By Catherine Garcia For the Daily Facts
Posted: 11/05/2011 05:06:06 PM PDT

REDLANDS – An estimated 70 protesters with Occupy Redlands marched around the Bank of America downtown on Saturday afternoon, carrying signs and passing out brochures with information on how to switch to credit unions.

Saturday was the so-called “Bank Transfer Day,” an event created by an art gallery owner in Los Angeles named Kristen Christian. The goal of this national effort was to get people to move their money from big banks to credit unions.

“Today is a National Day of Action, and the idea is we can weaken these banks that have so much influence on the economy and politics in this country,” said Sean McDuffee, an Occupy Redlands committee member.

According to McDuffee, the response Saturday was encouraging.

“There were a couple people giving positive feedback as we gave out brochures,” he said. “We’ve had wide public support and very few hecklers so far.”

There was also a strong showing by first-time participants.

“I would say there are at least 25 new faces out here today,” McDuffee said.

The group marched around the Bank of America several times, chanting, “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out.” and “This is what democracy looks like,” before making their way to Orange Street and Redlands Boulevard.

There the protesters waved signs with such messages as “Honk If You Are the 99%,” and cheered when drivers passing by hit their horns, some multiple times.

Several of the protesters said they came out because of a desire to bring attention to people who are hurting because of the recession.

“I have met a lot who are homeless, have lost their jobs or homes, and I want to do something about it,” said Pastor Mark Ruybalid of Cherry Valley. “This movement is committed. We are spending lots of resources on war, and it should be spent on helping people in this country. I believe it is possible.”

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