AUSTIN (KXAN) - More than three weeks after demonstrators launched the Occupy Wall Street movement, the protest headed to Austin on Thursday.
Protesting what they call corporate greed and corruption, people gathered at Austin City Hall Thursday morning. It's all part of the larger Wall Street "occupation."
"Enough is enough. Somebody's got to pay. Somebody's always go to pay," said Cesar Fuentez, with Occupy Austin. "Whenever you have a bad turn of event in a company, somebody has to pay. The same thing here, but nobody sees a pay. The partners just switch around. The players just switch around. It's the same game. The game has to change. We have to change the game."
Occupy Austin supporter Jonathan Cronin said the rally is "virtually unprecedented."
More than 4,000 people have said they are attending the "occupation" via the group's Facebook page . And while the rally kicked off with a seemingly slow start Thursday morning, it quickly grew outside City Hall.
Group organizers have said the protest will be peaceful. Still, there are extra officers on hand, as was Austin Fire Department Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr.
"The bottom line is the police department will be there to protect your rights as Americans," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.
"Making sure the people are safe and making sure the people's First Amendment right to free speech is being protected and making sure there is nobody there trying to take advantage of the situation and cause a problem for Austin," said Acevedo.
Occupy Austin organizers said the occupation of City Hall will be a 24/7 effort.
"This is a long-haul movement to fundamentally reconfigure the political process toward the advantage of the people," said Cronin.
However, demonstrators will not be allowed to camp at City Hall. They said they will rotate people in and out, allowing those who need a break to rest at a camp being set up on private land in East Austin.
"We think real change happens in the streets," Cronin.
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