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Wall Street protests grow in downtown LA

October 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police in riot gear confronted a growing Occupy LA protest as demonstrators took over a downtown intersection Thursday.

Occupy L.A. protesters were on the move Thursday in downtown Los Angeles.

Hundreds of demonstrators took their anti-corporate greed message to the downtown financial district. That's when police were called in.

On the City Hall lawn, about 300 protesters with the same grievances have been camped out for nearly a week.

Protesters representing community groups like Occupy L.A. and several unions marched through downtown Los Angeles Thursday. Their targets were most of the nation's major banks. They want the banks to pay more to help taxpayers and help struggling homeowners.

"We want them to fix the economy by fixing the housing market, reduce the principle on homes that are underwater," said Peggy Mears, Good Lobs L.A. "The American people were forced to bail them out."

Wells Fargo issued a statement Thursday saying it's committed to serving the financial needs of business and individuals and to keep credit flowing and working to help those in financial distress find solutions.

California has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.

Protests like Thursday's were held nationwide to put pressure on big banks and Wall Street.

"Those at the top, the wealthy corporations, the big banks, are sitting on all the money and still throwing people out of their homes, still laying off people, while the rest of us are continuing to struggle in this economy," said Jacob Hay, a protester.

Before they even started the demonstrators were expecting to be arrested for trespassing and they told police as much.

Police arrested 10 protesters who occupied a Bank of America branch and refused to evacuate. They are being charged with trespassing.

The protest and demonstration was otherwise peaceful and no one else was arrested.

The protesters say they will be back.

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