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Labor, immigrant groups join Occupy L.A. at rally

October 19, 2011 |  7:23 pm

Occupy L.A., labor groups protest

Since Occupy L.A. set up camp outside City Hall last month, the movement has given momentum to other groups.

As business-attired employees left their offices at the end of the workday Wednesday, about 250 activists from Occupy L.A., immigrant rights groups, Good Jobs L.A. and SEIU-United Long Term Care Workers gathered outside California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.

The protesters, including some children, chanted and carried signs in multiple languages.

“The purpose of this rally is to hold corporations responsible and put jobs back into the community. It’s different people all asking for the same thing,” said Ashley Nickerson, 25. “We support each other. Job creativity is the main thing for all of us.”

Angel Valencia, 22, stood with Nickerson, holding Good Jobs L.A. signs and talking to passersby.

“We bailed these banks out a couple years ago, and it’s a shame that they’re not helping us back,” Valencia said. “I’m currently employed, but everyone in my family is struggling at $8 an hour.”

Valencia joined the march around the financial district, heading toward the Occupy L.A. site outside City Hall.

“We issued a statement in support of Occupy L.A. about a week ago,” said Wyatt Closs, public affairs director of SEIU-ULTCW. “But today is the first organized push” from the organization.

A large majority of the organization is women, from about nine different immigrant backgrounds. “We’re hoping to bring another voice to the Occupy L.A. movement,” Closs said.

A group of members will camp with Occupy L.A. on Wednesday night. “It’s not easy for all our folks, because they are home workers. But for those who can, they will camp with Occupy L.A.” Closs said. “We hope that Congress has been hearing this nationwide message. And hopefully, at the minimum, Congress will do something about the Jobs Act.”


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Photo: Labor and immigrant rights groups join with Occupy L.A. protesters at a rally downtown Wednesday evening.

Credit: Rosanna Xia / Los Angeles Times