WatchSonoma Watch

Occupy Santa Rosa draws big turnout


More than 2,500 people marched through downtown Santa Rosa Saturday, protesting the concentration of wealth in America.

The Occupy Santa Rosa event, modeled on Wall Street protests that began last month, was twice as large as organizers expected, suggesting it is gaining mainstream momentum.

Tess McDermott, 20, of Sebastopol, front, and longtime friend Tara Hintz of Cotati, 20, occupy the corner of Second Street and Sonoma Avenue on Saturday.(Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2011

From the steps of City Hall, labor activist Ben Boyce fired up a mostly middle-age crowd, urging a moratorium on foreclosures, an end to Bush-era tax cuts and a national jobs program.

“Today is the tipping point,” Boyce said to a sea of signs and people shouting their support. “It’s now time to re-take our democracy.”

Sounding a central theme to the national movement, other speakers railed against financial institutions as the cause of the recession that has led to high unemployment and economic ruin for millions.

“We’re all clear who tanked our economy,” said Lisa Maldonado, executive director of the North Bay Labor Council. “It wasn’t the public worker. It wasn’t the public safety worker. It was Wall Street.”

An enthusiastic crowd yelled back, “That’s right!”

Demonstrators then marched through downtown, filing past the transit mall, businesses and banks, chanting slogans and banging drums. Passing cars honked in support.

Wells Fargo employees watched the noisy procession from behind locked doors at the B Street branch.

“I’m pretty moved by what’s happening here,” said Healdsburg retiree Richard Burg as a band played “When the Saints Go Marching In” outside Citibank.

As of late afternoon, there were no arrests, police said.

One police officer put the turnout at between 2,500 and 3,000. A event volunteer said it was 2,700.

(See more photos of the protest)

Marchers returned to City Hall where people sprawled on the lawn, danced or played with children. Two young men climbed on the City Hall roof and unfurled banners.

One protestor, Paula Wright of Sebastopol, said it was time for the wealthiest 1 percent of the country to give something back to the rest.

Her daughter, 7-year-old daughter Temple, carried a sign that said: “Share a Piece” with a peace sign on it.

“I don’t want my kids to grow up and not be able to go to college,” she said.

A Santa Rosa woman who identified herself only as Darcy stood on the corner of First Street to protest the pending foreclosure of her house of 20 years. She and her husband both lost jobs and have been unable to negotiate lower payments, she said.

“I’m fed up. I’m totally fed up,” said the woman, who described herself as an independent voter. “It’s time to stand our ground.”

A retired Santa Rosa teacher, Mauri Wilber, criticized the government for spending money on wars and Wall Street bailouts while ignoring schools.

It got so bad last year at Rincon Valley Middle School that they ran out of toilet paper and had to solicit donations from parents.

“Education is being ignored while dollars are being pumped into wars and large corporations,” she said as she marched with other teachers.

City Councilman Gary Wysocky was among a handful of elected officials on hand, including Councilwoman Susan Gorin and Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa. Wysocky said he supported the message of the day.

“There are a lot of people hurting out there,” he said.



Watch a video of the speakers at the Occupy Santa Rosa rally outside City Hall on Oct. 15, 2011.  Speakers include Karyl Averill, Lisa Maldonado, Ben Boyce, Cynthia Boaz, Davin Cardenas, Carl Patrick, and Alicia Sanchez. Video posted to YouTube by independent videographer Jon Stiffler.

34 Responses to “Occupy Santa Rosa draws big turnout”

  1. BigDogatPlay says:

    The Occupy movement, as a whole, has nothing to do with job creation or economic improvement. It openly advocates the forced redistribution of wealth and there are very strong currents of racism and anti-semitism running underneath the surface, as has been seen in a number of instances around the country.

    It is exceptionally painful to see photos of 20 year olds lapping up and regurgitating this blather. Big, nanny state, progressive minded government has quite obviously succeeded in establishing a new dependent class that wants as much free stuff as it can get, not knowing or understanding that free stuff still has to be paid for by someone.

  2. Lets be Reasonable says:

    @Brown Act – “Tell me how that $3,000 made you better in the long run!”
    Unlike the wealthy, most would end up spending the $3,000. You say this achieves nothing, but it would actually have a multiplier effect. I hire someone to finally fix that leak, she turns around and buys some food… $3,000 in the hands of ordinary folks would get spent – think about the boost to the economy that would be!

