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Occupy Sacramento Protests Continue Despite Arrests

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Students and citizens gathered in Cesar Chavez Park to continue to protest the wealth gap in America on Oct. 7.

The protest was based on the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York, which is an ongoing movement to “end the corruption of our democracy,” according to a page on Adbusters, a not-for-profit activist site.

Protesters started occupying the park on Oct. 6 and 19 protesters were arrested when they refused to leave the park, according to The Sacramento Bee. They were released at about 10 a.m. on Oct. 7.

Arya Rashid, a 24-year-old protester and psychology major at American River College, is part of the event’s media team and helped to organize it.

“I think that this entire wave of occupy movements probably needs to be, and is becoming, a sort of awareness campaign to try and mobilize the complacent public,” Rashid said.

The 2008 stock market crash was a “spark” that kicked everything in motion, followed by “all the wars that we’re fighting, the massive defense budget, the economic issues, the corruption of Wall Street, the issue with campaign financing and lobbying that goes into politics,” Rashid said.

Matt Babowal, a 38-year-old registered nurse from Carmichael, said “the political system has failed us.”

“It’s time that people stand up and start expressing direct democracy. This representative system that we have, the representatives are bought and paid for,” Babowal said. “One percent of the people control everything.”

Some protesters refused to comment, saying they were participating in a media blackout.

Neph Garcia, a 27-year-old Universal Technical Institute student from Sacramento, said the media blackout is due to poor coverage from major media outlets.

Garcia said Fox News has been interviewing the “stupidest people in the whole movement” and not airing the interviews they film with other protesters, which ended up portraying the protests in a bad light.

Garcia said he considers the protests a revolution.

“You see how crazy it is in New York, people are going to start freaking out,” Garcia said. “The government is going to start realizing that people aren’t happy. They’re not happy with the way things are going.”

Michael Fabian, a 30-year-old handyman living in Sacramento, said the economic situation has become desperate for some, and people may turn to crime.

“People with kids, what are they supposed to do?” Fabian asked. “You have to survive. If you don’t survive you crumble. So you have a choice, you either find another way to deal with life or you give up.”

But protesters said change will only happen if people demand it.

“Being silent only benefits those in power,” Babowal said. “If you have an opinion, speak up.”

For more information about similar protests, visit http://www.occupytogether.org/.

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Occupy Sacramento Protests Continue Despite Arrests