Hundreds turn out for 'Occupy Cleveland' event downtown

Group camps out in city

CLEVELAND - Demonstrators protesting against Wall Street brought their rally cry to downtown Cleveland on Thursday. The event is called "Occupy Cleveland," and is an off-shoot of the rallies on Wall Street and other big cities across the country.

The event to protest corporate greed started at the Free Stamp before moving Thursday night to Public Square.

Jacob Wagner is one the facilitators for the event. He said they plan to assemble each day, with a large event on Saturday at Public Square.

"We are trying to get the people's voice heard voice again," Wagner said. "To get people to not be afraid to speak out against something that is clearly wrong."

Susan Shueler lost her job as a graphic designer two years ago. She held a sign at the gathering, saying "If no us, who? If not now, when?"

"We'll I figure if I'm not holding this sign now, I figure the next one will be ‘Will work for food' on a street corner somewhere," Shueler said.

Eileen Matias summed up her situation in one sentence: "If I had a job, I wouldn't be here." She lost her job, and then her house in Akron.

"All we want are good jobs, good pay, so we can buy the things that we need, so we can have a sustainable life," Matias said.

The event's Facebook page said between 800 and a thousand people were supposed to show up on Thursday, but about 200 people went to the event.

The group ended their protest at 10 p.m. Thursday in order to be in compliance with a city ordinance.  A handful said they were spending the night on a sidewalk outside the Higbee Building with additional protests planned for the morning.

Around 10:30 p.m., Cleveland police told the group and news crews to move off of private property to an area on Public Square.

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