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Demonstrators briefly occupy Bank of America in downtown L.A.

November 9, 2011 |  6:55 pm

Bank protest in downtown L.A.

Hundreds of anti-Wall Street demonstrators marched through downtown Los Angeles' financial district Wednesday, ending their march at a Bank of America branch, where several dozen protesters put up tents in the lobby and on a brick plaza outside, organizers said.

Demonstrators, who sang and chanted as they filled the lobby with about 15 tents, told bank officials and police they wouldn't leave until a letter was faxed to Monica Lozano, a Bank of America board member and publisher of La Opinion, said Amy Schur, an organizer with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

"We want her to be our champion," Schur said. "We've all joined together to say let's make them pay: big banks, big corporations, the wealthy." 

PHOTOS: Occupy protests around the nation

When bank officials returned with a fax receipt, the protesters left the lobby, she said.

The letter called for a pledge to "increase income taxes on California's wealthiest," close corporate tax loopholes, reduce homeowner mortgage debt to Wall Street firms and reverse tuition hikes, among other demands.

No clashes with police were reported. Groups at the rally included ReFund California, the Service Employees International labor union, student groups and Occupy L.A.

"We're here to let Bank of America and all other corporations know they need to pay their share," said Terri Green, a demonstrator with Good Jobs L.A.

As the demonstration wrapped up shortly before 6 p.m., a few demonstrators were chanting "We'll be back soon."


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-- Tony Barboza

Photo: A customer sits inside a locked down Bank of America branch in downtown L.A. as hundreds of protesters gather outside. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times