Protests and actions inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement proliferated around New York City this weekend one week after thousands of demonstrators made headlines around the world by taking over Times Square. While none of these actions had the size or the drama of the convergence on Times Square, they underscored how the movement's reach across New York has grown well beyond the movement's base camp at Liberty Plaza.
On Friday, hundreds of protesters marched on the 28th police precinct in Harlem to voice their opposition to the NYPD's “stop-and-frisk” policy. Thirty-two people were arrested after blocking the entrance to the precinct building including Princeton professor and activist Cornel West. In 2010, the NYPD recorded more than 600,000 stop-and-frisks. Black and Latino males are subject to 85 percent of these searches though only a small number lead to criminal charges or a summons.
Labor unionists and folk musicians were also on the march Friday. More than 500 unionized Verizon workers who struck for two weeks in August and their OWS supporters rallied outside Verizon headquarters in Lower Manhattan late Friday afternon and then marched to Liberty Plaza and then on down to the Stock Exchange, or at least as close as they could get. Later on Friday evening, legendary 92-year old folk singer Pete Seeger led a crowd of 1,000 people on a march through the Upper West Side from the Symphony Space on West 95th St. to Columbus Circle where he and other musicians including his grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger and Arlo Guthrie led the crowd in singing “We Shall Overcome”. During the march to Columbus Circle, the younger Seeger “walked among the protesters playing songs...and others enlivened the night protest with the sounds of the accordion, banjos, and guitars,” according to one report.
Friday night also saw 500 parents and children camp out at Liberty Plaza in an area specially cordoned off for them. Activities included a sing-along, art projects, pizza, a bedtime story, even meditation. For more, see this report from Jessica Samakow of HuffPost. The event was organized by Parents for Occupy Wall Street.
Here are some of the actions that went off on Saturday:
*Hundreds of people marched from Union Square through Lower Manhattan as a part of the annual October 22 protest against police brutality.
*100 protesters - including 30 who took the bus up from Occupy Wall Street - rallied outside the New Canaan, CT home of General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. Immelt has overseen layoffs of thousand of workers since the beginning of the recession and currently pulls down $21 million per year. He is also the head of President Obama's “Jobs Council.”
*Occupy The Bronx held its second General Assembly on Saturday at Fordham Plaza. Before the Assembly, Sisters and Brothas United a Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition led a teach-in. The group's Facebook page now has more than 700 followers...There are also growing Occupy groups in Brooklyn and Queens and on all the subways in between.