Like the Occupy Wall Street movement that inspired the event, those who came to Beverly Hills' Monday for the “Hear it from the Hills” protest all had different concerns, but one thing in common: They want the United States government to make some changes.
Jonathan Brock, a Beverly Hills video editor, wants to stop complaining and actually do something about a government he feels is powered by corporate money.
Michael Jones, a Culver City resident who works with the probation department, is concerned that the thousands of inmates about to be released from state prisons due to budget cuts will return to a life of crime when they can’t find jobs.
Liz Cohen of West Los Angeles feels like she lives in a country that doesn’t reflect her ideals.
“We are here today to help build a movement of progressive people who feel like 99 percent of us are not represented by our current government system,” said Roberta Eidman, who coordinated the event with MoveOn.org. “We all have different levels of concern. The retirees are worried about social security, unions are afraid of being stripped of their rights, recent graduates need jobs, homeowners want to avoid foreclosure, but we all have a vision of how to make a better future.”
Holding signs with slogans like “Jobs Not Cuts” and “Greed Is Not Patriotic,” the group of about 60 protesters chanted “We’re the 99” as they made their way down Olympic Boulevard from Roxbury Park to the Century City financial district, despite Monday being a bank holiday.
“I wanted to show my solidarity with the other members of the 99 percent of people who are rising up and basically saying they are really tired of being powerless,” Brock said. “We’ve lost our democracy. I’m here to take a stand and show my desire to take our real democracy back.”
Like the Occupy Wall Street movement, which started in New York City and has now spread across the nation, most of Monday’s participants were protesting against corporate greed, a lack of jobs, and the influence of big business and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans on U.S. laws and policies.
“The top 1 percent is the only segment of the population that is really holding the assets—just astronomical amounts of the nation’s wealth—and the power that goes with that wealth,” Eidman said.