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Houston participates in Occupy Wall Street protests

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At the second of three stops, fed up protestors chanted in unison "We got sold out, they got bailouts," outside of the J.P Morgan Chase Bank Tower on 600 Travis St. in downtown Houston. Photo by George Lupercio.

Hundreds of fed up taxpayers participated in Occupy Houston on Thursday in downtown Houston’s Market Square, armed with colorful signs blaming the titans of Wall Street for the country’s economic woes and alleged corporate greed.

“The people united, will never be defeated,” cried the young and old on the corners of Preston and Travis Streets – the first of three gathering spots.

The march continued to the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank Tower on 600 Travis St. where protesters shouted their list of grievances including the foreclosure crisis, workplace discrimination and student loan debt.

Alvin resident Willie Gomez captured the scores of protestors passing through the busy streets of downtown Houston on his cell phone. He says he shares the same frustration and says that the CEOs and CFOs of Wall Street need to take responsibility for their actions.

“They’re just saying what they want people to hear because they’re well set where they’re at,” Gomez said. “They got money coming in no matter what.”

Gomez, who works for a local scaffolding company, says he enrolled in a community college to have more opportunities for employment to support his family.

“I just now started going back to school and I’m working (at the same time) and it’s hard,” Gomez said.

Gomez is studying to be a surgical technician. He is currently taking his basics and is taking two courses per semester. He expects to transfer in two or three years to another college that will allow him to take courses related to his major.

CRECEN Executive Director and community activist, Teodoro Aguiluz, made a quick stop before work to be part of the growing movement that’s showing no signs of slowing down. He says that Americans, especially the young, are doing a great service to their country, in raising awareness of the crimes that big corporations are committing.

“The people of Wall Street continue to get rich and they forget about the little guy,” Aguiluz said.

He went on to say that he also showed up to represent CRECEN, a local civil rights group, and said that the sentiment the Occupy Wall Street protestors express are the same as the fight for undocumented workers. Aguiluz added “that we need more moments like this to shake up our communities and wake them up to what is going on in the world.”

At the same time of the Occupy Houston event, President Barack Obama held a press conference about his American Jobs Act.

A reporter was quick to ask Mr. Obama if he was closely monitoring the Occupy Wall Street movement across the country.

“Obviously I’ve heard of it. I’ve seen it on television. I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel — that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street, and yet you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place,” said Obama.

Houston police was called out to monitor the protestors and made sure they obeyed the law. In addition, pro bono legal advice teams were on hand in case there were any arrests. However, there were no reports of violence.



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