Jul 30, 2014

The Story of a 99 Percenter

At Occupy Walnut Creek protest, a regular from Concord explains his problem with banks.

The Story of a 99 Percenter The Story of a 99 Percenter

"I intend to be here as long as it takes to get some change," said Dan Ruxin of Concord on the 33rd Wednesday afternoon of Occupy Walnut Creek protests downtown.

Walnut Creek has one of the longer regularly scheduled Occupy protests in Northern California — perhaps the longest one that is unaccompanied by a record of arrests.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon (an hour after the usual start time), 10 protesters were out at Mount Diablo Boulevard and Main Street to protest inequities in our society.

Ruxin, 54, has a particular beef with banks. Foreclosure was staring his family in the face last December when they decided to sell their Walnut Creek house at a big loss and move into a rental in Concord. The bank refused to budge on the terms of the loan even as he explained his disability, with seven brain operations to correct hydrocephalus (water on the brain), Ruxin said.

The operations install and adjust ventricle peritoneal shunts that move water from his brain to his abdomen. Without the shunts, he suffers from altered gait, incontinence, short-term memory deficit and seizures because of hydrocephalus, Ruxin said.

Ruxin, an Air Force veteran, has service-connected disability benefits and a pension from a former job as a respiratory therapist.

On Wednesday afternoon, he alternated carrying three protest signs: "Spank Big Banks — Join Credit Unions," "I Don't Mind You Being Rich ... I Mind You Buying My Government" and "Cannabis is Medicine; Let States Regulate."

When he heard of the Occupy Walnut Creek protests starting last October, Ruxin showed up. He liked the idea of a broad movement with multiple messages, including the call for bank reform in the wake of federal government bailouts.

"Banks should not be able to gamble with people's money," Ruxin said.

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