  3. Unfounded Speculation says:

    Lisa Maldonado is an installed agent of socialist indoctrination.
    Socialism historically takes root in the wake of a failed democracy/economy.
    Right now they’re making it fail.
    The basic premise being that an impoverished citizen will go along with a program that an abundant simply won’t.
    Misguided commensuration.

  4. Western Cluebird says:

    Lisa Maldonado and Alicia Sanchez both recited sob stories about their father’s leaving Mexico to make a better life for their families in the U.S. By their accounts, their lives greatly improved from the free market capitalism that we have here in America.
    Now, they seem to want to tear it down.

    Alicia Sanchez told the crowd “Today, I fought for peace,.. brotherhood, ..sisterhood. Today, I love. We have to be tolerant of each others differences”
    As she spoke, a man stood behind her wearing a t-shirt that read “Kill the GOP”.

    Not to be outdone, Cynthia Boaz, the same SSU teacher that tried to claim credit for the “Arab spring” movement, managed to slip in a jab at fellow Americans who practice their right to free speech and assembly.
    After advising the mob not to “descend into the anger and marginalization of your neighbors and friends,” she added “along the model of the Tea Party”.
    I guess none of Ms. Boaz’s neighbors are Tea party participants, or she doesn’t heed her own advice.
    By the way, how much money does Ms. Boaz make, and shouldn’t she be donating a portion of her salary to some needy kid that can no longer afford college due to massive tuition increases?

  5. brown act Jack says:

    Ok, take all of the $1,000,000,000,000 away from the rich and distribute it to the 320,000,000 people, you would get $3,000 for each person.

    Then what would you do with it? Pay it to the bank to clear your credit card debt. Now you are out of the money, but have no debt. Do you know have a job if you didn’t have a job?

    Or buy food with it for your starving kids, they eat it in a year, and your kids are back starving, and the money is back in the hands of the corporations.

    Buy a car , the money goes to foreign car makers, or parts makers.

    Tell me how that $3,000 made you better in the long run!

  6. Josh Stevens says:

    Watching the video,I was left with the impression that this movement has NOTHING to do with putting Americans back to work.

    The various ranters(Boaz and Maldonado in particular)were spouting the usual fare you get at any lefty protest/party.

    I think these “events” need a new name like:

    Where’s My Free Stuff Rally

    Whats Yours Is Mine Rally

    Get Those Jew Bankers Rally

    Any other suggestions?

  7. Josh Stevens says:

    @ Michael A.

    You’re right,

    We should “do something to make the world a better place”.

    We should stop wasting time Occupying Sesame Street,grow up,clean up,go home and decide to vote for a President that cares about job creation.

  8. Mc says:

    Is greed really good? 

    Doctor discovers cure and prevention of AIDS. Sells discovery for $5,000,000,000,000. Same doctor discovers cure and prevention of heart disease. Sells discovery for another $5,000,000,000,000. Same doctor discovers cure and prevention of Alzheimer. Sells discovery for another $1,000,000,000,000. Breast cancer. Brain cancer. Skin cancer. Bone cancer. Colon cancer. Pancreatic cancer. Cervical cancer. Ovarian cancer. Testicular cancer. Banks cover all related investments by the health care industry. Nobody stops to consider that the lower 99 percent combined could never afford such expensive cures. The richest one percent agree to purchase the bulk of material assets along with millions of unsold homes for ten percent of market value. After a two year spike in revenue, the health care industry tanks. The vast majority have gone bankrupt in a desperate attempt to cover those incredibly expensive cures. The profits made in the first two years were nowhere near enough to cover the $20,000,000,000,000 doctor payoff. The largest debts in world history go unpaid. All major banks fail miserably. Followed by every major industry. Unemployment spikes to 90 percent in all of the G20. The global economy tanks. Chaos breaks out worldwide. Meanwhile, the richest man in the world by far, buys an island and hires a small army to protect his $20,000,000,000,000 fortune. 5000 jobs are created. More as the richest one percent worldwide hire additional security. Unemployment drops to 80 percent across the developed world. Widespread chaos remains. Entire cities burn to the ground. The masses finally converge on the richest one percent in every corner of the world. As the bodies pile up, disease breaks out worldwide. When the dust settles, and the bodies rot away, only a few hundred million remain worldwide. Those few hundred million survivors must find a way to get along and rebuild. Hopefully, with a more reliable and ethical system of economics.       

