Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

"Occupy" Movement Spreads To Florida  

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Crying economic foul, thousands of protesters - part of the Occupy movement, born in the shadows of Wall Street - have taken to the streets in cities across Florida. Occupy Tallahassee activists surrounded the historic Capitol dome. They are of all ages and backgrounds. One is retired lawyer Tann Hunt, who says when big corporate money talked, everybody walked.

"Not one person, in Countrywide or Bank of America or any of them, was indicted. It was a failure of our legal system."

Many of the protesters are college students and young, educated professionals who cannot find work. They're asking why one percent of the population controls the nation's purse strings, including some of the elected officials sworn to represent the people.

Some in the financial industry have painted the crowds as disorganized or unsophisticated. They say Wall Street has to do well in order for the economy to recover.

Many of those protesting carry signs and banners bearing slogans like "stop corporate greed" and "people before profits." One of those picketing at the Capitol is Julie Hauserman, a communications professional who sums up the protesters' grievances.

"What we're doing is reaching a critical mass among people - many, many people in this country - who are dissatisfied by the fact that our democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests and corporate money."

The protestors are convinced that the wealthy get tax breaks on everything from private planes to luxury sky boxes, while billions of dollars in budget cuts are hitting the middle class. Of particular concern to the Florida protesters is what they see as the "tea party" agenda of Gov. Rick Scott, who has approved teacher layoffs and funding cuts hitting education and reducing care for elderly and disabled Floridians.

Information about Occupy Tallahassee is available at
www.facebook.com/occupytally Information about Occupy Florida is at https://sites.google.com/site/occupyflorida/.

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