Day after eviction, protesters occupy the city
by Heather Senison
Nov 22, 2011 | 727 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Numaan Alsram, of Fort Greene, speaks to the crowd at the OWS meet up near Brooklyn Borough Hall.
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Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters held rallies around the city on Wednesday, November 16, after police kicked them out of their encampment in Zuccotti Park in the middle of the night.

Among the areas they assembled were in the courtyard near Brooklyn Borough Hall and in front of 92-10 Roosevelt Avenue in Elmhurst. The Elmhurst group assembled briefly before boarding trains to attend an evening rally in Foley Square.

Protesters also gathered near Yankee Stadium and another location in the Bronx, two places in Staten Island, on Grove and Stuydam Streets in Brooklyn, and in Jamaica, Queens.

More than 50 people met at Brooklyn Borough Hall, where protesters repeated speaker’s statements word for word while nearby police kept a watchful eye on the crowd.

Discussions about the protests dominated conversations throughout the city on Wednesday, and “we are the 99 percent” chants could be heard echoing through underground subway stations.

As is common in the movement, people from various backgrounds came to the Borough Hall rally and some also brought their children. Several said that although they would rather not get arrested, like the reported 250 who were between the Zuccotti Park raid and the demonstrations that morning, they would be willing to do so.

Carl Wakower, a 76-year-old Park Slope resident, said he came to the Borough Hall rally to show his faith in the movement. He joined OWS the first Saturday after protesters began occupying Zuccotti Park on September 17.

“Although it’s not exclusively a young people’s movement,” Wakower said, “I see it primarily as a young people’s movement. And I see promise and I see it alerting society to what the problems really are.”

Wakower worked in the New York City public school system for 40 years.

“The problem that I see happening is privatization; it’s money over everything,” he said. “For instance, in the public school system, which I was very invested in my whole life, I see it being destroyed now.

“They’re closing public schools, and its all for money,” he said.

Wakower said in addition to “more power to the people,” his priority outcome from the movement would “to get money out of politics. I think if we could do that we would be in a much better path.”

Sergio Castillo, who came from Los Angeles to participate in OWS, spoke to the crowd, while they repeated all of his statements.

“I am here,” he said, “because I object to the corporate oligarchy that has destroyed the economic system of this country. I object to corporations being considered people.”

He said the economic system is failing the majority of the American population.

“We can’t get jobs, we can’t afford health care, many of us are in debt and there is no light at the end of this tunnel,” Castillo said. “So we are united because we have a fundamental objection to this system.”

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