By Brian R. Ballou and John R. Ellement, Boston Globe Staff
About 100 people are marching through downtown Boston this morning as part of the Occupy Boston protest.
Accompanied by Boston Police officers who stopped traffic at key intersections, the protesters first gathered in the city’s Financial District this morning and then marched to the State House where they stood on the steps, chanting slogans and holding signs.
Some of the signs included “capitalism is organized crime” and “where’s my golden parachute?”
Most of the protesters appeared to be in their 20s. As they walked through the streets they called out to passersby.
“We are the 99 percent,” one group would shout.
“So are you,’’ another group shouted in response.
During the walk, a handful of people apparently heading to work, briefly joined the protest. One woman handed over to the marchers the cookies she had made for co-workers.
The group, called Occupy Boston , is inspired by Occupy Wall Street, a demonstration entering its third week in Manhattan’s Financial District that led to the arrest of 700 people Saturday on charges of blocking the Brooklyn Bridge. The effort has spread to dozens of communities nationwide, with tens of thousands of people participating.
In Boston, the protests had been building for several days, and on Friday swelled to about 1,000 in Dewey Square. Police arrested 24 people on trespassing charges when they refused to leave the Bank of America building nearby.
The demonstration, largely fueled by social media, is aimed at calling attention to what protesters call the ‘‘bottom 99 percent’’ of America who are hammered by rising costs for education, housing, and health care.
John R. Ellement can be reached at email@example.com.
A couple hundred demonstrators remained in downtown L.A. Sunday as the ongoing protest dubbed "Occupy Los Angeles" began to settle in outside City Hall.
Protesters set up about 30 tents along with a makeshift library, first aid tent, food tent, and generator-powered media tent that hosts a number of computer stations.
The event began Saturday morning as a crowd of nearly 1,000 marched down Broadway to City Hall, chanting "We are the 99 percent," and holding signs that called for everything from class war to global peace.
As the night progressed, protesters were asked to leave City Hall's lawn, but remained in front of the building.
"Unfortunately city parks close at 10:30 p.m.," said Callie Little, one of those who stayed overnight. "So we moved the entire operation to the sidewalks."
Demonstrators and their tents were allowed back on the lawn at 5:00 a.m. Sunday morning.
Organizers of this weekend's protests say they've set up a whole series of teams– including a security, sanitation, general assembly, facilitation, and a crafts team to create banners and schedule music and events.
Little is on the finance team. On Sunday, she sat behind a plastic table welcoming new initiates into the camp.
"We're sort of the hybrid welcome center and donation center," she said. "When people come who are new, that are off the street, they'll kind of come here and be like, 'Well, what do I do?"
It's Little's job to find them a place to go and to take donations of food, medical supplies and cash.
By Sunday afternoon, demonstrators had formed clusters across the City Hall lawn, some discussing politics, others holding CPR and other classes, many just taking in the sun.
Michael Ulrich, an educator who spent Sunday in front of City Hall next to a handmade sign reading "Teachers are pissed," said he decided to come out and join the demonstration after seeing the protests on New York's Wall Street.
"Over the past few years I've been feeling more and more abused, I guess," he said. "It's just really exciting to see people fed up to the point they've had enough. They don't care anymore. They're willing to go to jail. That's a powerful thing."
Steven Laux, one of those who patrolled the ground on Saturday night as part of the security team, said his team is working with police to make sure their protest remains peaceful.
"I think things went as well or better than any one could have hoped for. It was very quiet," he said of Saturday night's events. "There's been a little tension around the grass – where we can sleep exactly, but after a day it's been fine. We'll see how things go tonight."