    The answer is hell no. Greed kills..

  9. John bly says:

    @ mockingbird- you should use some of that energy to go back and check the history books as to what party started the deregulations that BOTH PARTIES supported. To blindly espouse the virtue of the democrats is to ignore the Solyndra loan (as an easy example) which was a transparent “thank you” to Obama donors. Both parties are to blame for paying back the special interest groups that give them money and bodies to get them elected. My point was that this economic problem is ours to own. We spent money based upon a crazy belief that housing prices would continue to rise. That is far more injurious to our economy than a few corporate folks that outsourced some jobs to India. Your rampant partisanship causes division, not collaboration.

  10. Commonsense says:

    “We’re all clear who tanked our economy,” said Lisa Maldonado, executive director of the North Bay Labor Council. “It wasn’t the public worker. It wasn’t the public safety worker. It was Wall Street.”

    Actually, I couldn’t disagree more, so I guess we all aren’t totally clear on who or what tanked our economy. While, poor business practices contributed to our economic downturn, there were other contributing factors. And, who specifically, is she referring to, as Wall Street has many different meanings for many different people? It’s blanket statements like this that DON’T help, but do further divide. And, as one poster said, we are all to blame, no one company or even our government alone did this, we all participated, often just by not paying attention or being involved. And, education isn’t being ingnored, but like many other government programs, i.e. transportation, military, epa, the money isn’t spent efficiently or wisely and many programs are duplicated on both the federal and state levels and funding is often based less then logical standards. California alone, spends the vast majority of money collected on education, just check out the current budget, it’s about 70% of the budget, so it’s clearly not being funded, the question then becomes how are the dollars spent and how can we spend them more effectively…

  11. David says:

    The reference to illegal immigration was made because all of the union leaders show up at these anti business affairs and rant about their union members are getting screwed. They ignore or condone the the threats to union jobs caused by illegal immigrants working for cash. Please explain why union leaders do this.

  12. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    John Bly-yes people are to blame because they VOTED FOR REPUBLICANS AND CONTINUE TO VOTE FOR REPUBLICANS AND BLUE DOG DEMOCRATS. Our “Republic” no longer works because the far rightwingers have a strangle hold on our Congress and the Supreme Court and are desperately trying to add a far rightwing crazy President. Our founding fathers NEVER MEANT FOR THIS TO HAPPEN, THIS TOTAL DISFUNCTION OF OUR GOVERNMENT AND THE TAKEOVER BY CORPORATE INTERESTS. Just the opposite.

    The Republican party used to be a honorable party that valued education and intelligence in their candidates. Now, being a dimwitted no nothing is what is being offered as candidates who are pretty crazy too. I can’t see how ANY reasonable moderate or more fiscally conservative Republican can vote for any one on the current slate of Republicans running for office.

    As for the march on Saturday, I was there with the other 2700 people who are frustrated with our current government disfunction and the 40 year givaway of middleclass prosperity to the richest 2%. NOW IF ONLY ALL THOSE PEOPLE REGISTER AND VOTE IN 2012. That’s the problem with Democrats, they sit on their asses and don’t vote or they think by not voting they are making a “statement”. For every vote the Democrats fail to make, gives one vote to the crazy rightwingers.

    So vow, right now, to get registered, get involved and vote to change things because WE DO HAVE THE POWER. WE NEED TO USE IT.

  13. I’ve witnessed Occupy Santa Rosa, read news coverage about it, and read comments here and elsewhere; and I am both worried and excited. I don’t consider Watch Sonoma County a viable forum for meaningful discussions, especially when responding to red herring references to immigration and misleading references to Plato (who, among other things, had already been dead for 300 years by 50 B.C.). However, for those who wonder if our country has been dominated by corporate hording and a “trickle down” mythology, I encourage you to investigate a diverse range of sources and talk with your family, friends, neighbors, and more. Seek out public meeting places and strike up conversations about these matters. Decide for yourself what action(s) should be taken. Then do something to make our world a better place.

