McALLEN — Close to 200 protesters took to the streets here Thursday to voice their discontent over the financial situation facing the nation.
“They got bailed out; we got sold out,” the protesters shouted at the Occupy McAllen demonstration, lamenting the federal government’s rescue of the banking sector during the financial crisis of 2008.
The protesters met at Archer Park and marched around the McAllen Chamber of Commerce before making their way to the Chase Tower and back to the park for an evening of chanting and voicing opinions.
Jose Chapa, one of the organizers, said the protest was in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has gained nationwide support.
The Occupy McAllen protesters are trying to raise awareness of a broken financial system, but they don’t have a set agenda or a specific goal other than to let individuals voice their discontent, Chapa said. After the protest, the organizers said they would brainstorm future events.
At the event, Mary Scully voiced her opinion and waved her signs demanding something be done about the economy.
“I have been protesting since 1966,” Scully said. “I have been involved in every movement from the anti-war movements to the civil rights and immigration movements.”
Despite protesting for most of her adult life, Scully feels confident in the Occupy Wall Street movement not only because of the sheer number of protesters in New York and other cities, but also because they have the support of labor unions.
“These are not just kids protesting,” she said. “Now you are messing with the big leagues.”
Support for the Occupy McAllen demonstration was not universal.
“Only in this country can you have a poor person go to Harvard and become a U.S. president; only in this country can you have a poor person drop out of school, start a computer company and after passing away at the age of 56 be considered one of the most influential people,” said John Morton, referring, respectively, to President Barack Obama and late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. “This is the land of opportunity, and sadly the change they are calling for decreases those opportunities.”
Ildefonso Ortiz covers law enforcement and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at 956-683-4437
CORRECTION: This is a corrected version of the story. An earlier version misspelled President Barack Obama's first name.