From Wall Street to , protestors have .
In September, 3,300 Redwood City residents were unemployed, 8 percent of the total population, according to the state's Employment Development Department. Yet many had other axes to grind besides unemployment.
“We’ve come together to express our feeling of mass injustice,” organizer Aaron Castle said.
Castle first became civically involved by educating himself in sustainability issues. No specific organization, he said, but just learning more about climate science.
These Occupy Wall Street events then became appealing, he said, because people were literally gathering in the streets, a physical sign of hope.
“Many had lost faith in the political system,” Castle said. “And this is a serious moment of a unified cause.”
Unified, but peaceful. The protesters merely walked around Courthouse Square with signs and elicited the occasional honk from drivers passing by.
"We just want everyone to be safe," said acting Chris Cesena. "We also just don't want them to break anything."
Most protestors expressed the same discontent with the current government, they all had various desires for the outcome of these movements.
Castle viewed these protests as more of a brainstorming session for separate individuals to come together and share their views.
Lisa Conrad of the League of Women Voters wanted political reform.
“I want my democracy back,” she said. “Be rich, that’s fine. But don’t go buying votes with your money.”
Redwood City resident Carol Cross agreed, stating that money is the primary influence on political decisions.
“Government is broken,” she said. “Politicians can’t afford to listen to the people anymore because they have to listen to big corporations.”
A clear-cut solution also evaded Cross, who said this movement was just in its early stages.
“Politicans have to be emboldened to uphold what they were sworn to do, to represent the people,” she said.
Veronica Palmer, a Belmont resident from MoveToAmend.org, was very explicit in what she wanted from this movement. Her organization seeks to amend the law of “corporate personhood,” that gives corporations the same legal rights as people. Proponents argue that corporations are inherently comprised of people and deserve the same rights, while opponents see this “personhood” as a means for corporations to avoid stricter taxation and regulation.
“Once we reach critical mass, it’ll dawn on legislators to abolish this law,” Palmer said.
Castle added that a potential “Robin Hood” tax, or the general idea of taxing the rich to give to the poor, was another potential outcome.
But Redwood City resident P.A. Moore was very explicit in what she wanted from the government.
“Jobs, jobs, jobs,” she said, which also echoed on her sign.
Putting people back to work will allow them to pay their mortgages, meaning fewer foreclosures, she argued. People would have money so they’ll spend and contribute to the economy, which will create more jobs.
“Congress was so busy cutting the deficit that they forgot about the 13 million unemployed,” she said.