  14. John bly says:

    Once again-personal responsibility seems to be ignored. Although deregulation of the financial system allowed derivatives and other destructive practices to propel Wall Street to false valuations, it is we the people who spent more than we earned and more than we had and it is we the people who melted our economy by not being responsible with our equity, our savings, and our spending habits. We should certainly be aware of the corporate practices that affect our lives-by all means. But to blame Wall Street for our own actions is not being honest-we did this to ourselves!

  15. Joyce Garcia says:

    @ Joe Smith, what you said is true, but it’s so much deeper that that….I felt your anger and frustration as I read what you wrote, isn’t that what this is suppose to stir up? Look at the young faces in the crowds…they have been fed a whole lot of crap by their teachers and professors for years….they are searching for answers just like we are. The only problem is, they are being led by the short hairs. They have been lead to believe what was told to them by anti Republic anti capitalists and there has been no one to give them another perspective. They aren’t given the dignity or respect to make up their own minds. They are being used by the organized and the organizers are being used by those with the money, power and a specific plan.

    We know the problem goes deep and danger is around the corner…but what now? Personally I am going to reach out to as many young people with a hand out that contains history, facts, truth and a kind smile telling them they are capable of making up their own minds and encouraging them to look at all sides…especially when told not to.

    If we lose our young people, we lose our Republic!

  16. brown act Jack says:

    It is basically a concurrence with the understand of PLATO from 50 BC, where he indicates that a democracy can not stand as the elected will take money from the richer to distribute it to the poorer, until the richer decide to overthrow that government and bring in a dicator which will control the country.

    I hear , or see, no one trying to explain how the government will get the money to placate the disruptors. Has anyone not figured out that if the government hands out more money it comes out of the pockets of the citizens , one way or the other.

    Has KD says the unicorn does not leave multicolored candy when it voids it bowels. Don’t expect the government to do so.

  17. Bill says:

    Tell you what: Rather than debate a dozen right wing talking points that I’ve already debated many times in explicit detail, I’ll just divert your attention to the following post. Every talking point made here has already been covered and many many more. If any of you ‘thumbs downers’ have the discipline to read all of it, maybe you can tell me when and where you made anywhere near as many accurate predictions as the author of this document. I must warn you. It’s not a happy read and it’s not flattering to the richest one percent. Not at all. Read it if you dare:


  18. Social Dis-Ease says:

    Do not allow this ‘phenomenon’ to polarize us or distract, we’ve ALL been brainwashed to some extent.

    This is a time for discernment.

  19. Joe Smith says:

    The Democrat Party Protesters are pretending they’re Tea Partiers, defecating all over public parks, getting high and having sex in public, and eating pizza supplied by George Soros and Nancy Pelosi every day. The Democrat Party is dead. Communism is dead. This is their last gasp, like a struggling illegal pinned down by 5 border patrol agents, flailing however he can. Thank God the corrupt Democrat Party is dead. 2012 can’t come soon enough.

  20. Social Dis-Ease says:

    To David answer is; this is a socially engineered resistance installed by an Agenda 21 driven government. This faux resistance serves many purposes, but one of A21s dark goals is to ruin our economy, that deliberate sabotage often has us scratching our heads.
    Although not an organic demonstration, that should not invalidate or discount the frustration that many citizens feel or their need to be heard.
    Real resistance/demonstrations aren’t orchestrated by the city that holds them.

  21. Joyce Garcia says:

    “It’s now time to re-take our democracy.”

    “Greed kills.”

    Ignorance destroys! This is a REPUBLIC! I went into the crowd when it died down some and I saw a bunch of young people who were looking for answers to the trouble we are facing in our Nation. It’s irresponsible for people like Lisa Maldonado to fault Wall Street without faulting Barny Frank, Frannie and Freddie and the push to make loans to people who wanted to buy homes when they didn’t have the proper income! Too much regulations on business of all sizes are forcing them to uproot out of America to other countries.

    It’s irresponsible to lead these young people to feed off of personal agendas. Encourage them to seek the truth for themselves….encourage them to look at ALL sides of the arguments….encourage them to make up their own minds!

    I don’t blame them for being pissed off and concerned about their future…

    To the young people…..SEEK TRUTH! Don’t believe everything you are told! Propaganda is here telling us we live in a democracy….History tells us we live in a REPUBLIC! Anyone who tells you different is lying to you!

