This article includes diary entries by Kid Reporters ELIYA AHMAD, JASMINE BROWN, and DIAMANDELY LIRIANO.



Occupy Wall Street Impressions

Diary Entry By Kid Reporter ELIYA AHMAD, age 10

When I went to Occupy Wall Street, I thought that it was very surprising, unusual, and unique. I thought it was interesting that everyone was supporting the protests in their own ways. For example, there were three people dancing with dollar bills taped to their mouths. Someone had also made a miniature LEGO “Occupy Wall Street,” complete with police and mini protesters holding signs. I had expected that people would just be walking around with signs and chanting “we are the 99%,” but they were being much more original than that. It was really moving that some people there were so dedicated to the cause of the protests that they slept there, and lived there, even when it rained. I was also very impressed that there were so many people who were interested in the protests, and had come to support them!

INTERVIEWS

First interview: Chris – a LEGO protester, who made a little LEGO “Occupy Wall Street” – or “Occupy LEGO Land,” really.

"Occupy LEGO-Land." Photo: Eliya Ahmad
“Occupy LEGO-Land.” PHOTO: Eliya Ahmad

Eliya Ahmad: What is your favorite color?

Chris, a LEGO protester: Blue.

ELIYA: How did you come up with Occupy Lego Land?

CHRIS: Well, first of all, everyone loves LEGOS, and they’re really a lot like people, occupying their own little LEGO city. I wanted to make that connection, that’s why I chose to support the protests using them.

ELIYA: How long have you been doing these mini protests?

CHRIS: About five days.

Second interview: Charlie – a photographer working for Newsday, taking pictures of the protests.

 Kid Reporter Eliya Ahmad interviews Charlie, a photographer with for Newsday.
Kid Reporter Eliya Ahmad interviews Charlie, a photographer for Newsday.

Eliya Ahmad: What is your favorite color?

Charlie, a Newsday photographer: Blue.

ELIYA: How long have you been taking pictures here?

CHARLIE: Three weeks now, up to four or five days a week.

ELIYA: What is the most surprising thing that you have seen so far?

CHARLIE: They live here! The people feel so strongly about the protests that they’re actually living there! Most of the time, when there is a protest, it starts one morning and ends that night. But they’re so devoted that they sleep here every night! Also, everyone is working together, helping each other, and agreeing. That’s unusual when everyone is just sleeping there, and all squished together, with no boss. Another thing is that the police try to stop it, like they usually do, but they haven’t been able to.

ELIYA: How long have you worked as a photographer?

CHARLIE: About 14 years total, but a reporter for eight.

Third interview: Gloria – a New York City public school resource room teacher, at PS 307, in Brooklyn.

Gloria is a resource room teacher in New York City. PHOTO: Eliya Ahmad
Gloria is a resource room teacher in New York City. PHOTO: Eliya Ahmad

Eliya Ahmad: What is your favorite color?

Gloria, a NYC public school teacher: Purple!

ELIYA: What do you want children to know about the protests?

GLORIA: That everyone should, if something is unfair, speak out about it.  That it is important to be smart, brave, and to ask questions.

ELIYA: What motivated you to come to Wall Street?

GLORIA: I think that the corporations that control Wall Street did a bad job, and I don’t want them to take over our education system too.



Learning About Wall Street on Un-Columbus Day

Diary Entry By Kid Reporter JASMINE BROWN, age 9

I went to Occupy Wall Street on UnColumbus Day in New York City. It was a long train ride from Highbridge in the Bronx to Wall Street. There were a million people there (maybe not a million!) surrounded by police. I felt at first that I didn’t know what was going on. Then I found the people who were protesting Wall Street banks and the stock market, who put money into the government. The government is not listening to us. Russell Simmons said that when he came to Occupy Wall Street.

On UnColumbus Day, on October 10th, everyone was NOT celebrating Columbus Day. This is because Christopher Columbus took gold and people as slaves. First, the organizers read a story entitled The Encounter to the children in the Assembly area. In school, we read the book but we didn’t get to finish it. At UnColumbus Day, we did, and I found out that Christopher Columbus was not a good enough hero for me to have a day off from school. Then I went to the drum circle and it was loud and exciting!

In Occupy Wall Street there was a message board (a monitor) like on a computer where you can type and everybody around the world can see it. The information I saw on this monitor was that people – about 2,700,000 people – were seeing what the government was doing and they were tired of it. I went on a march to learn about “the how” by doing.

I interviewed some people about why they were there, how they felt about the government, the politicians, the people and the police.

INTERVIEWS

First interview: Mrs Ansar – a dance teacher and a retired school teacher. She has six grandchildren (three girls and three boys). She published a book, Spices. She was at Occupy Wall Street to see young people take a stand.

Second interview:  Black Feather (see picture below) – Black Feather is a 19-year-old Native American and he tells people about his Native American (Taino) history. He travels around the world and does Native American dances.

He said, “This is how we used to live. I live on my feet which means I don’t live in one place. I travel all around the world. I don’t believe in money. I don’t need money to see the world.” I think he is awesome and he felt like my big brother.

PHOTO: Kid Reporter Jasmine Brown, age 10
Black Feather at Occupy Wall Street. PHOTO: Kid Reporter Jasmine Brown

Third interview: Joe – He likes sports and came to Occupy Wall Street from New Jersey. Joe is 24 years old. I saw two to three policemen push him when he was going to ask them a question, but he was okay. He came to Occupy Wall Street to protest because he was tired of the government doing this stuff to other people. He said he wasn’t scared because he knew the police were going to push him just for asking them a simple question.

You should see what is going on down there because we should be a community and help each other.



The Amazing Occupy Wall Street

Diary Entry By Kid Reporter DIAMANDELY LIRIANO, age 9

My name is Diamandely Liriano and I am from the Bronx. I go to PS 126 and I like reading, math and writing.

On a Sunday in October I went to Occupy Wall Street to help people who had been arrested by the police.

There were 1,000 people in Liberty Park, and the police were watching them. The police put people in jail for protesting for freedom.

When I was there we had friends who helped by singing and doing hip-hop rapping. It was fantastic and it made me dance. People were clapping to the rhythm and people were smiling and laughing with joy.

Each artist had a different voice. Their rapping caused me to think things are going to change and it’s going to happen right now.