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Anti-Wall St. Rally Draws Angry Protesters

Organizer is a displaced bank teller trying to find work.

The Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City have inspired at least two similar groups in the Lehigh Valley.

Leading one of the local movements is Easton's Adam Santo, who says he brought the demonstration to that city Monday after being inspired by what was happening in New York.

Turnout "fluctuated" between 15-30 people throughout the afternoon, Santo said in a phone interview late Monday afternoon from the corner of 7th and Hamilton streets in Allentown. Cars could be heard in the background, honking, Santo said, in support.

Monday's protest drew a mix of people, Santo said, from the Lehigh Valley, from Reading, from Philadelphia. One person had been to the protests in New York City.

Some were angry about the government's bank bailouts. Others were environmentalists. Still more held Ron Paul's anti-Federal Reserve views. The key, he said, is that they're angry.

"If we didn't pay our mortgage, we'd be out on the street," he said.

But why weren't they angry three years ago, when the bailouts actually happened?

Santo said he thinks everything just came to a head.

"I think things are happening now because the financial situation has gotten so bad," he said. "People can't get jobs that pay. People have student loans they can't afford to pay off."

He's one of those people. A bank teller who lost his job after his bank merged with another, Santo got his CDL license but hasn't been able to find work as a truck driver.

Santo said he'll try to recruit more people from around the Lehigh Valley, although no events are planned for other communities.

"Occupy Allentown" is one of two local groups seemingly taking a page from what's happening in New York City. The other is known as "Occupy Bethlehem/Lehigh Valley." Santo said he hopes to join up with it at some point.

"These groups are just popping up everywhere," Santo said.

Here's a video report on the rally from WFMZ as well as video from The Morning Call.

Nancy O'Keefe October 05, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Where did this list of "demands" come from? What is your source? Read the link below for a more succinct (and believable) description not of demands but of what they are demonstrating against. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-lessig/occupywallst-then-occupyk_b_995547.html
Rosemary B October 06, 2011 at 04:04 AM
These demands are from Occupy Wall Streets own website!
Ianza Torres October 06, 2011 at 05:34 AM
"however, to demand that the changes be made is not how our country works" Our founding fathers demanded change and look what it got them. They ended up Fighting a war against the Super power Monarchy of the day and they won. We have The United States of America due to the people being fed up. Now am i saying if the 2011 occupy wall street demands arent met, we'll have another american revolutionary war? I sure as heck hope not. I do not want war. but protesting and having your voice heard and having your elected officials speak for you can bring about peaceable change. That's what should happen. a non violent approach is the only acceptable approach and can be achieved.
Larry Delhagen October 07, 2011 at 03:04 PM
DavidK...do you include big labor in your condemnation of "special interests"? Have President Obama and the Democrats been using a "divide and conquer" strategy? Should the "foreclosed homeless" also point a finger at the government forced end of redlining, the Community Reinvestments Act, the implied guarantees and bloated balance sheets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the corruption of Frankin Raines, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd and the profligate ways of the Fed when they lament their plight or the current state of the real estate market? Does the left "demonize the other side"? Does the left attempt to deny the right's 1st amendment rights? Does academia share in the blame for a student's huge loans? This is not a "movement". This is an astroturfed, staged side-show paid for by your own special interests and a Whitehouse desperate to be re-elected. These "protestors" are simply attempting to get Obama re-elected, as is the media.
BucsLehboy October 07, 2011 at 03:13 PM
These idiots fail to realize the banks paid back their bailout money and the US Govt profited. If banks and banking are part of the argument wasnt it Barney, Fannie, Freddie that gave loans to people who had no business getting them?

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