News / USA

Minority Groups Show Solidarity With 'Occupy' Protest Movement

Peter Fedynsky

Hundreds of African Americans and Hispanics marched the nearly 18-kilometer length of Manhattan on Monday, to show solidarity with New York's "Occupy Wall Street" protest.  Although the "Occupy" movement does not have a specific agenda, it appears to be inspiring people to generate specific policy proposals.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Washington Heights, an economically depressed neighborhood at the north end of Manhattan, for a march to the Occupy Wall Street camp on the south end of the island.

New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat says the Washington Heights neighborhood is suffering double-digit unemployment, lack of affordable housing and quality health care.  He charges the federal government bailed out distressed banks and Wall Street brokerage firms after the 2008 financial crisis, but not small businesses in this hard-hit area.

“They haven’t gotten a penny.  They’ve been doing this bare-handed.  We recognize that the government has to do more, and that’s why we’re calling for the implementation of the millionaire’s tax.  That’s the government action to bring help to our communities," he said.

This Washington Heights textile store is going out of business, a victim of high rent and slow sales because of widespread unemployment in the area.

Across the street, Nassar, the manager of the Zodiac clothing store, says his store could suffer the same fate, because business is down 40 percent over the past two years.  He says he supports the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and welcomes the idea of a so-called "millionaire’s tax" in New York state.

“I’m for it because the people who make more money [are] supposed to pay more money.  You know what I mean?  Because there are so many people struggling in this country.  Unemployment is very high.  And I hope this thing helps.  At least they have to try it," he said.

Occupy Wall Street is focusing attention on the wealthiest one percent of Americans, but the movement has made no specific tax or policy proposals.  Still, the proposal to tax millionaires appears to strike a common chord between the demonstrators on one hand, and the politicians and small businesspeople in Washington Heights on the other.

Sherman Jackson, one of the protest movement’s media representatives, says he expects this will generate more such examples of synergy. “As this progresses, the longer that we’re here, the more occupations that take hold throughout the country and throughout the globe; more succinct, more precise, more substantive recommendations are going to come forth," he said.

Many of the Washington Heights marchers say this was their first involvement with the Occupy Wall Street protest, which is now in its eighth week.  There are scores of similar demonstrations taking place throughout the United States and the world.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid