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by Lauren Hjelm
Tuesday, Nov. 08, 2011 at 7:05 PM
"This isn't about (political) parties," states one protestor firmly. "We're just angry citizens who don't like what we see is happening and we want to change it."
2011-11-05_12-02-08_488.jpg, image/jpeg, 2592x1456
The number of protestors at Occupy Riverside may not be imposing but their protests are well organized and their message is clear. About fifty protestors walked to the Wells Fargo and Bank of America located near Downtown Riverside On November fifth not only to ask people to close their accounts and open a new account with a Credit Union but also to express their deep disappointment in the way banks decided to use the bailout money they received. The protestors stated they wanted the money to go towards aiding those experiencing financial troubles or back into the community instead of the banks investing the money in a personal manner. The protest began with drums, signs, and a megaphone at Wells Fargo where bank members occasionally walked in and out of the bank. Bank of America was prepared for the protestors with two security guards that opened doors for customers and at times walked with customers as they left the bank. Protestors cheered loudly with a sense of triumph when customers came out with their money in hand and their accounts closed.
“They charged ten dollars to close the account,” one newly former Bank of America customer said. “All they have you do is sign one piece of paper. That’s it. They don’t want in there for very long.”
The protestors made it very clear to each other that there were cooperative rules to be followed when protesting.
“Mike check! Mike check! Do you see this line? This is the line! Stay on this side of the line! If you do not stay on this side of the line you will receive a coupon! It looks like this!”
Although the security guards did come outside of Bank of America intermittently no altercations were had. The Bank Transfer Day protest was a non-violent protest void of any confrontations. Unfortunately an announcement was made that forewarned the protestors of looming conflict. There would be a raid that night at ten o’clock. The raid did not occur until the night of November sixth.
On November sixth, around three in the afternoon, about thirty Riverside police officers arrived to take away supplies. The police were considerate enough to come during the day when visibility is clear, as opposed to the night time raids that have been occurring at other Occupy protest sites that result in confusion, chaos, and multiple injuries. The officers focused mainly on removing tents from the site. Approximately forty protestors made a human chain around their personal belongings and community provisions. Protestors report that force was used to break the chain. Minor bruises and bumps transpired along with a shoulder injury. The seriousness of the shoulder injury is unknown at this time. The protestors also report that an agreement has been set up with a Bail Bond company. Any individual arrested that is an Occupy Riverside protestor will be bailed out without any fees charged for the service. Videos of the raid have been uploaded onto the internet for public view.
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