News / Economy

    LA Protesters Blast Income Gap

    Occupy LA protester Mike Oren, of Bowling Green, Ohio, stands outside Los Angeles City Hall in Los Angeles, October 27, 2011.
    Occupy LA protester Mike Oren, of Bowling Green, Ohio, stands outside Los Angeles City Hall in Los Angeles, October 27, 2011.

    Protests by the Occupy Wall Street movement are continuing in the financial district of New York and other American cities. Community leaders say the anger reflects the gap between rich and poor in the United States.

    Oakland erupted over the past week as police fired tear gas at protesters downtown, and 3,000 demonstrators forced the temporary closure of the city's port.

    Hundreds of protesters are camped outside Los Angeles city hall, complaining that the top one percent of the population is getting the income gains and the other 99 percent has been left out.

    A husband and wife, both lawyers, joined the protesters this week. Jerry Manpearl said the income gap is too great.

    “[If] you destroy the middle class, you destroy the working class, you destroy this county,” he said.

    His wife, Jan Goodman, said the rich are not spending enough money to boost the economy.

    “There's not enough boats and yachts and houses to buy. They save it,” she said.

    Los Angeles religious leaders complain that the banks aren't lending either. A number of leaders from various faiths rallied outside the Bank of America regional headquarters on Tuesday, complaining that the bank has foreclosed on the homes of too many families with delinquent mortgages, and has done too little to invest in the inner city.

    Shakeel Syed of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California sees a widening gap between rich and poor.

    “When we visit certain neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles, you will see every second house being foreclosed, and the homes that are not foreclosed, the families are unable to meet the very basic needs," said Syed. "And then you cross town, and you see Ferraris and Corvettes and Lamborghinis parked in the driveways. There seems to be a major ethical disparity in this scenario.”

    Protesters are urging Los Angeles officials to take the city's investments out of the major banks. Some religious congregations are already doing that.

    And others notified Bank of America of their plans to divest this week.

    Bank of America dropped a plan to impose fees on automated teller machines after customers protested the idea. The bank says it is working to help homeowners keep their houses, has made billions of dollars in new loans to small businesses, and is investing in low-income communities.

    Catholic priest George Wanser isn't convinced. He works in an immigrant parish in San Jose, California, where struggling families live near high tech millionaires. He said families live together several to a house to pay the mortgage.

    “In my area, there are four, five, sometimes six adults bringing home a salary to help pay for their mortgages. They're good people, they're hardworking, they're immigrants and they're responsible. It's a shame, what's happened,” said Wanser.

    These protesters say they are part of a movement that is growing.


    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, here's what the history of take-out food tells us about changes in American society

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9098
    JPY
    USD
    105.75
    GBP
    USD
    0.7631
    CAD
    USD
    1.3189
    INR
    USD
    67.209

    Rates may not be current.