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Occupy Wall Street Marches After Last Float In Rose Parade

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PASADENA (CBS) — About 5,000 Occupy demonstrators marched along the Rose Parade route Monday as part of their ongoing effort to effect governmental change and to call attention to the roles big corporations play in economic problems that ultimately effect middle and lower class Americans.

As the demonstration got under way, the group got a few boos from crowds lining the streets for the parade, which started at 8 a.m., but mostly cheers were heard coming from the curb.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports.

The loosely organized group, which has spread across the nation to some other countries, grew out of a Wall Street protest started in New York City this past fall.

The group, about three blocks long and escorted by police, started gathering on Orange Grove Boulevard shortly after 9 a.m., with about 100 people holding a block-long replica of the Bill of Rights.

Near the rear of the group was an octopus made of Cellophane and plastic garbage bags, symbolizing the tentacles of corporate greed. It was flanked by a display of cardboard houses with “foreclosure” written on them.

Among the demonstrators was a brass band, playing the national anthem and “The Mexican Hat Dance.”

The chant “We are the 99 percent” reverberated over the strains of marching bands in the official parade.

Many demonstrators carried signs that played on the parade’s theme “Imagine,” reminiscent of the John Lennon song. One said “Just Imagine No War.” Another: “Imagine No Greed.”

The demonstrators had their own “safety” guards — at least 100 of them in lime-green vests labeled “99,” who said they were there to help diffuse any problems along the parade route.

The loosely organized group apparently chose the parade because of the potential to get publicity, but it was unclear how much time broadcasters would give to demonstrators after filling the morning with official Rose Parade coverage.

Pasadena police agreed to the demonstration and to allow amplifiers or bullhorns, but required it to start after the last float and behind police escorts.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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