99% OCCUPY the World Speaks

Democracynow.org - Parallel actions inspired by New York City's Occupy Wall Street continue to spring up across the United States. As of Friday morning, the website “Occupy Together,” hub for nationwide events in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street reported gatherings in 847 cities. On Thursday, activists kicked off the "October 2011" protest by occupying Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. As in New York City, demonstrators have come to D.C. from across the country, and some are taking part in their first-ever political demonstration. One woman who traveled from Kansas held a sign that read: "Lost my job, found an occupation." Meanwhile, in San Francisco, protesters are defiantly resisting a police attempt to break up an encampment in front of the Federal Reserve Bank. On Thursday, dozens of officers in riot gear surrounded the camp and removed tents, sleeping bags and other items belonging to protesters. But organizers say over 100 people are still remaining in the area despite losing their belongings.

At the White House, President Obama weighed in on the "Occupy Wall Street" protests for the first time. Speaking at a news conference, Obama said he understands the protesters' "frustration," but ultimately believes in the financial sector.

Obama: "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 … 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. So, yes, I think people are frustrated, and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works. Now, keep in mind I have said before and I will continue to repeat, we have to have a strong, effective financial sector in order for us to grow."

For the complete transcript, podcast, and for additional reports on Occupy Wall Street on Democracy Now!, visit democracynow.org/tags/occupy_wall_street

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