LOS ANGELES (CBS) — After nearly three hours of public comment dominated by Occupy Los Angeles demonstrators, the City Council voted Wednesday to support the movement calling attention to what activists say is a growing gap between the nation’s rich and poor.
The resolution sponsored by Councilmen Richard Alarcon and Bill Rosendahl supports the “peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by `Occupy Los Angeles.”‘
An amendment by Councilman Paul Krekorian also thanked Los Angeles police for handling the demonstrations in a professional way.
Dozens activists who have been camping on the lawn of City Hall for the past 10 days addressed the council. Despite the resolution, many verbally attacked the lawmakers, accusing them of being allied with big banks and of perpetuating inequality.
Part of the resolution calls for accelerating a “responsible banking” ordinance in which banks would be scored based on the number of home loan modifications accommodated, the number and location of branches and how they contribute to affordable housing.
The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Central City Association object to that idea.
The participants describe themselves as “99 percent” – a term they say refers to Americans struggling to pay bills while the income gap between the rich and the middle class widens.
“This is about scaring the people who are running the show into listening to us, dealing with us in a positive way, and sitting down with us,” Las Vegas resident Bill Fisher told CBS2’s Kirk Hawkins.