Tag Archive | "Occupy Wall Street"

High school teacher arrested for second time at Occupy Wall Street, NY Daily News

A Bronx Regional High School teacher was arrested yesterday after allegedly using a shopping cart to knock an NYPD sergeant from his scooter, says the New York Daily News.  This is the second time this month  43-year-old David Suker, an army vet, was arrested during an Occupy Wall Street protest.

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Occupy Bronx day two: Yankee Stadium just another bailout

The New York Yankees are now squarely in the sights of the Occupy Bronx protesters, who consider themselves the real “99 percent” of the non-wealthy Americans. “It doesn’t make sense to have the poorest district in the financial capital of the world right next to one of the most successful sports franchises in history,” said Maribel Vasquez, 24, of Hunts Point. Shouting slogans like, “They got bailed out, the Bronx got sold out,” Vasquez and around 50 other anti-corporate protesters gathered in Fordham Plaza on Saturday, October 22 to plan their future actions. The new Yankee stadium was built in 2009 with a price tag of over $1 billion. Its underused parking garages have been the subject of controversy ever since. The borough president’s office is looking into proposals to demolish and replace the garages with a hotel. Protesters are angry that the new stadium was partially financed by public funds, when most Bronx residents cannot afford the $70 average ticket price to attend the games. “We are tired of bailing out the rich,” said Vasquez. Bronx Assemblyman Jose Rivera, 75, addressed the meeting, drawing on lessons from the civil rights era to inspire the protesters. He likened the young protesters to Rosa Parks, who stood up for her right more than 50 years ago to keep her seat in the Birmingham, Alabama bus. “It was people like you who made the civil rights movement possible,” he said. Dr. Mark Naison, a history professor at the nearby Fordham University related the protests to his experiences from the Vietnam War era. “I teach history and also like to make history – that’s why I am here,” Naison said. The group has also found local allies. Less than a mile west of Fordham Plaza, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition rallied about 400 more residents. Among that group’s concerns were a lack of quality education, a pending living-wage bill in City Council and laws that protect tenants from landlord abuse. Last Saturday, New York police officers escorted about 30 Occupy Bronx protesters from their general assembly meeting down Fordham Road and University Avenue where they united with those gathered at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church. Together, the group of 450 or so marched in front of Chase Bank and across from the Bank of America near Valentine Avenue. The group chanted "Bank of America, bad for America” and “Chase move, get out of the way.” Another Bronx mother of four, who attended the first Occupy Bronx protest, focuses her protests around education reform. “I’m here representing Latinos, the women, my children, and the children of the Bronx,” said Eliada Helsado, 35, a poet. “The schools are disappointing because they are teaching only for the tests, not for creativity.” Veronica Feliciano,29, of Throgs Neck was concerned about public health. “Diabetes is very rampant which is not taken care of, there is high obesity here,” said Feliciano, who is due to give birth next month. “We need initiatives for supermarkets and bodegas to carry fresh food, as opposed to sugar and high fructose injected foods.” At the end of the march, a handful of protesters boarded the Number 4 Subway to join the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement downtown in Zuccotti Park. Many believed the Wall Street protesters needed to hear from Bronx residents. “The Bronx is a microcosm of what’s happening around the country, the poor stays poor while the rich keeps on getting richer,” said Frederick Fret, a union organizer with District Council 37. “That needs to change.”

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Far from Occupy Wall Street, Bronx parks wait for their own clean-up

Students clean up Aqueduct Walk Park in the Bronx. (RICHARD GAREY/BRONX INK).

There’s an old saying in real estate: “location, location, location.” The same holds true for parks. There was more proof of that last week when Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered Occupy Wall Street protestors to evacuate Zuccotti Park in order to sanitize it. But in the Bronx, parks are as dirty as ever. And no one seems to care, except the people who live there. “If Bloomberg is interested in cleaning up parks," said resident Richard Garey, an architect, “he can start in the Bronx.” Parks in the Bronx have long been neglected, leaving cleanup efforts to community based groups like The Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, where Garey volunteers. It took only 30 days of protest for the mayor to take action, announcing that protestors’ presence in Zuccotti Park “created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park,” and demanding that everyone leave the park in order for power cleaners to give it a good washing. On the other end of the city, parts of Aqueduct Park in the Bronx have been unsanitary for years. “The area continues to be neglected and poses health & safety issues,” said Garey, who leads cleanups of Aqueduct Walk Park with student volunteers, “including deteriorated guardrails, broken glass, syringes, and dirty diapers.” Aqueduct Park was founded in 1968 and runs through the Bronx and up into Westchester County. “The history of this park is rich,” said Isa Anate, 55, who lives along the aqueduct. “It follows the actual canal that provided water from the Croton River to Manhattan. “ Anate has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years. “Wouldn’t it be cool if you could play in there?” he asked a young boy playing basketball near a fenced-off section of the park. While the kids got excited at the prospect, Anate explained that that section of the park has been closed off since he moved to the neighborhood.  “It would be nice to see it put to use,” he said. A neighborhood mother would not let her kids in the park alone. “Kids cannot play in this park,” Daisy Checo, 35, said standing near a fallen guardrail wrapped in yellow caution tape. “There is too much drug use. It would be dangerous.” Last March, the NYC Parks and Recreation Department found the overall condition of Aqueduct Park unacceptable.  While 90 percent of Manhattan parks are deemed acceptably clean, only 75.4 percent of Bronx Parks pass the test. University Woods Park, once named “the city's worst park" by the New Yorkers for Parks, also has a history of unsanitary conditions and overgrown vegetation. “Nobody goes in that park,” said Celestine Tejada, 30, who lives in the neighborhood. “It’s deserted so it is probably a breeding ground for drugs and prostitution.” She went on to say if the city were to clean it up, maybe she would take her daughter there. In the end, protestors at Zuccotti Park were allowed to remain in the park. The mayor may still force protestors to leave, but if he’s really interested in clean parks, people in the Bronx think their borough should be first in line for a good cleaning.

