While attendees were gearing up for a , many groups stood outside the trying to draw attention to their cause.
The familiar Redwood City faces like , Occupy San Jose and the Raging Grannies were in their usual location outside at the corner of .
They were protesting corporate funding of politicians and the war in Afghanistan as well as little known trade negotiations like the top-secret—and leaked—Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), an agreement between the US and eight other counties, that requires domestic intellectual property laws to comply with the terms of the Agreement, according to the New Zealand Herald News.
Opponents of the Agreement say it would alter intellectual property legislation more than SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Opposition to the act went viral over the Internet because many believed it would stifle the ability to share intellectual property.
“It’s really hard to find out the specific details of this trade agreement because it’s being negotiated in secret,” Occupy Redwood City member Maria Elena Gonzalez said.
She added that it would give corporate investors unprecedented rights to interfere in domestic policy.
Another group comprised of young Filipino Bay Area residents—the Anakbayan Silicon Valley—protested the Obama Administration’s occupation in the Phillipines.
They marched up Broadway Street with an enormous banner and coordinated chants:
“What do we say to the government?
Justice for Immigrants!
What do we say to the President?
All your wars have got to end!”
Jeremias David, 21, a member of the organization said that his organization, which is part of the larger National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)—an alliance of Filipino organizations—, were protesting unjust deportation and US military funding to the Filipino government.
“The UN [United Nations] has shown that the Filipino government, with US funding, has been linked to killings of activists and journalists,” David said.
Occupy San Jose resident Shaunn Cartwright said that political campaign funding has become based on political donations rather than what constituents want. Dinners that cost $35,800 encourage people to feel like their money can persuade legislators to enact policies that benefit the wealthy.
“It’s obscene,” Cartwright said of the amount of money spent. “That one dinner could be used to help a sick child or pay for a scholarship.”
And some groups weren’t there to protest at all, merely to publicize their groups.
Take a Breath, Bay Area, a group that promotes the power of focused breathing decided to attend the protest wearing their t-shirts.
“We’re not here to protest the President,” said member volunteer Rupal Vashi. “We just want to energize every one here by using breath.”