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Occupy DC Protesters Continue Rallying

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More than a hundred Occupy DC protesters gathered in McPherson Square Saturday.
Matt Laslo
More than a hundred Occupy DC protesters gathered in McPherson Square Saturday.

Occupy D.C. is going full swing in the District. More than 100 protesters gathered in McPherson Square Saturday.

People came out rallying against corporate greed and political corruption in D.C. and on Wall Street. Some protesters say they're willing to stay for as long as it takes -- until CEOs agree to change their practices. That means their marches and demonstrations may go on for few more weeks. But, the protesters, now in their eighth day of K Street NW occupation, are responding to criticism.

The common thread of all these protestors seems to be frustration. They feel blocked out of the political process by wealthy interests, and they don't think politicians are listening to their needs. But they've faced criticism that they don't have a straightforward set of demands.

Protestor Bill Beard of Illinois says there's a little bit of truth in the criticism.

"I think that's a big problem," he says. "We need to take it one topic at a time. And I think what we should focus on to begin with is the lobbyists in Congress because that's not democracy. That's something else -- to have somebody coming in and bribing people. That's bad for everyone because the interests of the mass majority, the 99%, of the middle class people isn't being represented because we don't have lobbyists."

The group is laying down some grievances this weekend, which could help focus their appeals, and perhaps help distinguish them from another nearby protest, the "Stop the Machine" demonstration in Freedom Plaza. Members of that group were pepper sprayed this weekend after trying to force their way into the National Air and Space Museum. 

Members of the Occupy DC movement want to make it clear they are not aligned with the Stop the Machine group. Many media outlets aren’t distinguishing between the two, possibly because of a number similarities such as  goals that aren't clearly defined, the Occupy DC activists say.

Leon Jackson of Occupy DC says he hopes the list of grievances will help portray a more unified message to the public.

"Writing down grievances is good, especially with a large group of people that we have," he says. "Because the numbers keep getting stronger every single day and we want everybody’s voice to be heard as much as possible." Protestors say they’re sticking it out until the powers that be listen to their demands, even if those demands still aren’t clear. 

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