Ventura’s Mission Park setting of Oct. 15 Occupy Ventura event

Local gathering joins protest movements spreading across the country.

An increasingly worn out populace, battered after many years of the Wall Street-created economic crisis, has finally risen up and given birth to a new grassroots movement. Since Sept. 17, thousands of people have “occupied” public spaces around the country in protest, starting with Occupy Wall Street in New York City’s Zuccotti Park.The movement spread to Ventura on Friday, Oct. 7 with a well-attended general assembly meeting.

Occupy Ventura is a group of people representing the so-called 99 percent,” said Ben, a teacher and one of the group’s lead organizers. “We are the poor, the working class and the middle class who are no longer willing to accept the government’s failure to attend to the needs of the people and continued abuses of the people by corporate interests.”

The group plans to occupy Ventura’s Mission Park on Saturday, Oct. 15, beginning at noon. The park is located at the corner of E. Thompson Blvd. and Chestnut St., near the California St. exit of the 101 Freeway. A rally to kick off the event begins at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14 at the Ventura County Government Center at Victoria Ave. and Telephone Rd. in Ventura.

An official inquiry into the cause of the 2007 financial crisis has identified a toxic mix of widespread failures in financial regulation, risky lending and reckless Wall Street practices associated with mortgage-related securities. As the nation’s economy collapsed, $4.72 trillion of our tax money was disbursed to Wall Street as bailouts. Now, four years later, Wall Street barons are sitting on piles of cash and funneling contributions to politicians who promise to unravel the protections set up to prevent future crises.

In the mean time, income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, even topping levels seen during the Great Depression. The Top 1 percent are taking in more of the nation’s income than at any other time since the 1920s.

The Occupy movement represents the 99 percent of Americans who have been left behind and are fed up.

The next general assembly planning meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 5740 Ralston, Suite 300, Ventura. For more information about Occupy Ventura, email,, visit the group’s Facebook Page at Occupy Ventura or go to,