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Total 74 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested, NY Daily News

Yesterday, 74 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested throughout the day at various marches and rallies in Times Square, Washington Square Park and Citibank. Twenty-four of those arrests came when demonstrators marched to the Citibank at 555 LaGuardia in a mass attempt to close their accounts Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters marched their message through Manhattan Saturday - and stormed into a tense confrontation with the NYPD amid the bright lights of Times Square, the New York Daily News reports. Police said 74 people in total were arrested by Saturday night as the throngs journeyed north from their Zuccotti Park base, stopping in Washington Square Park on their way to 42nd St. Twenty-four of the arrests were made when demonstrators staged a sit-in at a Citibank branch in the West Village.

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Occupy Wall Street protester takes on the South Bronx, NY Daily News

Single Occupy Wall Street became Occupy 161st St. Tuesday, with protester from the downtown movement canvassing a welfare line in the South Bronx, the New York Daily News reports. Protesters came from Zuccotti Park to the Melrose Job Center to protest New York's welfare system and rally support for the cause. Every weekday morning, hundreds of single mothers and out-of-work fathers queue up outside the Melrose welfare center, forming a despondent line that stretches three full blocks, from Morris Ave. to the Grand Concourse.

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Jobless Bronx resident joins the march on Wall Street

Jobless Bronx resident joins the march on Wall Street

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On Wednesday, the Occupy Wall Street protest got a big boost as labor unions from across the city gathered near the courthouses at Foley Square for the movement's biggest march since it started in early September. (LINDSAY MINERVA/The Bronx Ink)

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Occupy Wall Street protesters find a cause in protecting education jobs

Local education workers forged an unexpected alliance with the Occupy Wall Street protesters Tuesday, when hundreds from each group converged in front of City Hall to denounce the city’s plan to fire more than 700 school workers, many from the South Bronx, by the end of the week. It seemed an odd alliance, at first. The multiracial group of mostly middle-aged school aides and kitchen workers, wearing bright blue District Council 37 hats and green t-shirts, were fighting for their jobs. The mostly young, white Occupy Wall Street protesters, wearing just about anything, have been fighting for a broad spectrum of issues. The group that has been camped out in the financial district for 17 days is growing in numbers around wide-ranging targets such as  corporate greed, government cutbacks and Mayor Bloomberg’s policies. When the two groups joined forces, a loud cheer erupted.  “Our children are behind us,” shouted Eddy Rodriguez, president of District Council 37, the city’s largest municipal public employee union that represents parent coordinators, kitchen workers, classroom aides and other school workers. Other DC 37 leaders immediately acknowledged the potential for solidarity. “We're gonna join them down there,” said Lillian Roberts, the union’s executive director, from the stage overlooking Broadway referring to the protesters in Zuccotti Park. “Their fight is our fight.” Union officials predicted that the South Bronx would be one of the hardest areas hit by the cuts. Among the total layoffs, 46 are expected to come from Bronx schools.  Morrisania’s District 9 would lose 8 percent, and Hunts Point’s District 8 would lose 5 percent of its total school workers, a union spokesperson said. One Highbridge resident who works as a direct support assistant at Public School 73 where his three children attend said he expects to keep his job, but he’s worried about others in his school. "No teacher wants to leave a classroom dirty. They're going to pick up a broom,” said Evans Quamina, who is also president of Local 443. He was referring to the janitors in danger of losing their jobs.  “If the focus is on keeping classes clean, the kids aren't learning anything." Bronx resident Ella Arouz found out last week that she was being laid off from her job as a health aide worker at Brooklyn International High School, a position she’s held for the last 15 years. “Those are my babies,” the Nicaraguan immigrant said about her students. “I watched them grow. I helped them get glasses. I taught them to care about their health. Who will help them now?” An Occupy Wall Street protester said she understood firsthand the importance of school workers in children’s lives. “My school aides encouraged me to go to class,” said Alex Krales, 22, who attended New York City public schools. “They kept me out of fights and made me feel unique in an overcrowded school.” A 26-year-old anti-Wall Street protester said he understood that the layoffs would be felt most by low-income women in the city. “I am here to stand with my fellow union workers,” said David Pugh, a security guard from Brooklyn. “We need to protect and defend the most vulnerable members of society.” Other Bronx residents who joined the rally were dismayed by the potential job losses. “These adults, the counselors and health aides, are the first line of intervention for kids,” said Liana Maris, an outside program coordinator at Crotona International High School in the Bronx. “They end up providing emotional safety, especially if the youth can’t get it at home.” Riverdale resident Shekema Brown, 37, is not a school worker, but came to the rally to show her support.  “I suggest not laying off the workers, said Brown “and finding the money somewhere else.” Union officials claimed that DC37 had offered other cost saving solutions that the city rejected in June. “The Bloomberg administration’s plan to lay off school support staff shows a reckless disregard for the well-being of New York’s 1.1 million school children and their families,” said DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts in a press release. “Principals were mandated to make these cuts by the city apparently to close a budget gap. Yet when the union offered a proposal generating real savings to bridge the budget gap and save the jobs of these valuable workers, the city cut off discussions.” At Tuesday’s protest, one fired school worker wept quietly on the edge of the crowd. “I served those kids breakfast and lunch everyday,” said Catherin Rozell, who said she recently lost her nine-year job as a school aide at P.S. 270 in Brooklyn. “And now I have nothing.” City council spokesperson Justin Goodman said the council will be holding hearings on the layoffs soon.

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