UPDATE '99 Percent' Movement Takes Aim At Walnut Creek Protest Wednesday

Demonstration planned for Mount Diablo Boulevard and North Main Street at 4 p.m.

Update: New organization — Contra Costa 99 Percent — participates in protests.

The "Occupy Wall Street" movement, protesting economic inequities, is spreading across the country and occupying other streets — like Main Street in Walnut Creek.

Occupy Wall Street is planned for 4 p.m. until darkness the next two Wednesdays, Oct. 12 and Oct. 19, at the corner of Mount Diablo Boulevard and North Main Street — not far from the office of a large national bank, the Bank of America.

New group

The movement started with the occupation of Wall Street and is spreading around the country. That spread reached our neck of the woods with a nascent group called Contra Costa 99 Percent, meeting for the first time Sunday on the sidewalk in front of Panama Red's coffee shop in Concord Sunday.

The name 99 percent is a nod to the statistical truism that 1 percent of the population controls most of the nation's wealth, and the disparity has been widening in recent decades. (A conservative group has countered with "We are the 53 percent," referring to the percentage who pay federal income taxes.)

The progressive groups are forming under the 99 percent banner and also the Occupy Together banner.

Many of those who met with Contra Costa 99 Percent in Concord were from Walnut Creek. The group agreed to participate in a march in San Francisco Saturday, Oct. 15.

On the group's blog, Janet Rhodes writes: "We came from a wide variety of economic backgrounds. One of our members is an attorney who works in Walnut Creek and has been involved in many political movements over the years. Another is a house painter. Three of our members are retired. One is a retired school teacher. Another lives on a corporate pension and has not seen a cost-of-living increase in 12 years. Another commented that she lives in Rossmoor and is doing very well. But she wants everyone to do well, and she’s getting involved to insure that these benefits remain in place for others."

Another participant, with the handle sputnik99, writes: "Walnut Creek, and you can include Concord, etc. is a perfect place to organize. We got Tiffany’s (sure, I go there regularly), Nordstrom, and an Apple Store. We got million dollar-plus mansions all over. We also have tons of folks in apartments, who send their kids to the public schools, use the libraries, and worry the heck over whether they have health care from one minute to the next. And in the middle class neighborhoods, lots of people who have lost jobs, even professionals (they become “consultants” when unemployed), and who are losing their homes. So maybe we are getting class consciousness at last."

The Occupy Together website has breakdowns city by city, with a nascent group signing up in Walnut Creek — six, with four logging in that they plan to attend Wednesday's demonstration.

The "events" notice on the Contra Costa Democratic Party website states that some signs will be provided at the site.

This follows a protest on the same theme for. There were about two dozen demonstrators.

Protesters have been hitting themes of corporate bailouts and political power all across the country. In Oakland, a protest tent encampment on Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall entered its second day Tuesday.

