About 1,000 protesters kicked off Occupy San Diego — a movement against what organizers called corporate greed — Friday as they marched from Children’s Park to Civic Center Plaza downtown for a rally, chanting “We got sold out. They got bailed out.”
The demonstration, which is planned to last indefinitely, reflects similar protests that have occurred across the country in other cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Seattle. The protests have been roused by the Occupy Wall Street movement that started in New York City several weeks ago.
Joe Tirabassi, of Vista, said he is supporting the movement and participating because “we are all part of the 99 percent here, and corporations/the top 1 percent need to release their grip on our economy.”
The loan processor said that although he and his wife have been fortunate and not lost their jobs, they are $200,000 upside down on their home. When they asked the bank, not for a discount, but simply to switch their adjusted rate mortgage to a 30-year fixed, they were told they did not qualify because they faithfully make payments on their loan.
“There is going to be a time when my family is going to be in more need than we are now,” said Tirabassi, 32. “We need to start supporting each other. It’s fair that if I’m paying 25 percent in taxes, everybody else should be paying 25 percent in taxes. The trickle down is not working, equality is the fairest thing for everybody.”
Police did not require the group in San Diego to get a permit, according to the department.
“We have been in contact with the organizers and we’re expecting it to be a peaceful demonstration,” said Lt. Andra Brown. “We will have officers monitoring the event to make sure that it is a peaceful demonstration, that their constitutionally protected rights to peacefully demonstrate are upheld and also to make sure that they maintain their obligation and peacefully demonstrate.”
A police officer watching the crowd march by said as long as the protest stayed peaceful “I’m with them. I’m part of the 99 percent, too.”
This is not going away.