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Labor, Occupy protesters march through downtown LA on Tax Day

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A march that an organizer said was for "calling out corporate tax dodgers" took place in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon, drawing hundreds of demonstrators from mostly service unions and fair labor organizations. 

"As you know, today is Tax Day," said Refugio Mata, a spokesperson for Good Jobs L.A. "Today I think is a turning point. Sometimes average people pay 30, 35 percent and people like Mitt Romney pay 15 percent. We just want a future for our kids."

The organization seeks to raise awareness of what has been dubbed the "Buffett rule," an initiative which was blocked by the Senate yesterday. They also support an initiative backed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would raise the sales tax and state income tax, according to Mata.

Demonstrators, which numbered in the hundreds, began their march in Bank of America Plaza, winding their way through Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank tower before ending up near 6th and Figueroa. Members of Occupy L.A., the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Good Jobs L.A. were scheduled to be among the march's participants.

Rosa Villa, a janitor in the ARCO Towers, said she was there for her co-workers — and herself

"Because you know I got grandkids in college," said Villa. "That's it, that's the reason why I am here. To see, to have my kids in college."

Chants of "Si Se Puede!" and the screech of blowhorns caused cafe-goers and some bank employees to stare — and pull out their iPhones. 

The protest caused serious traffic delays and rolling street closures.

"We're surrounded by buildings that were built by union labor," said Jeffrey Froehlich, an organizer with the United Service Workers Union. "These [the marchers] are the folks that take care of bankers' buildings after hours. Make them look good, make them nice for the next day. We need living conditions, that's what we need."

The tactics the group was planning to employ include dropping banners from overpasses and engaging drivers at downtown intersections this morning, holding a rally in Pershing Square and gathering signatures for the initiative from last-minute tax filers at the Los Angeles Airport Post Office. 

The Senate fell nine votes short Monday of the 60 needed to continue debate on the "Buffett rule," which would force the nation's top earners to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. Opponents have called it a gimmick that won't create jobs or address the budget deficit.

With contributions by KPCC wire services

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