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'Occupy Coachella Valley' Gains Momentum

Several events have popped up across the Coachella Valley.

UPDATED: Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m.

Rallies in support of the Occupy Coachella Valley movement -- a spin off of Occupy Wall Street, which began in New York -- have emerged in growing numbers this week in Palm Desert and across the valley.

Students at the have a protest planned for 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11 at the COD's cafeteria, according to Jayel Aheram, a COD student and who co-founded an anti-war group, "Come Home America Coachella Valley."

"One thing I do want to make clear is that this 'Occupy' movement is not a leftist movement. It’s not a Democratic movement. It’s not a liberal tea party,'' Aheram said previously.

Another protest broke out late Monday afternoon on the corner of Monterey Avenue and Fred Waring Drive in Palm Desert.

Earlier Monday, about 15 people rallied at a Bank of America in Palm Springs, according to the group's Facebook page. About 40 people protested at the corner of Highway 111 and Washington Street in La Quinta that same day, according to reports.

Several dozen people rallied Saturday outside Rep. Mary Bono Mack's Office in Palm Desert, according to John-Paul Valdez, an organizer.

"Our rally on Saturday was to announce the beginning of a movement. That has been accomplished," Valdez said on Facebook.

In Indio, an event is planned for Oct. 22 at Indio City Hall.

A group also plans to hold a "long term occupation" of Civic Center Park in Palm Desert near the amphitheatre, according to Aheram.

"We have two weeks to get the word out to people and to get bodies there. Bring sleeping bags, bring tents,'' Aheram said.

Other events around the region are set for:

TEMECULA: Saturday, Corner of Rancho California and Ynez (1 block East of I-15 at Rancho California) at 10 a.m.

RIVERSIDE: Saturday, University Ave and Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501 at noon.

REDLANDS: Saturday, Augie's Coffee House, at noon.

SAN BERNADINO: Monday, Cal State, at 6 p.m.

For more information about the movement and planned protests, visit the group's Facebook page.

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