Protestors march against Wall Street bailout listen10/06/08 Concetta DeLuco
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Regardless of age, race, ideals and party preference, opposition to the Wall Street bailout united several progressive groups and demonstrators who gathered in St. Petersburg on Saturday for a protest and march to City Hall.
“No justice, no peace, don’t bail out Wall Street” was just one of the many chants that resonated in the streets of downtown St. Petersburg early Saturday morning as a crowd of more than 50 people gathered at Williams Park to condemn the bailout.
Omali Yeshitela is the leader of the Uhuru movement. He said regardless of the bailout being accepted, the protest needed to take place.
Posters of every size and shape illustrating the anger and frustration of the crowd decorated the march, that began at 1st Avenue and 4th Street. The group marched through the massive throng of people at the Saturday Morning Market that just opened for the season and ended on the steps of City Hall.
The Rev. Gregory Lockett is a representative for FAVA, Falsely Accused Victims of Crime. He said our society is polluted with the “wealthy getting wealthier and the poor getting poorer.” Lockett was not pleased with the responses the protest received from the bystanders.
Holding a poster containing derogatory language directed toward Congress, Tia Michel said $700 billion a totally arbitrary figure for the bailout and there is no way to know if it will even help the situation.
Many of the protestors believe that there are still ways to get the bailout overturned. Mark Frankenburg, a participant in the protest, said part of the solution is to get everyone in the community involved.
Maryann Hubert is a member of the grassroots group St. Pete for Peace. Hubert said Congress is trying to put pressure on the American citizens to believe the bailout is the only answer to Wall Street's economic problem, but she says Americans cannot allow these same people who caused the problem to convince us.
Holding a sign that read, “ How much does a free market cost,” Tom Lingo said the bailout has been a terrible misdirection of funds that will not help the American people. Lingo said he hopes the economy does not get any worse.
Yeshitela said America was born as a predatory nation and those who have benefitted from the beginning have ignored the hardships of those who helped build the country like the Native Americans and blacks. Why should we help the same people who caused this subprime market crisis, Yeshitela said, and who have never helped the citizens, but rather intentionally pit the middle class and poor against each other to keep them beneath corporate America.
This historic effort to help fix the economic crisis on Wall Street has been estimated to cost $700 billion, but there is no concrete estimate for how much is actually needed to fix the problem.