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Occupy San Diego Moves Online, Continues Mission

Evening Edition

Aired 9/18/13 on KPBS News.

"Two years ago, this place was filled with tents from the Occupy San Diego movement," Paris said. "Today, not a tent in sight.

The Census Bureau's annual poverty report didn't change much last year. According to its numbers, more than 46 million people across the country struggle to make ends meet.

Protesters rally at an Occupy San Diego meeting in Civic Centre Plaza on Nov....
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Above: Protesters rally at an Occupy San Diego meeting in Civic Centre Plaza on Nov. 16, 2011.

The news comes on the second anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

New U.S. citizens Tuesday poured out of San Diego's community concourse Downtown to take pictures with a man dressed like Uncle Sam in red, white and blue.

Many were encouraged to register to vote with their party of choice. The loosely-organized Occupy movement tried to register people here a couple of years ago, but had little success.

"Two years ago, this place was filled with tents from the Occupy San Diego movement," said Cristie Paris, who helps organize media coverage for Occupy San Diego. "Today, not a tent in sight. I would say the tactics have changed, we got tired of fighting the police state because that wasn't what we came here for initially."

Occupy's first protest drew about 1,500 people railing against what they said are greedy corporations and banks who have infiltrated the nation's political system.

The movement has now gone primarily online after support and donations dried up.

"We made our point known but Occupy 2.0 is about the next step, which is actually the physical going out and doing stuff and getting involved in our communities," Paris said.

The local movement last week organized four rallies to protest U.S. military action in Syria.

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Avatar for user 'Chris West'

Chris West | September 18, 2013 at 12:18 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

The six heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune are worth as much as nearly half of all American households.

The Walton family was worth $89.5 billion in 2010, the same as the bottom 41.5 percent of U.S. families combined, according to Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute. That's 48.8 million American households in total.

The wealth divide is getting worse, as Wal-Mart pays its workers minimum wage, and schedules them part time so they don't have to pay a dime for their health care, knowing that the U.S. taxpayers will pick up the tab for the emergency room visits when they have a life-threatening condition.

The Occupy movement energized many people, who are still involved personally and with activist organizations to restore at least a portion of that old "American Dream" to those who are doing worst by the new economy. Much remains to be done.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | September 18, 2013 at 10:26 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Chris, the wealth divide may be increasing, but that is not the same thing as "getting worse". He is being compensated for figuring out an efficient way to distribute and market low cost (and generally low quality) goods. As long as one isn’t cheating to do it, there is nothing wrong with leaving those who do not perform as well in the dust as one passes them by. Your jealousy of Mr. Walton's success is unbecoming. Go be successful yourself instead of trying to drag others down.

I do concur that much remains to be done, but it seems unlikely we will agree on what and by whom.

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