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Updated Oct 2, 2013 - 9:04 pm

Group protests government shutdown in downtown Phoenix

Protester John Curran is part of "Organizing for Action," a non-profit social welfare organization. While the organization is officially non-partisan, it tends to reflect the agendas and policies of the Democratic party. (KTAR Photo/Bob McKay)

PHOENIX -- It was high noon today when approximately one dozen protesters took to the streets outside the Social Security Office in downtown Phoenix.

"We're against the shutdown of the government, and we want to see it reopened as fast as possible," said John Curran, a team leader for the group "Organizing for Action."

He blames Republicans for the shutdown.

"If you read the polls, the polls say that the Republicans are the most to blame," Curran explained. "They had the best path not to go down this road."

Volunteer Lib Barry thinks some politicians are happy about the shutdown.

"They seem quite giddy. When we see them on TV, they look very happy. They give a thumbs up," said Barry. "There doesn't seem to be a lot of concern from some of these people about what's happening to the people of our country as a result of this."

Volunteer Jessica James says the shutdown may ruin the start of her friend's marriage.

"I have a girlfriend who was supposed to be getting married in the Grand Canyon this weekend, and it's not happening because it's closed," James said. "She has people flying in from all over the country to come be a part of her wedding. She's freaking out."

The protesters call the shutdown "reckless" and say Americans expect more from their elected officials.

Curran had this advice for the politicians in Washington.

"Get over the partisanship, and get over the bickering," he said. "Let's get on with the business of the country, which is jobs and the economy."

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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