  22. David says:

    Can someone please explain why local union officials support illegal immigration? Many of the illegal’s work for cash and take jobs away from union members.

  23. David says:

    Why no speeches or protest sighs against Ophra Winfrey, Matt Damon, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, 20 million dollar a year athletes, millionaire rappers or movie stars who make 20 million per picture? Is it because they are liberals? These people all have 5 or 6 houses and too many cars to count. Maybe they should give you 1 of their houses or excess cars? Unlike the protestors, I don’t believe in extorting more money out of anyone who makes more money than I do.

  24. Non Violent says:

    BIG NEWS: OWS gets $300,000 in donations and more coming.

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Occupy Wall Street movement has close to $300,000, as well as storage space loaded with donated supplies in lower Manhattan. It stared down city officials to hang on to its makeshift headquarters, showed its muscle Saturday with a big Times Square demonstration and found legions of activists demonstrating in solidarity across the country and around the world.


    Those of you who are critical of various aspects of the protestors need to focus on the issue and not the individual personal characteristics of people you dislike.


  25. Rick says:

    You say greed kills. It can. I believe apathy kill more. It breeds contempt and jealousy. Is it greedy that one person works hard in America to provide a certain quality of life for their family? Is it acceptable for another to be lazy, not look for work and sitt around on welfare? Is is acceptable to never attempt to get a better paying job than minimum wage and sit around and badmouth the boss instead of finding better? I can tell by the events you outlined that it is all Bush’s fault. Everything started before Obama and he wsa incapable of stopping it. Came out of the blue and Obama never saw it coming or could not handle it. I guess you would have to choose. I have to remind a few people that Obama has been the President of The United States for nearly 3 years. 3/4 of one term. No one will allow him to take responsibility for a single thing. It is not for me to like or dislike, it has become comical. 3 years in the most powerful position in the world, and all he has to show is a Nobel peace prize for what might have been. Anyone remember that Al Gore’s company got $500million in stimulus money to build high end electric cars in another country? That wasn’t Bush’s fault. America deserves a “can do” president. I haven’t seen what this president “can do”. Where does that leave us in this crisis? You want community organization? Instead of protesting, all these people should get together and form a co-op and only buy good from a single store or supplier and cut all their expenses. Money talks regardless of how much it is despised. In their numbers they could effect change, not by ranting and raving and providing entertainment and late night comedy material. There is strength in numbers, but only if they are all on the same page. They clearly are not. I can bet they will all still vote for Obama in 2012. Maybe we can see what he “can do” next term.

  26. Bill says:

    We have been mislead by Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama, and nearly every other public figure. Economic growth, job creation, and actual prosperity are not necessarily a package deal. In fact, the first two are horribly misunderstood. Economic growth/loss (GDP) is little more than a measure of wealth changing hands. A transfer of currency from one party to another. The rate at which it is traded. This was up until mid ’07′ however, has never been a measure of actual prosperity. Neither has job creation. The phrase itself has been thrown around so often, and in such a generic political manner, that it has come to mean nothing. Of course, we need to have certain things done for the benefit of society as a whole. We need farmers, builders, manufacturers, transporters, teachers, cops, firefighters, soldiers, mechanics, sanitation workers, doctors, managers, and visionaries. Their work is vital. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that we need politicians, attorneys, bankers, investors, and entertainers. In order to keep them productive, we must provide reasonable incentives. We need to compensate each by a fair measure for their actual contributions to society. We need to provide a reasonable scale of income opportunity for every independent adult, every provider, and share responsibility for those who have a legitimate need for aid. In order to achieve and sustain this, we must also address the cost of living and the distribution of wealth. Here, we have failed miserably. The majority have already lost their home equity, their financial security, and their relative buying power. The middle class have actually lost much of their ability to make ends meet, re-pay loans, pay taxes, and support their own economy. The lower class have gone nearly bankrupt. In all, its a multi-trillion dollar loss taken over about 30 years. Millions are under the impression that we need to create more jobs simply to provide more opportunity. as if that would solve the problem. It won’t. Not by a longshot. Jobs don’t necessarily create wealth. In fact, they almost never do. For the mostpart, they only transfer wealth from one party to another. A gain here. A loss there. Appreciation in one community. Depreciation in another. In order to create net wealth, you must harvest a new resource or make more efficient use of one. Either way you must have a reliable and ethical system in place to distribute that newly created wealth in order to benefit society as a whole and prevent a lagging downside. The ‘free market’ just doesn’t cut it. Its a farce. Many of the jobs created are nothing but filler. The promises empty. Sure, unemployment reached an all-time low under Bush. GDP reached an all-time high. But those are both shallow and misleading indicators. In order to gauge actual prosperity, you must consider the economy in human terms. As of ’08′ the average American was working more hours than the previous generation with far less equity to show for it. Consumer debt, forclosure, and bankruptcy were also at all-time highs. As of ’08′, every major American city was riddled with depressed communities, neglected neighborhoods, failing infrastructures, lost revenue, and gang activity. All of this has coincided with massive economic growth and job production. Meanwhile, the rich have been getting richer and richer and richer even after taxes. Our nation’s wealth has been concentrated. Again, this represents a multi-trillion dollar loss taken by the majority. Its an absolute deal breaker. Bottom line: With or without economic growth or job production, you must have a system in place to prevent too much wealth from being concentrated at the top. Unfortunately, we don’t. Our economy has become nothing but a giant game of Monopoly. The richest one percent already own nearly 1/2 of all United States wealth. More than double their share before Reagan took office. Still, they want more. They absolutely will not stop. Now, our society as a whole is in serious jeapordy. Greed kills.

