lana Ferree, a science teacher from Pennsylvania.

"We don't need huge corporations, just jobs. But the government is all about Exxon and Wall Street," she added.

Occupy DC's website states the movement is built on the example of Occupy Wall Street, whose activists have continuously camped out in a New York park since September 17. Both groups are angered at rising inequality in the United States, in the wake of the global financial crisis.

"Our focus is on the economy, corporate corruption of our political system, and the negative effects of corporate personhood," Occupy DC, which has deliberately avoided appointing a spokesman, says on its website.

Anthony Allen, 38, a salesman and father of two who lives in Washington and has been at McPherson Square since Thursday, said "the fact that nothing is going right" in the US economy, had led him to protest.

President Barack Obama said Thursday that the anti-Wall Street protests in New York and beyond were an expression of public anger and frustration over the antics of bankers and a moribund economy, with unemployment at 9.1 percent.
But Allen said the president was also to blame.

"I voted for Obama but he sold us a bag of goods that he's nowhere near delivering," Allen added, standing next to a protest banner that read "Welcome to the American autumn," alluding to this year's "Arab Spring" revolutions.

AFP

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