Hundreds protest at downtown LA's Bank of America tower


Members of Occupy L.A., Service Employees International Union, Good Jobs LA, and Refund California staged the protest to call attention to California's fiscal troubles while banks, they say, are raking in profits and foreclosing homes.

Holding signs and chanting, police estimated about 1,200 demonstrators marched to the Bank of America tower at 333 S. Hope St. from Grand Avenue and 3rd Street.

Against orders from building security, the demonstrators pitched about 20 tents total on the building's courtyard as well as inside the lobby.

Under the watchful eyes of a large police presence, the demonstrators poured onto the roadway, blocking some traffic, before leaving the area about 5:30 p.m. Traffic on Grand Avenue was momentarily rerouted around the crowd that dwindled down to about 300.

The protesters said banks should pay their fair share of taxes to stop state cuts that affect senior citizens, students and families.

"This is about the people of America," said protesters Ed Tool. "They can no longer allow these big corporations to get bail outs, not pay their fair share and balance the books on our backs."

The money, said one protester, is that "it's in too few people's hands."

"I expect them to stop sitting on the trillions of dollars that they are sitting on, start loaning it out to the same taxpayers that bailed them out, so that the small businesses can start using money to get people back to work," said protester Marlene Allen. "We need jobs in this country, and they're the ones sitting on the money to do that."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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