  27. Rick says:

    I heard an interview on the radio this morning. 350.org has hijacked the hijacking. They saw the disorganized message I am sure and siezed the opportunity. They claim 350.org has organized this whole occupy movement and they are all truly protesting global climate change. FINALLY we know what they all REALLY want. It only took a a couple weeks to figure it out. Thank goodness. To be duped by a fraudulent movement. There is idiotic justice.

  28. Non Violent says:

    Lets see what the corrupt government has done for us lately.

    THREE wars. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya.

    War FOUR starting as Obama sends troops to Africa.

    The Feds are, right now, giving OUR money to the IMF to bail out Europe.

    The Feds gave OUR money to ineffective American companies in a bailout. You notice that none of those responsible for their company bankruptcy was required to resign?

    The Feds gave most of the bailout money to other government employees.

    Yeah. Government has failed America. THEY created the financial melt down. And they LIE about their doing that.

  29. Alex says:

    Boo-hoo…cry and whine..or should I say cry and “wine”. As all Americans sat on their ass while laws were being primed to set the stage for Wall Street and company profits to take priority over citizen’s rights, you all sat on your ass taking out loans and renovating your kitchens into show palaces…borrowing for a new boat, vacation, private schools, etc. You would brag how your 401k would make money all the while, jobs were being shipped overseas because to you, it didn’t matter because “it doesn’t effect me because I have a job”. You would rush to Wal-Mart and Target for the greatest and latest piece of plastic crap made in China that looked good. You didn’t want to hire the local licensed guy but instead opt for the illegal Mexican to save you money. The local business decided why hire the local guy when I can get cheap help with the illegal…all the while less Americans working mean less Americans buying. Then you woke up one day and realized that 401k that you were so hot in the pants over crashed, your palisade was worth nothing, and your boss told you that you have been replaced by outsourcing. You sat there crying and angry collecting your unemployment thinking you were so valuable that after a little mini-vacation you would jump back in the job market. The schools which use to grade you on your knowledge now grade you on self-confidence not to hurt your feelings and make everyone equal in school…you all were winners. So after a few rejections and many more to follow, you realized something was a miss. You blamed the big government and the “corporate thieves”. Well, drag your sorry ass to a mirror, wipe those tears of failure from your face and look deep into that mirror…and see why this happened. It is you! Now you cry how unfair it is that your job is gone, that your credit is blown, that the corporations are dictating the rules. Remember little feather, you only cared for yourself and as a result, it is yourself you have to blame. What to do? First accept your ignorance and laziness. Realize, that it is not just supporting a “local business” that matters when the “local business” buys products from another country. That is about dumb as going to Wal-Mart and thinking your are helping out jobs here. Make sure when you buy it is US made in both products and assembly. Realize, that Starbucks is not a demon because they do provided health insurance, education reimbursement, and raises for their employees. They don’t drive out Mom and pops it is that mom and pops don’t know diddly about giving the customers what they want. The 101 of any business is give the customers what they want…not what YOU want. Don’t close on Sundays because your tired. Provide consistent hours and yes, that means not the usual 9-5. Remember if people are working 9-5 when can they shop? Do you really think you are such a good business that people are going to shop around your schedule? If so, read again the beginning about thinking of yourself as number one…you are not. Do you have everything stocked? Do you have prices on everything? Is it clean? If I have one thing today and order the same thing tomorrow, does it taste the same or changes with whoever is working? Consistently make sure you don’t deviate. Success is not protesting or crying about what was…it is about knowing what is to come and preparing. So stand up and