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.
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.