RICHMOND (CBS SF) – Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin showed her support for the Occupy Wall Street movement Wednesday morning by marching with a group of local residents en route to Occupy Oakland’s planned general strike.

The mayor marched for about an hour alongside a group of about 30 Richmond residents who plan to meet up with Occupy Oakland protesters Wednesday to show their solidarity with their fellow East Bay activists, said Marilyn Langlois, a spokeswoman for McLaughlin.

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The group began marching toward Oakland around 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of San Pablo and Macdonald avenues in Richmond and was continuing along San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito shortly before 10 a.m.

Echoing her comments a few weeks ago in support of an Occupy Richmond event, McLaughlin said she strongly supports the nationwide movement, which has spread throughout the Bay Area in recent weeks.

The mayor said she and two other City Council members have long stood against corporate domination, refusing all corporate donations in their campaigns.

“That’s something I’ve been very much embracing for a long time—now that this movement is occurring, it lends strength to work we’ve been doing in Richmond,” McLaughlin said.

She criticized Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s heavy-handed response to the Occupy Oakland movement, but added, “I think she’s reversing herself now, and I hope she is consistent in that, because I think this movement will continue.”

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Some of the protesters marching from Richmond to Oakland this morning stressed the similarities between the two cities and the need for both communities to stand together as part of the movement.

Richmond resident Eduardo Martinez, 62, noted the high levels of foreclosures and unemployment in both cities.

“Of all the cities in the Bay Area, I believe Oakland and Richmond share the greatest burden that the 1 percent has placed on us,” said as he marched along San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito.


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