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Wall Street Movement Puts Spotlight on New Canaan

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – About 100 protesters, including a busload of about 30 from New York City, brought the Occupy Wall Street movement to New Canaan on Saturday afternoon in a loud but peaceful rally outside the home of General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt.

“We are the 99 percent, we are the 99 percent!” the protesters shouted, led by June Benjamin, of the UAW in Stamford and a member of the Connecticut Working Families Party, which organized the rally. She urged on the crowd, aided by a bullhorn.

“What do we want?” Benjamin asked.

“Jobs!” shouted the protesters.

“When do we want them,” Benjamin screamed.

“Now, now!” shouted the protesters, most of whom carried placards, too.

Another chant “Hey, ho, corporate greed has got to go,” also fired up the crowd.

Slogans such as “Stop Exporting U.S. Jobs,” “Fight the Attack on the Middle Class,” and “We are Occupy Wall Street … and We’ll Be Back” were printed on signs.

In what organizers believe is the first Occupy Wall Street protest in Fairfield County, the independent political group held the protest at Immelt's home to draw attention to what it calls Fairfield-based GE's "corporate greed" and indifference to "ordinary working Americans" by eliminating 19,000 jobs during the past few years.

The protestors, surrounded by New Canaan police, tried ringing Immelt’s doorbell bell outside his gated West Road mansion. There was no answer, but the protesters were ready.

“He won’t’ answer, so we’re leaving a little message for him,” Jon Green, director of Connecticut Working Families, told the cheering crowd as he placed a large placard outside the gate with a letter asking, “Do you want to know what life is life for struggling families in Connecticut? Will you commit yourself to creating jobs, and not destroying them?

“We are the 99 percent. And no matter how hard you try to pretend we don’t matter, we don’t even exist, we will not be ignored,” the letter concludes.

Look later today for a more extensive story on the protest on our websites.

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