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Occupy L.A. Attracts The Latino Community

We’re sure you’re well aware of the “Occupy” movements happening across the nation right now. What started as a New York protest against corruption has ballooned into countless demonstrations in some of the biggest cities in the country (and the world for that matter). And interestingly, the gatherings have begun expanding the message to include.

Hundreds of Latino activists are currently marching for Occupy L.A. The city’s Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights has officially lent its support too, as have celebrities like Danny GloverJeff Ross, and Rage Against The Machine’sTom Morello.

In fact, Morello even invited his fellow Occupy Angelinos to a free concert performance after appearing at their demonstration.

“I used to think I was alone,” he told the crowd. “Not anymore. I’d like to invite all of Occupy Los Angeles to occupy the Troubadour tonight for free!”

But the question everyone seems to be asking is, what is the Occupy L.A. message? Truth be told, it’s not that far off from what the rest of the movement is preaching. Occupy as a whole, was meant to stand up against corrupt Washington politicians and “the privileged few.” And any immigrant rights advocate knows, D.C. has not been very favorable towards undocumented citizens in recent years.

That seems to be the reason why so many pro-immigrant groups have hopped on board, particularly in southern California. But Occupy L.A. goes much further than that. Several local Latinos are also protesting because of labor laws and the city’s ongoing job crisis.

“We bailed these banks out a couple years ago, and it’s a shame that they’re not helping us back,” 22-year-old protester Angel Valenciatold the L.A. Times. “I’m currently employed, but everyone in my family is struggling at $8 an hour.”

Interestingly, Occupy L.A. has now even gotten a bilingual touch. Several of the signs and messages getting out to the media are now completely in Spanish, proving the motto of being “fed up” crosses all language barriers.

 

 

By Michael Lopez

 

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