Demonstrators meet to "Occupy Tampa" listen10/03/11 Jean Henry Telcy
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The growing â€œOccupyâ€ movement began on Wall Street in New York and has resulted in several hundred arrests thus far. The Tampa event was coordinated by Chris Dorsey, a graduate student at the University of South Florida.
The crowd is eclectic. Among those in attendance are teachers, parents, local business owners, and members of the online activist group Anonymous. Members and supporters wearing Guy Fawkes masks wave signs with other protesters.
Kat Poblete joined the movement to fight what she believes to be a government that favors the rights of corporations over the rights of citizens.
"I have a lot of issues with corporations being treated and protest like people, because they're not," says Poblete.
Reminiscent of the â€œArab Spring,â€ the â€œOccupyâ€ movement has spread to major cities across the United States including Chicago, Albuquerque and Boston. The demands of protesters range from healthcare reform to higher regulation for banks. Chris Dorsey disagrees with some critics who have called it an â€œaimlessâ€ effort.
"What we are asking and trying to do here is gather people, and start having a conversation about the state of our society," says Dorsey.
Occupy Tampa will meet again in Gaslight Park Thursday at 9 a.m.