LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A movement that began primarily as a protest against corporate greed and corruption has become a nationwide phenomenon that has sprouted hundreds of groups in California alone, according to a new study released Thursday.

The latest incarnation debuted in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday as “Occupy ICE”, which organizers said is aimed at bringing scrutiny to the recent arrests and deportations of illegal immigrants around the city as well as alleged attacks on organized labor.

Nearly 150 “occupations” have been started in the state since the movement first took root as “Occupy Wall Street” in September, researchers at UC Riverside said.

The working group’s study, titled “Diffusion of the Occupy Movement in California,” identified 143 occupations, that are roughly evenly divided between Northern and Southern California.

The researchers used social media including Facebook and Twitter to locate movements, some of which began within days of the original Occupy Wall Street demonstration.

“When you think about the fact that Occupy Wall Street states on their website that they began on Sept. 17, that’s pretty impressive that West Coast towns — some of them medium and small — picked up on it almost immediately,” Curran-Strange said.

Occupy camps have cropped up in a number of Riverside County locations, including the city of Riverside, Temecula, Idyllwild and the Coachella Valley.

Social media sites dedicated to the protests claim up to thousands of subscribers.

The Northern California town of Arcata, a coastal community with 17,000 residents, has around 3,000 subscribers on a Facebook page established by occupiers and their supporters, according to the study.

The researchers noted that activists have a hodgepodge of socioeconomic concerns, including bank reform, foreclosure reductions, and supporting organized labor and tax hikes on the wealthy.

The growth of the occupations reflects the “depth of frustration that people feel about the recession and the austerity measures that have been taken by authorities,” the researchers said.

They added that the recent interruption that occupiers caused during a protest at the Port of Oakland shows “this movement has broad support and is capable of powerful collective action.”

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (13)
  1. Greg says:

    They protest against what’s legal, and protest for what’s illegal.

    The press needs to stop giving them coverage. 150 people, really?!!

    1. Bravo Kelo 31 says:

      Good thing its in the USA. Anywhere else the machine guns would be smoking and the entire group eliminated. These bottom feeding ILLEGAL ALIENS got the right here in the USA because my COUNTRY, the USA spilled blood to secure the right for US CITIZENS. Not wetb@cks, carpet flyers or any other ILLEGAL ALIEN.

  2. Greg says:

    Typo in my comment above…let’s just leave it at:

    They protest against what’s legal, and protest for what’s illegal.

  3. Ed Guthrie says:

    what next? robbers protesting the arrest and incarceration of robbers? when will this stupidity end? stop lending credibility to these lawbreakers who are protesting because they are facing the consequences of their illegal actions. as if ICE are the ones who have done something wrong, can you believe the audacity?

  4. icecream says:

    These illegal mongers unfortunately have US government leaders and government agencies running scared and afraid to enforce the law. Why not ignore ALL laws and see how quickly we implode.
    Why do we allow these lawbreakers to try turning this country in to the cesspool that Mexicco is ? That’s why they abandoned their pi$$-poor countries to begin with.
    Why are our political leaders being vote wh0res ?

    Why aren’t real, law-respecting Americans protesting on our behalf for a change ???

    1. Raymond says:

      It’s not that these “illegal mongers have U.S. Government Leaders & Goverment Agencies scared & afraid to enforce the Law.” It’s that these “Leaders & Agencies” sympathize with them. They (The Leaders & Agencies) are just not coming out & saying it. They realize that they have to ‘play both sides of the fence without appearing to play both sides of the fence.’ It’s called “Politics.”

      1. Mbenk says:

        Great post, sorry, but can no way litesn or watch more than 2 seconds of that video. They are brainwashing themselves!!WTH??

  5. phiilip says:

    So they do not want us to enforce our immigration laws? So we can be more like Mexico? Why don’t we ignore drunk driving laws..or domestic abuse issues? or child molestation? or prostitution? I am missing something…

    1. icecream says:

      That’s my point exactly.
      They are missing it and the politicians who are vote wh0res are missing it. It seema like YOU understand very well.
      The so-called activists don’t bother to say that Mexican immigration rules and practices are VERY harsh. They are not humane at all. But these lawless freaks want to run through OUR country recklessly, filling up our jails, prisons, hospitals, schools and welfare offices. YOU and I pay for ALL of this and they march up and down our streets protesting and demanding more from us.

      Why don’t they march up and down their own streets in their own corrupt countries ??? Because they will be abused and treated like the third-world corrupt countries are infamous for.

      Our congressional representatives need to start representing the real constituents that LEGALLY vote and pay the salaries of these congress members.

      United States citizens and Lawful residents need to start getting loud and vocal while we still have something worth protecting. I refuse to feel like I am wrong for loving MY country and wanting it an OUR people to be protected. I am NOT a racist.

      If immigrants want to be legalized, then do so legally according to OUR laws and policies. Don’t climb, swim and crawl in and then demand everything for free. Be a positive member of our society. Learn our language.
      OBEY OUR LAWS Respect our people Support this country !!!

  6. Tyler says:

    Maybe they should protest against themselves for being here illegally. We have been supporting these people for way to long. They should have no right to protest since they are part of the problems California is facing. Stop crying, pay taxes, use birth control, and stop living off the system.

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