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Occupy Ontario strikes back at banks

by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Saturday, December 10, 2011 ONTARIO (California) - Now that all the largest encampments have been shut down and cleared out, it is up to groups in smaller cities to carry the torch. In an action that coincided with International Human Rights Day, between 30 and 50 activists, many of them active in other area occupy movements, converged in Ontario today for a demonstration and march targeting banks.

Occupy Ontario strik...
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While Ontario has been holding weekly general assemblies Wednesdays outside the library for several weeks now, they had not held any actions until today.

Ontario natives were joined by occupiers from Rialto, San Bernardino, Riverside, Claremont, and a large contingent from Redlands. They met outside of the Bank of America on Euclid at G St at about two in the afternoon. A generous soul had provided posterboard and markers so attendees could send their own messages. People made signs reading "Honk if you're broke," "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out," and "Save the planet--transform the system."

One comrade, a veteran of Occupy Riverside, brought his guitar and sang a few songs. We chanted and handed out flyers to passersby. One man leaving the bank told us he was glad to see us and that he had just closed his account.

A comrade from San Bernardino mimicked the snake oil salesman of days yonder, inviting one and all to "step right up" and take advantage of a last-chance offer of US currency just before the dollar takes its plunge.

After about an hour-and-a-half of chanting, singing, and meeting each other, a comrade proposed marching down the median of Euclid Avenue to the Wells Fargo, which has also stolen many homes from many familes.

We embarked, chanting "Hey hey! Ho ho! Occupy Ontario!" in raucous chorus on the way down. We were monitored by a police officer in an unmarked car. Once there, we urged Wells Fargo victims to shut down their accounts and to join credit unions. We returned to the B of A by 2, the projected end of the rally, and urged victims there to do the same. Before adjourning, Ontario organizers passed around a contact sheet and invited all to the next Occupy Ontario general assembly, Wednesday at seven at the library. Some Riverside comrades also invited all those remaining to join in on the Port Shutdown in Long Beach December 12, offering rides to any who might need them. Occupy Redlands folks similarly invited us to their action against congressman Jerry Lewis, scheduled for December 17 at 11:30.

A congregationalist pastor, whose church is just down Euclid, also joined in on the protest, to be a witness in case any of the forces of repression "did anything stupid." Just then, to the delight of all, a sympathizer arrived with three boxes of cheese pizza to feed the masses. We took a well-deserved break to break bread, at which point the pastor began chastizing us! "Don't put down your signs just because somebody brought food! You'll never make change that way! Your job isn't done until these guys are out of business!" He yelled, pointing to the bank behind him. At first we thought he was being facetious, but when he continued, we realized he was in earnest, and several people got offended. One demonstrator shot back: "Why are you yelling at us? We're here! Where's your congregation?"

Despite that minor disagreement, and some other discomforts, such as protesters who know how to protest much better than others and are keen on instructing those of us unschooled in the art, the protest went well and was very well-received by the people of Ontario.

"I want to see every city have it's own Occupy," said one of the Ontario organizers. "That's the only way to build a genuine grassroots movement."

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

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In front of Bank of America

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

oo-003.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

In front of Bank of America

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

oo-004.jpg, image/jpeg, 540x720

In front of Bank of America

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

oo-005.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

In front of Bank of America

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

oo-006.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

In front of Bank of America

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

oo-007.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

Marching down Euclid

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

oo-008.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

Marching down Euclid

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

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Police in unmarked car. Protecting the bank?

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

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View of Occupy Ontario protestors from the Ontario bandstand, just before they cross the street tot he Wells Fargo.

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

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In front of Wells Fargo

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

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In front of Wells Fargo--asking patrons to close their accounts

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

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Young woman tells the story of why she occupies

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

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All Power to the People!

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by Rockero Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

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Free pizza! That made us sinners.

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