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'Occupy' Movement Spreads to Desert

Several groups have popped up in Palm Desert and Indio.

The Occupy Wall Street movement that spread to Los Angeles this week has now popped up 100 miles east in the Coachella Valley, where unemployment is as high as 20 percent in some desert cities.

Just short of 100 people are expected to protest Saturday, Oct. 8 from 2 to 5 p.m. outside Rep. Mary Bono Mack's Office in Palm Desert, according to an organizer John-Paul Valdez.

"I’m feeling a lot of response here. I think it will help put us on the map to understand we are every bit as viable as Los Angeles and New York. It might be seen as far away in terms of Wall Street but it is in every way a local movement," Valdez said.

He noted the movement is non-partisan and wants Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, to realize that Coachella Valley residents are hurting because of the economy and the mortgage crisis.

"Our lives are more difficult here in the valley. This is the hardest hit area here in California. It’s even worse here in Riverside County," the former banker said. 

Valdez, who said his home is underwater, lives in Desert Hot Springs, which has an unemployment rate of 20 percent --  much higher than the national rate of 9.1 percent.

Two other branches of the movement have sprung up at the (COD) in Palm Desert and in Indio.

Jayel, who co-founded an anti-war group, "Come Home America Coachella Valley" at the COD, told Patch that he plans to join Valdez's event on Saturday.

"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.

The antiwar group -- a conservative-libertarian coalition of antiwar activists -- has grown to 15 people and organized the valley's first two "Occupy Coachella Valley" events earlier this month, he said.

He said they "are protesting a policy started by a right wing conservative president and continued by a left wing president."

In Indio, a group that has dubbed itself "Occupy Coachella Valley" has an event planned for Oct. 22 at Indio City Hall.

The group is using a Facebook page to organize and spread the word.

"Soon we will move all across the valley,'' one Facebook post stated.

Steven Kippel October 11, 2011 at 03:36 PM
You clearly have no idea what socialism is. Go by your dictionary definition: "A political and economic theory of that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole." This isn't what Occupy Wall Street is seeking. We're not seeking for public ownership of the means of production. We're not seeking for public ownership of the means of distribution. We're not seeking for public ownership of the exchange (currency). You're missing the point just because you want to fit reality into your pre-conceived biased opinions. It's too bad you don't understand nuanced political theory. This movement isn't looking for centralized control of anything, but of broad control. We're fighting against centralized control, not for it. But that's something you probably couldn't grasp. We're on Wall Street because too much wealth is controlled by too few individuals. We're at the White House because too much power is controlled by too few individuals. We want a free society, where we the people have power. Socialism puts too much power into the hands of too few individuals. Capitalism puts too much wealth into the hands of too few individuals. We're looking for a third way. Private ownership of production, distribution and exchange, but regulated so nobody gains too much power. The philosophy is called Distributism.
Steven Kippel October 11, 2011 at 03:40 PM
What's the difference between the government owning all of the production, distribution and exchange and a small group of elitists owning all of the production, distribution exchange? The second one also owns the government. When the elite controls the production, distribution and exchange, and also controls the government, you have plutocracy.
Far west coast October 11, 2011 at 04:16 PM
@judy, Great, I encourage your belief in the rule of Law and the right of a American citizens. In regards to age.... well I haven't been to a rally yet, but that will come to a end today. Look at the pictures on the news mainly young people actually a majority. The Monterey x Fred Warning protest the picture shows young people and two middle age guys smiling in the back round. And I wouldn't call that a crowd either. More like a handfull of ten. Other pictures show young people again, news videos show the young people again. You Judy and others like you are a minority in this crowd at best. Stay on the sidewalk, stay out of the public's way, do not destroy property, do occupy private space and most of all I can only hope you can muster up a candidate or more thru out the country. Then your movement with its "New York General Assembly" "manifesto" can put it out there for all to see and vote on your beliefs thru your candidate. Now!!!!!!!!!!! that is the American way! OMG
Far west coast October 11, 2011 at 04:21 PM
@Judy, I did not say you will become a socialist. I am saying that after you read the........." New York General Assembly" "manifesto" and you adhere to those beliefs you are a socialists. OMG
Steven Kippel October 11, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Yeah, just look at all these socialist agenda items: They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses. They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay. They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility. They have sold our privacy as a commodity. They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them. They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit. OMG! THEY'RE GOING TO KILL US ALL! RUN FOR THE HILLS!

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