Following the lead of "Occupy Wall Street," demonstrators in Oakland and Berkeley rallied in the rain Monday against widespread unemployment and what they call corporate greed.
The Oakland demonstration drew about 500 people to Frank Ogawa Plaza in misty, cloudy conditions downtown.
Tatiana Fu- aau, a 21-year-old Oakland resident and junior at St. Mary's College of California, was one of the younger protesters. She said she was disappointed that more young people didn't join the gathering, despite the Columbus Day holiday.
"I think (protests like these) are part of an effective strategy, but at the end of the day, a rally like this isn't enough because everyone is coming together for the same cause so it doesn't change anything systemically," Fuaau said.
In Berkeley, about 35 demonstrators were out in the rain in front of a downtown Bank of America branch for the Occupy Berkeley gathering. People carried soggy signs about class warfare and economic inequity, but like the gathering in Oakland, the rally was peaceful and no arrests were made.
Mary Ann Uribe, a retired Berkeley attorney, said she came out to support the protester's message "that 99 percent of the people are being controlled by 1 percent of the wealthy is absolutely true. It's great to see people organized on this issue and say, 'we're not going to put up with this anymore.' "
Monday's protests followed the Occupy San Francisco demonstration in front of
Organizers announced another protest at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Locust Street in Walnut Creek and said that would be followed by a second one a week later.
Since the protest started on Wall Street on Sept. 17, protesters have also rallied in other large cities, including Portland, Ore.; Boston; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; and Jacksonville, Fla.
They call themselves the "99 percent" -- referring to what they claim are the vast number of Americans struggling to get by while the income gap between the rich and middle class widens. People have set up tents, cooked food together, played music, and in some cases been arrested in their support for the call for fundamental nationwide change.
Staff writer Doug Oakley contributed to this report.