LONG BEACH — Enough is enough and they're not taking it anymore.
That was the message from Occupy Long Beach on Saturday as more than 100 supporters marched down Ocean Boulevard. The crowd, which later gathered at Lincoln Park next to City Hall, voiced their outrage with, what they call, corporate greed.
Occupy Long Beach joins Occupy Wall Street, which is entering its fourth week of protests in New York. The protest has spread into several other major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles.
"What we are about is, you know how there is separation of church and state, we want a separation of business and state," said Long Beach resident Timothy Maurer, a single father and student at Cal State Long Beach. "We are sick and tired of corporations and banks being bailed out, while the American people get sold out."
The organization says it supports peace and social, economic and environmental justice by exchanging ideas and demanding that the public's voices be heard.
"We have recognized that it takes money to get close to decision makers, but we aim to have a collective voice to be heard from a distance," said CC, one of the event organizers, who provided no other name.
According to CC, the group plans to maintain a significant presence in Long Beach as "a unified force for positive change,"
"We will use ongoing actions of nonviolent resistance to disrupt the forces that corrupt our political process and undermine our rights and human needs," she read from their mission statement.
The goal is to find solutions that lead to a "just and sustainable future," the organizer said to the peaceful crowd, which was composed of men, women, children, teenagers and people of many ethnicities.
"We are the 99 percent and collectively we have just had enough with the corporatization of our country, and the fact that (corporations) get all the advantages of being a person and none of the repercussions," Long Beach resident Holly Lindroth said in reference to last year's Supreme Court ruling that corporations are considered people whose free speech rights give them unlimited political spending power. "If someone commits a crime, they can go to prison and be taken off the streets and quit doing damage, but a corporation, maybe they'll toss one or two guys out, but the corporation continues."
According to Maurer, radical change is the only solution.
"We want to see some real change in this country. Red, blue, it doesn't matter what party, they
"I personally feel we have to rectify that," Lindroth said. "They (corporations) have too much influence in our government and I feel our government is broken and are completely ineffectual," . "They just can't fix the problem and the 99 percent want to come together and come up with a solution."
Employment for future generations is in jeopardy if the fight doesn't continue, said Maurer.
"Corporations are exporting jobs out of this country, and students like me, we don't have a future, we don't have hope," he said.
Students will be forced to take menial jobs despite having higher education, Maurer said.
"There are no jobs for any students out there. When we go out, what are we going to do work at a sandwich shop?" he said. "My daughter, I worry about her, she's 10-years old. I don't know what kind of life she's going to have when she grows up. Will she have something to support her? It's disgusting."
Lindroth said politicians need to stand by their word and put people first.
"We put them in there and they tell us, 'Oh, we care about you,' but the minute they get in power they start passing laws that just erode the middle class' safety net," she said. "It's baffling, and the people have had enough. Enough is enough. This is our country, the 99 percent, and we are here peacefully to make a change."