Occupy San Diego Begins Civic Center Occupation

By Chris Chan
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 10:16 AM PDT
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With camp tents, food stations and clinics, locals who have gathered at the Civic Center downtown said their determined to make a change.

With camp tents, food stations and clinics, locals who have gathered at the Civic Center downtown said their determined to make a change.

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The San Diego version of Occupy Wall Street began to occupy the Civic Center in its second day of protest, Saturday. 

The protesters of Occupy San Diego established their camp in the central courtyard and vowed to stay as long as they can.

Some 400 to 500 people marched to the Civic Center Saturday afternoon, shouting and airing their frustration with the current financial and political system. 

Oceanside resident Christina Baes called for campaign finance reform, focusing on politicians who take money from corporations.  

Baes had lost her job in the food distribution industry two years ago and subsequently lost her home. Her daughter, a recent graduate, asked her for a ride to the protests on Friday, but they both stayed overnight.

"I was supposed to bring her here but stayed because everyone's here, grandmothers, grandfathers, single mothers and lots of kids who are very smart but they don't have jobs," Baes said.

Her daughter Kimberly Baes, who graduated from Temple University, heard about the protests and decided to volunteer.  "I have a journalism degree.  I'm passionate about this. Let me help you in this way," she told organizers.  Kimberly Baes used Facebook, Twitter and live streaming video to broadcast from the media center.

Infrastructure for a prolonged stay of the protesters had been established.

Not only was there a media center, other posts were established, such as a food station and a clinic.

A sanitation committee has been established to deal with the more mundane needs.

Just about 40 to 50 camping tents popped up to create small city.  One was owned by Escondido residents Amanda Blacker and Sthephen Deagle. The two are engaged to be married in a year and gave up their comfortable beds to sleep on the hard ground in the Civic Center.  

"We're giving up all these things to make sure that other people's lives are better," said Blacker, "I feel like they've given up so many things already because of Wall Street."

While they both have jobs, only Blacker will return to work. Deagle will remain to protest.  

"This is just one of the few options left for someone who wants to make change today, unfortunately," said Blacker. "I don't know if this is going to do anything but hopfully it will."

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