Occupy Ventura rallies at government center (26 photos)

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Occupy Ventura rallies at government center (26 photos)

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Protesters associated with the "Occupy" movements gathered in front of the Ventura County Government Center today. Credit: Felicia Perez/The Foothill Dragon Press.

Protesters associated with the “Occupy” movements gathered in front of the Ventura County Government Center today. Credit: Felicia Perez/The Foothill Dragon Press.

Car horns honked and protesters cheered as Occupy Ventura gathered Friday afternoon at the intersection of Telephone Road and Victoria Avenue next to the Ventura County Government Center. More than 50 protesters waved signs to gain awareness and support for the Occupy Ventura movement that will take place today and Sunday at Mission Park in downtown Ventura.

The protests, which originally began with Occupy Wall Street in early September, have since spread across the entire nation and have now reached Ventura.

Ventura County resident Ethel Johnduff was delighted that Occupy Wall Street has come so far.

“I used to live in New York. [Occupy Wall Street] is a movement taking place in all the cities, and it’s spreading to the rural communities,” Johnduff said.

The Occupy movement protesters identify themselves as the 99 percent of the population battling against the “ruling” one percent of the nation that controls the majority of the country’s wealth. They also claim to be fighting against the greed and corruption of large corporations.

“We’re here for purely altruistic reasons,”  said Sharon Luinn Miller of Ventura. “We’re unhappy for those who are suffering in the economy.”

Some of the Occupy Ventura protesters believe that Congress lacks an understanding of the needs of the 99 percent.

“Will Rogers once stated, ‘We have the best Congress money can buy.’ Now, I say we have the worst Congress money can buy,” 59-year-old Oxnard resident Jeris Turner said.

There were also many young faces among the throng of protesters.

20-year-old Oxnard College student Jesus Martinez was particularly concerned about the rise in college tuition fees.

“I’m a student who’s fed up with the bigger tuition fees and costs,” Martinez said. “We are among the 99 percent, and I’m fed up with the one percent.”

Jeffery Miller, a 51-year-old aspiring politician and Ventura resident who said he plans on running for a state senate seat, also attended the rally.

“Washington is burning, and the politicians are playing an orchestra. I stand for freedom and want to end corruption in politics,” Miller said.

Among the many signs demonstrated at the protest were “Democracy, not corpofracy” and “Outsourcing jobs overseas is not American.”

Many of the protestors stated that they would be back tomorrow when Occupy Ventura organizes downtown at Mission Park.

Credit: Felicia Perez/The Foothill Dragon Press.

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