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Occupy Wall Street Protests Spread To San Diego

Aired 10/4/11 on KPBS News.

"Occupy San Diego" plans to take over the Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Diego this Friday.

The Occupy Wall Street protests are in their third week and they're spreading from New York to cities across the country, including San Diego.

A group called "Occupy San Diego" plans to take over the Civic Center Plaza in downtown Friday and march in solidarity with those in New York. It also plans to stage a 24/7 sit in.

The nationwide protests are over what demonstrators see as corporate greed and the growing income gap.

Aired 10/4/11 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Dan Seiver, Finance Professor, San Diego State University

Kali Katt, spokesperson, Occupy San Diego


Protestor Kali Katt of Pacific Beach said a list of demands to San Diego leaders is not on paper yet, but the goal is clear.

"We are here to achieve social and economic justice. This is a very simple idea for people to come and participate in the democratic process again," Katt said.

But San Diego State University Professor of Finance Dan Seiver says it helps to protest something that is more tangible.

"I don't think these protests will change anything," Seiver said.

Seiver said, he's not convinced that the protests will do much to change the nation's economic policies.

Occupy San Diego is reaching out to community organizations, labor unions and activists. They're getting the word out by handing out flyers and hosting a series of meetings.

Protestors across the country have been organizing an increasing number of demonstrations after police arrested 700 people in New York over the weekend.

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Avatar for user 'Daniel Beeman'

Daniel Beeman | October 4, 2011 at 3:12 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

I believe Civic Center Plaza is not the wisest of places! It is walled in and kind of closed off to streets and general public viewing. It would be much better to go to a public place where some resident live nearby for support/supplies. It should be open to the street so all can see what is going on and have a place for additional members of the media and public to come & join as they need.
Some place like Martin Luther King Promenade Park with water features, trees (shading), difficult terrain (moguls) [hard for police to rush], near by food, (public & private) bathrooms, and trolley (transit). It is at 1st (& Front) Harbor Dr.(Island Ave.)

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Avatar for user 'jahmonkey'

jahmonkey | October 4, 2011 at 4:13 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

"The group is reaching out to community organizations, labor unions and activists."

They are part of the problem...they have failed us also...we need to build a new foundation of protests, not the usual suspects who have failed us for the last 30-40 years.

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Avatar for user 'SoCalKD'

SoCalKD | October 4, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

I'd like to make it, but I'm Jewish...and sunset Friday - sunset Saturday is Yom Kippur, the holiest holiday on the Jewish calendar. I hope things like that can be considered next time so that all who would like to attend an event like this can do so...without having to compromise their own religious observances.

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Avatar for user 'Mark_E_Smith'

Mark_E_Smith | October 4, 2011 at 4:58 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

I disagree with the professor. It isn't that the stimulus isn't large enough, it is that those who could use it to create jobs prefer not to. A stimulus that went directly to small business start-ups would be the only way to create jobs, but it wouldn't work unless welfare and tax breaks are also removed from multinational corporations that cause massive unemployment and small business closures through their policies of outsourcing and globalization.

I also disagree that Congress is sluggish and the process is slow. Fiscal regulations and oversight, and social programs like Medicare and Social Security were the result of reforms after the Great Depression and they are all being deregulated, unfunded or attacked. Reforms to a basically corrupt system will never bring about anything more than temporary progress.

I agree with Daniel Beeman on the logistics. A protest that will inevitably come under violent attack by the oligarchy should be in a place that, if not defensible, at least has secure escape routes.

I also agree with jahmonkey that many of the existing groups are worthless because they tried to work within the system and became corrupted by it, instead of trying to change the system to something less corrupt.

As for SoCalKD, the protest planning group meets every day, and the occupation will be ongoing, so Shabbos observance should not be a deterrant. No compromise is necessary to participate the rest of the week.

Occupy San Diego is supporting Occupy Wall Street, as are many other cities, and the agenda of Occupy Wall Street is very reminiscent of the complaints listed by the founders of this country in the Declaration of Independence. Although there may be a minor concession or two, accompanied by increasingly violent crackdowns as was the case in Egypt, tyrants do not grant petitions from their subjects. The corporate-owned bureaucracy we call a government does not allow public opinion to influence policy decisions and answers only to big corporate donors.

The turning point will come once it is obvious that our government exists to prevent us from having a voice, not to represent us. Although we have great income inequalities here than existed in either Egypt or Tunisia, there are still people living one paycheck or illness away from disaster, who look to the system to save them. Only when social consciousness rises to the point where most recognize that it is the system that is oppressing them, will there be real hope for change.

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Avatar for user 'SoCalKD'

SoCalKD | October 4, 2011 at 5:11 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Excellent Mark, thank you. Good to know it is not a short, limited time event.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | October 4, 2011 at 5:44 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

I wish them well and may join them if they do something more meaningful than sit in the ugliest plaza on Earth. The city of San Diego is not the problem, the federal government is, so why protest at City Hall? The Council has nothing to do with federal policy or Wall St.

If the protesters were blocking the federal building a few blocks away, that would be much more meaningful.