wipe yourself off. Let this be a lesson that borrowing is very bad…if you don’t have the money today, you will not have it tomorrow. Spend within your means and stop trying to impress everyone. Realize you are human and you are full of faults..accept it and accentuate your positive instead of trying to hide or deflect your negatives. And above all, never trust any organization no matter how much of a non-profit, a religious, or government agency…it is running on people’s ideas that can change with a pin drop. Be your own person and better yourself not for selfish reasons, but for the community as a whole. Take care of your own before you start taking care of others….Democrats and Republicans are both to blame…”decline to state” and be your own person and a true independent. Our forefathers did not sacrifice their lives for you to be addicted to a TV or smart-phone. Politicians are not your friend no matter how many babies they hold or how much botox and make-up they slather one their face. Government should be limited and educate yourself for God’s sake and stop being sheep. Your protests do nothing but add comedy to those who watch. You think it matters, it doesn’t. However, when you rule with your wallet, people listen. Be proud to be an American not a hyphenated American. You either are American or you are not. We are one or we are nothing. Stop making America seem like a demon…look at every other country and see who is more accepting than this country? Buy American made and support your countrymen. Stop corporate welfare and welfare. Educate and train and be proud to be working member of community and stop with the ghetto is so cool…no, ghetto is lazy and ignorant and corporate greed is selfish and pig-like. Change begins with you, not some homemade cardboard sign.

  30. Jane Eagle says:

    The Occupy Santa Rosa was a terrific event! I saw many people crying; I assume, with relief to see that they are not alone. The real issue here is that corporate money now dictates policy; we are losing our country, and our beloved democracy has become a corporate oligarchy. There IS a difference between capitalism and corporate greed!
    We need to reclaim our democratic process so that we have a responsive government that is of the people and FOR the people, not the corporations.
    And I especially would like to commend the Santa Rosa police; they were smiling and non-threatening, and I was happy to see them!

  31. Justice says:

    Looks like Obama’s class warfare is finally going to come true.
    Brown is not helping matters with his college tuition for illegals.
    It is going to get really ugly really quick. Especially with the “road to citizenship” agenda being pushed.
    I’m washing my own car these days and making real sure to only employ US citizens and spend my money in places that do the same.

  32. Reality Check says:

    There is a place on earth where corporate greed has been almost completely snuffed out. Cuba.

    Other than allowing a few tourist businesses, out of desperation for foreign exchange, everything in Cuba is run by the government.

    Follow the foot traffic. The 99% who try to better themselves by leaving places like Cuba for places like the U.S. understand what’s at stake.

  33. Non Violent says:

    Skippy tends to fuzz the issue.

    The issue is that the public across the USA is aware, finally, that they have been abused by the government.

    The government has lied to us.

    The government steals our money to line their own pockets.

    The government is even stealing OUR money and giving it to Europe by donating OUR money to the International Monetary Fund.

    And, of course, the government is using its police forces in an attempt to bully free speech. Did any of you see that New York cop swinging his club wildly at any protestor near him? Not exactly a self defense by cop was it ? It was an act of offense by cop. An illegal act of offense as that cop swung his club wildly and struck as many protestors as he could. Sadistic government tactics.

  34. Skippy says:

    There seems to be no problem with the public schools.
    The union teachers have successfully indoctrinated their young charges with enough resentment and misinformation to last a lifetime.
    This is what 40 years of 1960′s era cultural rot and committed anti-American training bring about.
    Another excellent reason to end public education; it leads to embarrassing public displays of ignorance such as this.