Bank Protesters Arrested After Trying to Cash $673-billion Check
Protests inspired by "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations in New York
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) -- Ten protesters were arrested at a downtown Los Angeles Bank of America branch on Thursday afternoon, after a group marched inside the bank and tried to cash a $673 billion check.
The protest was organized by the Refund California campaign. "Occupy L.A." protesters, inspired by the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters in New York, also joined in, authorities said.
The protesters tried to cash an over-sized check made out to the "people of California," LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said.
Ten protesters -- six men and four women -- were arrested after refusing to leave the bank, police said.
Earlier in the day Thursday, Occupy L.A. protesters took over the intersection of 7th and Figueroa streets, prompting police in riot gear to respond to the scene.
Protesters also covered Bank of America ATM's with caution tape.
Thursday's demonstrations were the latest in a series of protests in the Southland.
On Tuesday afternoon, several dozen protesters with signs and a bullhorn picketed outside the Westwood home of a One West Bank executive.
About 50 demonstrators showed up outside the home and stayed about 30 minutes as Los Angeles Police Department officers looked on.
Some "Occupy L.A." protesters have been camping outside City Hall in downtown L.A.
The loosely organized group is protesting what it perceives as corporate greed. It hopes to encourage social change and political involvement.
Organizers say their target is pretty straight forward: corporations that they believe have taken control of the ability of Americans to get decent jobs and to keep other freedoms.
Organizers also want to make it clear that this occupation is a "non-violent" one.
"We're calling it an occupation -- it's not a one time protest," one activist said. "This is going to last for weeks -- or months -- until our wants and needs basically are heard."
Police say the Los Angeles protests have been peaceful and have not approached the scale of civil disobedience or mass arrests seen in New York.
About 5,000 people marched on New York's financial district on Wednesday, the biggest rally so far, swelled by nurses, transit workers and other union members.
Dozens of people were arrested and police used pepper spray on some protesters.
A crowd of 1,000 people rallying in Philadelphia on Thursday was peaceful.
The protesters in Philadelphia chanted and waved placards reading "I did not think 'By the People, For the People' meant 1 percent," a reference to their argument that the country's richest have too much of its wealth and political power.
About 200 people gathered for an "Occupy Houston" demonstration in front of City Hall in downtown, just blocks away from the former headquarters of Enron Corp., the once prominent company that collapsed in bankruptcy and scandal.
The "Occupy Wall St" movement has also sparked similar rallies, underway or planned, in Austin, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Washington, D.C.; Trenton and Jersey City, New Jersey; and Houston, Texas, among other cities.
Protest: Bank Protesters Arrested After Trying to Cash $673-billion Check - ktla.com