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Avatar for user 'sdgcb'

sdgcb | October 4, 2011 at 10:49 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

RE: "They are part of the problem..."

What problem is that? Once you have described the problem, explain how labor activists are part of that problem - I'm all ears.

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Avatar for user 'sdgcb'

sdgcb | October 4, 2011 at 10:50 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

RE: "may join them if they do something more meaningful"

No you won't - you are just making excuses for why you won't.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 5, 2011 at 12:11 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

It boggles my mind that anyone who supports freedom, democracy, and the United States in general, can be against organized labor protesting.

The entire framework of our nation is built on checks and balances to ensure an equal balance on all sides, yet so many are quick to silence workers by demonizing unions.

What about the slew of corporate lawyers labor is up against?

It is impossible for an individual to triumph over a money-fed band of corporate attorneys.

Without unions, the playing field is no longer balanced.

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | October 5, 2011 at 8:23 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

It will be interesting to see where these protests take us; it's actually amazing to me that this didn't begin years ago. There's also a lot of irony in the fact that many Americans who are hurt the most by the policies and practices that have gotten us into this mess, tend to lean toward political ideas and party movements that reinforce the worst practices in capitalism and in government. I’m glad to see these protests, but my guess is that they are going to run up against a huge wall of denial and ignorance by most Americans. They will see any protest against Wall Street as a protest against Capitalism in general, and the Fox News outlets will do everything within their power to paint the protesters as lazy, ungrateful, and misguided youth.

Be prepared for it to get dirty people, the powers that be are well entrenched, colossal, and ruthless.

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Avatar for user 'debwabd'

debwabd | October 5, 2011 at 8:48 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

I looked to see when this would begin in San Diego as I agree that real change must come from the grassroots.... ha, ha, call it "flood up economics"! Or better..."roots of democracy refuse to feed the sick tree"!
Anyway, I hope to join you folks either Friday or in ensuing action. I would encourage you all to remember this is a peaceful protest movement -- the folks in NYC have been called "kind" and "good to one another", "respectful"; the police actions were unwarranted because of the peaceful nature of the occupation (and not supported by rank and file officers). Let's not expect some sort of bad behavior from police, etc. here -- because we are not there to revolt, we are there to --- in all seriousness and with our actions, not just our words... take our country back. Forward, but back under our control, the real, living people, not the SCOTUS created "persons"!

I am thinking we should use our handheld media devices and start a national "echo chamber" ... get a saying going in NYC and have it move across the country. Wouldn't that be cool?

Hope to see you... from a young [at heart ] but old in age fellow traveler.

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Avatar for user 'SoCalGal'

SoCalGal | October 5, 2011 at 1:04 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Numerous potential sites were carefully evaluated. Please come to Occupy San Diego's meeting tonight @ 6 p.m. at Children's Park, 1st and Harbor Drive

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Avatar for user 'RandDouglas'

RandDouglas | October 5, 2011 at 3:50 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Interested in joining the protest on Friday. Will look for information about where and when on this site. Its about time that we all take a stand and speak out!!!!!!!

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | October 5, 2011 at 3:56 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

This type of protest is long-awaited. For generations we've wrongly admired the Gordon Gekko image of the Oliver Stone films Wall Street, where Michael Douglas' portrayal of Greed is Good has epitomized American business. To allow the disparity of pay between CEO and the average worker is not only an injustice, but INSANE!

The cost of living rises, taxes rises, jobs and careers are vanishing, city pension benefits plague the taxpayer, and little opportunity exists for too many of us.

We need government reform. The problem is who do we trust?

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | October 6, 2011 at 9:02 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Re: Unions being part of the problem; What I took from the statement was that unions, by their nature, are anti-competetive. This runs counter to the organizatoinal efficiency gains required to compete against other companies using larger and larger pools of workers willing to accept less and less.

Re: pay disparity being unjust or insane; If you do not believe in how a private or publicly traded business is distributing their profits, please do not give them your money. If you have already stopped doing business with them and the money they are distributing doesn't come from you, what business is it of yours or mine what they (legally) do with it?

Re: Opportunity; It exists for everybody, but the path to taking advantage of it is risky, long and painful. That isn't injustice, that's life. There are a lot of new farm job vacancies in Alabama this week.

Those thoughts being posted, I think it will be interesting to see what agenda those assembled come up with. Perhaps they can organize themselves enough to create a platform and offer up a political candidate, or perhaps endorse one they believe does (or would) represent them.

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Avatar for user 'samarazen'

samarazen | October 6, 2011 at 10:24 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

I am glad to see San Diego is mobilizing. As much as I would love to attend, I have a disability that creates a challenge. I do however have a website where I update daily what is going on with the movement. There's loads of information for those who want concise, concentrated videos and live feed in NY and LA to stay updated. Very informational and helpful for those wanting to understand in depth why this historical struggle exists. (

Let me know if I can be of any help in that way.

