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Occupy LA confronts L.A. City Council in City Hall

December 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Occupy Los Angeles protesters returned to City Hall Monday, demanding the city council support a crackdown on the banks they blame for the nation's economic crisis. Activists confronted council members at a noisy committee meeting.

"Taxpayers bailed out the banks and now it's the banks' turn to help us recover this economy," said Bob Schoonover, president, Service Employees International Union.

A group of protesters from labor unions and the Occupy L.A. movement joined forces to support a bank regulation bill put forward by Councilman Richard Alarcon.

"They must participate the way we think they should," said Alarcon. "That means they must be good players in our community. Where are the small-business loans that should be coming to our community?"

Alarcon's bill, now before the council's Budget and Finance Committee, would force banks that want to receive city funds to publish an annual report card stating how much they are lending and investing in the city.

Support for the group comes less than a week after the Occupy L.A. encampment was ousted from City Hall park. Hundreds were arrested.

Some of those arrested are now out of jail and not giving up.

"Our movement is about more than just tents, and the city may have arrested me, but they cannot arrest an idea whose time has come," said Occupy L.A. participant Cheryl Eikley.

City Hall park remains closed off to the public as it's being cleaned up.

Alarcon's proposal was tabled by the city council budget-finance committee. If it passes the committee, the full city council would vote on it.

See photos of protesters gathered around City Hall past the eviction deadline.