By Kid Reporters: Eliya Ahmad, Irati Diez, Shawn Gilbert, Janaya Wilder, Kanoni Wilder and PEDRO LAHOZ WOLFE
A Children’s Assembly
On a cold December day in New York City, kids and parents gathered in Union Square Park as part of a “Children’s Day of Action in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.” Kids painted 5,000 hearts that organizers said represented the 5,000 people arrested since the start of Occupy Wall Street. They later marched to City Hall to deliver the hearts to Mayor Bloomberg.
Kids and parents spoke about police officers acting like bullies toward Occupy Wall Street protesters. Shay, age 9, said, “I don’t want people to get arrested, and I want schools to be better. I want them to stop arresting the 99 percent and start arresting the one percent.”
One boy, Kenny Lazo, age 9, spoke about his father, also named Kenny Lazo, who was beaten to death by police on Long Island, New York in 2008. “No more soccer days, no more playing games, no more picking me up from school,” Kenny told the crowd. He wants justice for what the police officers did to his father.
Occupy Wall Street Rises from Police Attacks
By AMANDA VENDER
When a group of people in New York City decided to sit down in a park near Wall Street—home of the world’s major banks—and to stay there day and night, their action inspired people around the country to set up their own “occupy.” The protesters wanted to do something about the growing wealth and greed of one percent of the population at the expense of the other 99 percent. The movement spread to more than 400 occupation sites across the United States― from big urban centers to small cities and towns.
Since they started in September, these peaceful protests have been attacked and driven out by police who sometimes use violence. Scott Olsen, an Iraq war veteran, received a fractured skull when he was hit by a projectile shot at the protesters by police in Oakland, California.
Occupy tents still stand in dozens of cities nationwide. In other cities, protesters occupy public parks during the day, and sleep on sidewalks at night. Many occupy activists continue their work, holding regular meetings, educational events, and demonstrations with the slogan “Occupy will never die. Evict us, we multiply!”
In December 2011, occupy activists teamed up with families who had been kicked out of their homes by banks because they could not pay their monthly mortgage fee. The activists occupied some of these empty homes and let families that used to live in them back inside. Tasha, a mother of two kids, told Occupy TVNY, “Some of these apartments be really good. Once you clean it up and fix it up, put a homeless person in there, what’s the problem?”