COPY-"Occupy" protesters take to the State House grounds

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A protest group who says there is a problem with greed, government and Wall Street took their cause to the State House Saturday morning.

Around 150 protesters, calling themselves "Occupy Columbia", gathered in front of the State House at 9:00am.

"That's been the sort of beauty of this whole thing," said protester Travis Bland. "This whole Occupy movement is that everybody has their grievances and they say, 'Hey here's a forum for me to let my voice to be heard.'"

The group got its roots from the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations in New York where cries for a separation of big corporations and politics began back in September.

"They need to stay over there and handle their money with their people," said protester Sarah Parker. "Don't feed money to my president to try to get them to do what they want."

Political science experts like USC professor Dr. Robert Oldendick who have been monitoring the Occupy movement say it symbolizes the frustration of Americans on many levels. But they add the argument for change may be better steered in another direction.

"Really the problem is, and what these Occupy movements seem to be looking at is that there is too much money in politics," said Oldendick.  "And the solution to that is not on Wall Street --  it's in Washington."

Some Columbia protestors agree. While calls for change ring nationwide, experts add if political change is made, it won't happen overnight.

"To get money out of politics involves campaign finance reform and as we've seen in the past couple of years it's been going in the opposite direction," said Dr. Oldendick.

It is not known when the protest will end, but protest organizers say they are prepared to stay overnight if they are allowed.

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