Occupy O.C. converges on Surf City
Occupiers have taken over Surf City, parking themselves near Huntington Beach City Hall with megaphones and posters.
Members from Occupy Orange County told the City Council on Monday that they had been thinking about making Huntington Beach their next stop. By Tuesday, the group was stationed at the corner of Main Street and Yorktown Avenue, carrying signs with messages like, "We are unstoppable, another world is possible"
Some onlookers honked for them, others just watched from their car windows and at least one person used his iPhone to take a picture.
The occupiers, about 20 of them on Thursday afternoon, said they spoke with city officials and got permission to occupy Huntington Beach as long as they don't block any signs, don't sleep on the corner and keep the area clean, the Huntington Beach Independent reported.
They say they want to make the world a better place, and stop corporate greed and high student loans that are crippling young people.
But they don't have a specific plan; they don't all agree on the same things.
"I can't describe in words what I want," said Laguna Beach resident Oliver Hart, 20, who hasn't worked in two months, but said he has a job as a dishwasher at a culinary arts school. "But I want the opposite of what I see."
Since Tuesday, when the group officially occupied Huntington Beach, members said they've been taking turns sleeping but didn't say where.
Councilwoman Connie Boardman said she's not sure whether those who are currently sitting out at the corner are actual Occupy members.
"I heard that was a group of homeless people that have been tagging along," she said.
But as far as Occupiers are concerned, Boardman said it's their constitutional right.
"They certainly have the right to assemble, and they have the right to free speech," she said.
The Occupiers said they have a general assembly meeting at 7 p.m each night in the parking lot of City Hall.
-- Mona Shadia, Times Community News
Photo: Members of Occupy O.C. take up the corner of Yorktown Avenue and Main Street at Huntington Beach City Hall. Credit: Don Leach / Times Community News