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Avatar for user 'samarazen'

samarazen | October 6, 2011 at 10:44 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

The website is

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Avatar for user 'samarazen'

samarazen | October 6, 2011 at 10:47 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

There's a problem with clicking the link on this site to get to Mell's Moment, so just try Mell's Moment.

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Avatar for user 'DebUC'

DebUC | October 6, 2011 at 12:43 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Regarding scheduling and logistics: as SoCalKD noted, Friday evening, October 7, ushers in the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. However, I wonder whether SoCalGal and others involved in planning were aware that thousands of Jews from Congregation Beth Israel will attend Yom Kippur Kol Nidre services Friday evening and continue worship on Saturday at the Civic Center Auditorium -- as we have for at least the past 35 years. I hope you can plan your logistics and protest program to show respect for your fellow San Diegans who will be in the Plaza and Auditorium for solemn, introspective worship.

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Avatar for user 'emaij'

emaij | October 6, 2011 at 1:19 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

I did not get to hear the entire show but was disappointed that it was heading to the issue of wealth disparity and not to fraud followed by taxpayer bailouts of criminals. The real issue is money in politics. It is about bought politicians and regulatory capture. It's about entrenched corruption at the highest levels of government and private industry. The so called "99%" are victims of criminals, not victims of the economy. We have to get the dialogue on point if we want to cure what ails us.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | October 6, 2011 at 2 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Now that I can endorse, emaij. We definately need to disestablish captured regulatory agencies and prosecute corruption. I think one of the fundamental realizations this movement has yet to make is that any government powerful enough to fix those problems is going to be poewrful enough to cause a lot of new problems getting to the solutions, and is still going to be run by the same kind of people who tell us our favorite fairy tales to get elected.

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Avatar for user 'samarazen'

samarazen | October 6, 2011 at 2:12 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Good point.

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Avatar for user 'howtosavealife'

howtosavealife | October 6, 2011 at 4:20 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Well put Mark_E_Smith.

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Avatar for user 'iamhe'

iamhe | October 7, 2011 at 9:08 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

right now at this very moment the Banks are flush with OUR cash, much of it bail out money borrowed from China..

now that they have all the cash... they are not making loans until we give them what they want..

Banks have all our money, and the Banks are refusing to make loans,

no loans = foot on the brakes of the economy

the banks are not taking their feet off the brakes until they get what they want, no oversight, no controls, immunuty, no regulations, no limits, no criminal charges, no OBAMA.....

US economy is based on the "promiss to pay" -loans-

US economy is hard to understand.. because it is not sustainable,, not completely rational, like derivitives, a credit default swaps, it's not understandable because it is a ruse.. The US economy is fundamentally based on borrowing. The US economy crashes when bank loans are stopped.

and they will do that and are doing that to keep their "freedom and liberty" to scam and fraud us.

Obama is hot on the trail of criminal bankers and Corporate executives with many prosecutions and indictments,, Support Obama...

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | October 8, 2011 at 10:51 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

"They're socialists!" -- Glen Speck

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Avatar for user 'fredapeople'

fredapeople | October 10, 2011 at 5:20 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

I look forward to learning of a local day and time to participate. This circumstance has nothing to do with party affiliation or economic policy decisions alone. The point is: No One is Listening. Re-election and our view of instant/constant news is truth, have accelerated the downward spiral. Gov't has always tended to be its own world, but the stakes are higher than ever. Why wouldn't we speak or walk beside those of similar mind. THAT speaks regardless of outcome.

Notice too, in ourselves, that "Consumer Confidence" and "Consumer Price Index" are just two such barometers that encourage depletion in all ways, and encourage manufacturers/corporate expansion. Each of us has not only an opportunity, to participate at this time with self-expression for which many have died, but also to vote with our money and our lifestyles. See y'all soon.

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Avatar for user 'elimford'

elimford | October 11, 2011 at 9:45 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Small businesses make up 80% of all American businesses, but only 20% of employment... The corporations hold the key and the money to creating new jobs. However, they have learned to be more efficient in order to survive the recession.

Let's be honest, they're being greedy. This is where politics come in. I believe that these fortune 500 companies owe America. We are the ones who have supported them (and in some cases, like the auto manufacturers and banks, kept them alive) and now we need someone to support us, not for free of course... We're willing to work for it! We just want our kids to have health care, enough money to feed our families, and a chance to send our kids to college.

Is this redistribution of wealth? While that phrase is nice, it puts a negative connotation on what I think it really is - doing your part. These millionaires and billionaires are amassing more and more wealth and we're complaining that they're not keeping enough of it?

These protests are a nice start, but unless you can convince the right, which has put a stigma on unions and all things associated with the left, they're basically wasting their time.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | October 12, 2011 at 1:27 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Really, all you want is to earn enough money to feed your family and to give your kids health care and send them to college? If those are truly your only goals you, and most other people, can probably do it. I do suspect others will add many other things to that list though.

Let's be really honest. regardless of how greedy some businesses are they need to compete with other businesses to survive. Somehow there is a perception that people do not need to compete in the same way, and that incorrect perception is driving unsustainable behavior. Get motivated and climb to the top... or get left behind.

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