October 14, 2011
New York, NY – Organizers at Occupy Wall Street are claiming victory this morning, Oct. 14, as City Hall backed down on its threat to clear out Zuccotti Park, supposedly for ‘cleaning.’ Zuccotti Park is the center of the protest movement. More than 7000 protesters, many with brooms and scrub brushes, packed Zuccotti Park to overflowing at 6:00 a.m. for the general assembly. An announcement was then made that Mayor Bloomberg backed down on his threats and a cheer rose up through the crowd as news spread from person to person that protesters would stay in the park.
New York City authorities will not allow Occupy Wall Street protesters to use microphones or bullhorns, claiming they are a public nuisance. So protesters use a human microphone system, the old ‘call and response’ where the crowd repeats each speaker’s words to be heard by all.
People in the crowd held signs reading, “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” and “They say cut back, we say fight back!” One protester held a sign, “NYPD protects the rich.”
After the general assembly, a group of 500 protesters broke away to City Hall Park on a victory march. Construction workers in high-rise buildings cheered the students and youth on. The young people arrived at City Hall chanting, “Hey, ho, Bloomberg’s got to go!” and “Hey, ho, corporate greed has got to go!” The police arrested six protesters during the march and people are working to get them released.
Tracy Molm, of Students for a Democratic Society, said, “There are thousands of students and young people here protesting Wall Street. The problem is right here, right now. The problem is the 1%. The 1% are the cause of the wars and occupations overseas. The 1% and their corporations are the reason there is an economic crisis, a housing crisis, a health care crisis and an education crisis. The 1% is the problem. We are here to fix it!”
The Occupy Wall Street movement was joined to defend their park this morning by large numbers of union members from the Transit Workers Union, United Auto Workers, Service Employees International Union and the Communication Workers of America. The movement is now nationwide and rumblings are being felt in other movements. There is a call for people to gather on Saturday morning, Oct. 15, to defend Zuccotti Park again.