Dan Perkins October 12, 2011 at 04:49 PM
“Class warfare by the 99%? Of course, they're fighting back after 30 years of being shot at,” - Bill Gross
Dan Perkins October 12, 2011 at 04:54 PM
What mishaps? This isn't about the unemployed and the unwashed masses whining that things aren't fair. Take a peek at this graph if you haven't already and tell me that's fair - that corporations haven't increasingly been taking advantage of the system. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/10/11/opinion/101111krugman1/101111krugman1-blog480.jpg
thedubc October 12, 2011 at 05:22 PM
You do realize the corporations are taking advantage of the system because they can and its legal. Why not right? And who is to judge what is "fair".
Dan Perkins October 12, 2011 at 07:51 PM
You do realize that they can and it's legal solely because of the vast amounts of money they've spent paying off congress and buying legislation to suit their own ends and that the people protesting have grown tired of getting the short end of the stick.
Tristan October 12, 2011 at 07:57 PM
It is evident that what the protesters want is for someone to give them money. Do they want $1,000, or $5,000? Do they want the money to be paid to them by the government or by corporations? And, should the government take it from the corporations first, and then give it to the protesters? In what intervals should the money be given to them, weekly or monthly? Just asking.
Dan Perkins October 12, 2011 at 07:59 PM
It's evident you have no idea what you are talking about.
Tristan October 12, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Ok then, so they don't want money! We assume then that it must be a job they want. If they were to be given a job by a corporation, would their pay and benefits need to be at a Vice President level regardless of the background of the protester or the job? If the pay need not be at the VP level, would 3/4 of VP pay and benefits be sufficient?
Dan Perkins October 12, 2011 at 08:51 PM
What on earth are you talking about? Take a look at the graph I posted with regards the stagnation of employee salaries plotted against corporate profits. The corporations are making money hand over fist while their employees (you and I) are increasingly being left behind. You keep thinking these guys are just a bunch of jobless crybabies who just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps - that simply isn't the case and if you think it is you haven't been listening or paying attention to what's going on around you.
Tristan October 12, 2011 at 09:02 PM
Ok then. We have established that the protesters don't want checks from corporations or from the government. And it sounds like they already have jobs, but are dissatisfied with the amount of pay and benefits they are getting. So then the question is, how much of a raise should they be given? Would their pay and benefits need to be at a Vice President level regardless of the background of the protester or the job? If the pay does not need not be at the VP level, would 3/4 of VP pay and benefits be sufficient? For instance, if a VP made $250,000 per year plus benefits, what percentage of that would a protester want who was not a VP? Or, do the protesters want to be paid at the CEO level? Just asking.
thedubc October 12, 2011 at 09:03 PM
I think some of them are jobless crybabies sucking off the teet of the government because they can. Grow up, get a job and contribute to society with whatever job you can get. If you cant get a job, go to school, retool and adapt to changing economy and job requirements out on the market today.. The ditch digger was replaced with a backhoe. Did the ditch digger say "oh well.. unemployment for me.. guess I will sit on my arse and collect unemployment.".... or did he say... "well, maybe I could learn how to drive the backhoe and be that guy.". Two separate issues here people. The government needs to stop being the enabler to corporations and wall street. Let the strong survive and move along people... move along. The money will then stop flowing back into political campaigns, lobbyists, etc. Kind of like State Unions spending millions of dollars to get X elected to protect their interests (just as corps, banks, etc spend). The cycle needs to stop somehow, someway. This occupy wallstreet is one way, is it the right way?... who knows.. see how it panes out.. its a start. They may not have "demanded" everything that should be changed, but at least focus on something small, yet impacting. I agree with the some of their items, but not all. I do not agree with the protesters that are there that are complaining about items not even on the list of "demands".
Stephanie Harper October 12, 2011 at 09:04 PM
http://www.businessinsider.com/what-wall-street-protesters-are-so-angry-about-2011-10?op=1 Dan, I can totally agree with you here.
srl99 October 12, 2011 at 11:27 PM
You feel the corporations have too much money, and you want change? Don't buy the corporation's products. Don't buy corporate products. Buy (or better, barter) for your goods and services from locals. Oh, and don't barter for anything grown from a corporate seed (sorry, Monsanto).
Independent in WC October 13, 2011 at 02:18 AM
I think Buddy Roemer said it best. "money and politics has created institutional corruption" in America and that "both parties are guilty of taking the big check and are bought by Wall Street." "It is Main Street that is being foreclosed on and it is Main Street that is suffering while the...greed of Wall Street continues to hurt the middle class. Too big to fail banks have only gotten bigger thanks to government bailouts," says Roemer. "And as president I will end the corporate tax loopholes that un-American corporations take advantage of only to ship our best jobs overseas." Thank you Walnut Creek 99% for taking a stand against Corporate Personhood shame some here lack the intellect to see that the movement is not about Anti-business but Pro-democracy where money made is invested back into this great Nation and not some offshore foreign bank account!
Independent in WC October 13, 2011 at 02:31 AM
Tristan, perhaps you should put some effort yourself in understanding U.S. history, economics and civil protests. From the Tea Party to the 99% working class citizens in this Nation have paid their own way. The fleecing of America ends when those very same people find themselves being asked to carry not only their own weight in taxes but those ruthless corporations who have outsourced production and money away from this Nation, set up Ponzie schemes via the Wall Street Mafia, took bailouts and squirreled it away in their offshore bank accounts, leaving Tax payers with the cleanup and bills. THE BUCK STOPS HERE. If you had any idea, ANY Idea of how it feels to work with great upstart companies who have marketable ideas and products made in America get their guts ripped out via hostile takeovers only to be replaced by cheap Chinese slave labor crap you'd understand. THE BUCK STOPS HERE! We are the 99%, We don't begrudge wealth, We aren't anti-business, WE just won't stand for Corporate Welfare Fraud!
