Thursday, November 3, 2011

Espaillat and Rodriguez to lead march from northern Manhattan to OWS Monday

They're going from the top to the bottom to support the bottom 99%.

The press conference was held outside an abandoned building
to highlight the inequality between the economic classes.
Local elected officials and leaders from various communities joined labor union representatives and grassroots activists in Washington Heights today to announce an 11-mile march to connect New York’s communities with the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

The “End to End for 99%” march – to be held on Monday, Nov. 7th starting at 10:30 am – will start at 181st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue and work south through Manhattan on its way to Zuccotti Park, where it will join Occupy Wall Street protesters in solidarity.

“Our communities have been devastated by the economic assault on middle class and poor families, even as Wall Street has enjoyed a historic financial bonanza,” said State Senator Adriano Espaillat.

Jump below for the full story.
Espaillat, it should be noted, is in a unique position. A heavy portion of his district consists of working middle class neighborhoods, but he also has some of Riverdale and the Upper West Side, two of the richest neighborhoods in New York City (He does not represent Fieldston, however, which has a lot of 1%ers).

“We are marching together because we want to stand up for the 99% who have been left behind in this economy and build a stronger society that works for all Americans, not just the select few,” he said.

Espaillat added that there are 70,000 millionaires in New York City.

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez said the government needs to stop balancing the budget on the backs of the working class.

"When we march on Monday, we're marching for jobs, we're marching for affordable housing, we’re marching for a millionaire's tax. On Monday we are marching to let the city know that the 99% in Northern Manhattan are calling for justice.”

Jeff Smith, a Washington Heights resident who has been spending his time in Zuccotti Park, highlighted the “human microphone” feature of Occupy Wall Street, which helps relay messages throughout the park. He said the "human microphone" is a metaphor for the message protesters are sending, saying they collectively “have a power, overall, as a megaphone,” to send a message to the government that will start to change the conversations about the 99%.

Shady characters were coming in and out of this shack,
which led into anabandoned building, during the press conference.
New Yorkers from all walks of life will join the march at various points in its 11-mile route. The march will culminate in a solidarity protest at Zuccotti Park, where activists have been gathered to call for fundamental reform of the country’s economic policies.
"Profits and CEO pay are up on Wall Street and in corporate board rooms, but the recession hasn’t ended in our neighborhoods or in working class communities across America," said Wilfredo Larancuent, a leader in the Working Families Party, and in Workers United. “We need to stand together. We are the 99%."

The press conference announcing the march was held in front of an abandoned apartment building on 182nd Street in Washington Heights, which has become a symbol of blight and despair in the community. As the presser was going on, a handful of shady-looking people were walking in and out of the building.
So creepy.

The march announcement was joined by various local non-profit groups who are supporting the Occupy Wall Street Movement, including United NY, New York Communities for Change Project, NAACP, Alianza Dominican, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, Manhattan Community Board 12, Centro Altragracia, and many others.

In addition to demonstrating unity with Occupy Wall Street protesters, march participants will call for a millionaire’s tax, more equitable healthcare and education funding, a robust jobs bill, and progressive solutions to the challenges facing our country.

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