by Bay City News
Occupy Martinez held its second demonstration late this afternoon -- this time drawing a crowd of over 100 compared to just six demonstrators during the group's first event on Monday.
Members of local organized labor and political groups gathered for the protest in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement at 4:30 p.m. today on sidewalks near the intersection of Alhambra and Walnut avenues.
By 5 p.m., about 75 demonstrators were in attendance, most holding signs with slogans such as "People Before Profits" and "Invest in Me", while others chanted, "We are the 99 percent!"
Martinez resident Robin Martini, 28, was among the demonstrators at Occupy Martinez this evening, chatting with fellow protesters with her sleeping four-month-old daughter strapped to her chest.
Martini said she was inspired to help bring people together for a local Occupy event after regularly attending Occupy Oakland demonstrations in recent weeks, and thought it was time to create a similar outlet closer to home.
"I'm doing this for her," she added, gesturing to her infant daughter.
Dozens of local labor unions members were also at the rally, including several members of Public Employees Union Local 1, which represents Contra Costa County public employees.
For Local 1 representative Frank Mata, 59, who joined many of his fellow union members during the demonstration in Martinez this evening, Occupy Wall Street coincides with union members' ongoing contract negotiations with the county.
"They want us to pay more for our health and retirement benefits...the people at the top aren't being asked to contribute to any of these," he said.
Occupy Martinez organizers said they have not yet planned their next event, but expect to hold a rally in front of the Bank of America in downtown Martinez in the coming weeks.