Independent in WC October 13, 2011 at 02:46 AM
I know one thing, folks who keep feeding Communist China by allowing Corporate Personhood to corrupt our Democracy are traitors and should be tried for treason. Those who support Wall Street Mafia tactics of outsourcing American jobs and helping Red China rob of our sovereignty ought to be tried for treason. Yeah, thanks to these traitors who try to stomp Americans who are onto this game by labeling them "socialists" or "anti-capitalist" while at the same time supporting the fleecing of Americans and the force feeding of Cheap, Made in China JUNK! We are the 99% and we don't want your Commie Goods or your money, WE WANT OUR SOVEREIGNTY BACK!
Triple Canopy October 13, 2011 at 04:03 AM
Lame.This country has become a nation of wusses who play "the victim". Corporate greed my a55... no one put a gun to people's head when they signed a mortgage they could not sustain. Instead, they gambled on buying a property and hopefully selling the property for a tidy profit. All fine and good but they lost their bet. People seemed to think that they were entitled to appreciation of their real estate. Is there no responsibility or accountability on those people who speculated on the real estate market? That is the individual greed and risk that barely anyone talks about for fear of criticism of the poor, poor families (insert whine here) who were "victims" of the housing bust. Get real. That's the risk and consequence of individual decisions.
Dan Perkins October 13, 2011 at 01:26 PM
In real terms their salaries/wages have been dropping for the past 30yrs so perhaps we could start by reversing that trend - nobody is asking for 250k/yr and for you to imply they are is disingenuous.
Dan Perkins October 13, 2011 at 01:29 PM
Great article Stephanie - I suggest all those who disagree with the protests read it.
Dan Perkins October 13, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Nobody wants the corporations to vanish - we just want them to pay their fair share and for the government to actually govern with the aim of benefiting real people (as opposed to corporations who merely claim they are people)
Dan Perkins October 13, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Hear hear.
Dan Perkins October 13, 2011 at 01:33 PM
With regards mortgages - nobody put a gun to the head of the lenders forcing them to make such bad loans but those guys got bailed out on the backs of the rest of us. Just one more reason to agree with the protesters.
srl99 October 13, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Actually, as regards the mortgages - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which (used to!) operate as "private companies" but enjoys the implicit backing of the US government helped drive the suspension of underwriting standards. If Fannie or Freddie wouldn't buy it - it was risky paper. Check out the huge bonuses THESE "corporations" paid their "leaders" to drive them under.
Lindy October 13, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Your photo, above, of the stately building at the intersection of Mt Diablo and North Main is actually Pottery Barn. The BofA is in the center of the block. Lindy
Pucci October 14, 2011 at 04:01 AM
Dan Exactly what is the "fair share" you propose? And what should be the "fair share" for those who earn income? Is it fair that almost 50% of income earners pay zero income tax? Just curious.
Dan Perkins October 14, 2011 at 05:22 AM
Pucci Is it fair that GE managed to pay no taxes on $5.1B in US profits (and they are by no means an exception) http://www.businessinsider.com/16-more-profitable-companies-that-pay-almost-nothing-in-taxes-2011-3 Do you feel it's 'fair' that in this country CEOs make on average 450x more than their employees (a far greater gap than pretty much anywhere else)? Just curious.
Pucci October 14, 2011 at 06:48 PM
Dan You did not answer my questions. Please define "fair share" for me.
Dan Perkins October 14, 2011 at 06:55 PM
You didn't answer my question either. The article Stephanie posted illustrates perfectly just how skewed things have become and I believe the burden of evidence is on you to justify how that is good for America and her citizens; the pendulum has swung for too long and too far in corporations interests to the detriment of their employees and it's time to change direction.
Pucci October 15, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Dan (even though I asked first....) No. Yes Now please answer my questions. Or are your statements simply empty rhetoric?
Dan Perkins October 17, 2011 at 01:33 PM
With regards the 50% that don't pay taxes on income those people are essentially skirting the poverty line as is so while at first shake it doesn't seem fair that they don't pay any income tax if you dig a little deeper you'll find these people are barely making enough to get by on. Perhaps if wages hadn't stagnated for so many decades they'd be able to earn enough to actually pay tax on it. These people are the working poor and would you rather have them not work and be on benefits instead? I don't think there is any magic number that defines 'fair share' but it's quite clearly a larger share than people are currently getting.
Pucci October 17, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Dan You still will not answer my question. I don't know what "a lot more" means to you. Do you want a 75% tax rate? 85%? What should be the rates for $50k, $100k, $200k earners? For someone who has obviously given a lot of thought to your opinions, I am surprised that you have no opinion on the"fair tax" rate.. I remain concerned about the large number of earners who pay no tax. With no "skin in the game" they are likely to pay much less attention to how prudently our elected officials set tax policy and spending. I don't advocate that the lower deciles pay the same rate as higher earners, but they should pay something as a civic responsibility. It doesn't take a lot of political courage to ask for votes from folks by promising that someone else will pick up the bill for you.


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