"A crowd that had grown to an estimated 300 continued its protest in downtown Riverside today, part of a now-worldwide movement that began about a month ago on New York’s Wall Street.
The event, known as Occupy Riverside, began at noon and was expected to last throughout the day and overnight, according to organizers.
The protesters say they are upset that the billions of dollars in bank bailouts doled out during the recession allowed banks to resume earning huge profits, while average Americans have had no relief from high unemployment and job insecurity.
“Only 1 percent of the people in this country own and control the wealth, while the rest of us, the 99 percent, struggle,” said a protester who only identified himself as Jerry from Rubidoux. “We have been, and continue to be, victims of corporate America.”
“It’s not fair that they take away your house if you can’t pay your mortgage, but give billions to the banks for unclear reasons,” said another protester, who refused to give her name or hometown.
A Riverside Police Department spokesman said that no arrests had been made, and there were no reported incidents of violence as of 3 p.m. today.
Two armed Department of Homeland Security officers were spotted at the protest site to monitor the safety of federal buildings downtown.
The rally was held amid reports that the Wall Street protests had gone global, with demonstrations today in New Zealand, Australia, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Portugal, Greece and Paris. In Rome, angry protesters torched cars and smashed bank windows.
At the movement’s origin in New York City today, more than 5,000 marchers took part in a rally decrying economic inequality and corporate greed."