Source
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
occupy wall street Upwards of 20,000 people in New York gathered at Foley Square to protest inequity in the economy and other issues. Protesters included members from some of the country's largest unions. (Photo: Dante A. Ciampaglia)

Tens of Thousands March on Wall Street

Protest in New York attracts students, teachers, and unions

By Cecilia Gault | October 7 , 2011

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of downtown New York Wednesday to protest economic inequality and other issues. The march and rally was organized by Occupy Wall Street. That group was joined by some of America's largest unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, the United Auto Workers, Transit Workers United, and the AFL-CIO.

The march began at Zuccotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a three-week long protest. The park is located near Ground Zero. From there, protesters marched to Foley Square, where they met up with members of the unions.

The rally at Foley Square attracted between 10,000 and 20,000 people, according to organizers. These ranged from young adults to middle-aged professionals to young children.

Not everyone was there to protest the same thing. Some came to protest cuts to education spending. Others came to rally for universal health care. But most were there to protest a system that, they say, has grown too unequal. "We are the 99 percent" was a common rallying cry. This referred to the notion that the top one percent of the nation's population controls the majority of wealth in the country, which is bad for the rest of the 99 percent of the population.

"The one percent are the managers, the CEOs, and the leaders and heads of all the companies that take our money," high school senior Matthew Taylor told the Kids Press Corps. "I joined [the protest] because I have a college fund like any other high school senior and it's gone, down the drain. And I find that I am not going to have enough money to go to college."

Taylor added that he didn't think the movement will last, but he "hopes we can get something done."

David from Brooklyn came to the rally with his four children.

"It's time to put a stop to all the unfairness that the banks on Wall Street have put on the whole world, not just the United States," he told the Kids Press Corps.

george washington protester
George Washington — a man dressed up in a buisness suit and a mask in the shape of a quarter — talks with Kid Reporter Cecilia Gault at the Occupy Wall Street Rally. (Photo: Dante A. Ciampaglia)

The march to Foley Square was filled with people of all ages carrying handmade signs and playing instruments or chanting. Some protesters were dressed in costumes to highlight their message.

One man was dressed in a black business suit and wore a mask representing a quarter with the face of George Washington. He even said his name was "George Washington."

"This is the most American thing you can possibly see, people coming together across lines of class, race, and education and deciding that we want to live together and make a world with opportunity for everyone," he said.

Despite the number of people, the march and rally were orderly and organized. As protesters marched up Broadway, volunteers from Occupy Wall Street acted as crowd control and security to keep people moving and out of harm's way.

One of those security volunteers was Asa Lowe from Brooklyn. He had been part of the protests for three weeks. He said he stumbled upon the group and felt like he needed to be a part of the movement. Until recently, he had been a crew chief at a local McDonald's. He was laid off, he said, because of corporate greed.

"Wall Street cost me my job, that's the bottom line," Lowe said.

How Others Saw the Protest

Along the march route and at Foley Square, many onlookers stopped to watch what was happening. One of them was Bob Carpenter, a Vietnam veteran and a member of the group Veterans for Peace.

"I haven't seen Foley Square this packed since the days of the Vietnam War," Carpenter said. "I'm seeing something happening again."

Carpenter said he believes the United States has lost its way. But he's hopeful that the young people of the world will make things better — starting with the rally he was watching.

"I think it's the first step on the way to creating a society that is just," he said.

Another person watching the rally from outside Foley Square was Lewis Black. Black is a stand-up comedian, author, and social critic.

"I think it's important. I think it's overdue," Black told the Kids Press Corps. "I think the people have a right to be upset that some people are not paying their fair share."

Many people who stopped to watch the rally agreed with what was taking place. But not everyone was so quick to offer their support.

"I'm not sure how much I support it," said an onlooker who identified himself as Ben. "There are certainly a lot of people here I agree with. I'm fairly liberal in my views, [but] there are a lot of people here who are going way past what I personally believe."

Ben added that he does support the people's right to protest and exercise their freedom of speech.

"I'm really happy to see that the police are not interfering and that they're just keeping the peace," Ben said. "Whether or not I agree with them it's important that Americans have a right to protest."

Protest Ends in Clash with Police

Hours after this Kid Reporter left the rally, the protest continued in Zuccotti Park. Some of the protesters there tried to cross police barricades, which led to violence. According to people on the scene who posted videos online, police used their nightsticks and pepper spray to beat back the protesters.

Nearly 30 protesters were arrested Wednesday night. Since the protests began nearly three weeks ago, more than 700 people have been arrested. Many of these arrests came last weekend when protesters tried to march on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Despite the arrests and violence, the number of protesters in New York is growing.

The protests began on September 17 with only a few hundred people. Today, thousands are turning out for events. And the Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to other cities. Marches and protests have sprung up in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, among many other cities.

Rallies and protests have also been organized in other countries, including Spain, England, Japan, France, Russia, and South Korea.

Check out Cecilia's post on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog about her experience at the Occupy Wall Street rally.

NEWS FOR KIDS, BY KIDS

Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Scholastic Trio Individual Theme Unit Set 6, Social Studies - Civil Rights, Grades 6-7

    Scholastic Trio Individual Theme Unit Set 6, Social Studies - Civil Rights, Grades 6-7

    Visit the Scholastic TRIO website for more information.

    Scholastic Trio is a series of themed reading collections that engage students at THREE levels of reading ability - Below, On, and Above - all in the SAME content-area topic. Now your whole class can participate in learning about a single science, social studies, or language arts topic as they develop strategic reading skills!

    SCHOLASTIC TRIO IS:

    • ALIGNED TO STANDARDS: Themes meet critical social studies, science and language arts standards for each grade.
    • FULLY LEVELED: Each book is scored by Lexile® and Guided Reading levels so you can match every student to a "just right" book.
    • ENGAGING: Authentic literature on high interest topics is included - classics, award-winners, and well-known authors.
    • EASY: Step-by-step teaching materials virtually eliminate prep time, making it a great time saver for busy teachers!
    • VERSATILE: Reproducible activities help you meet classroom accountability requirements and extend learning to the home

    Each individual theme unit includes a Below, On and Above level book (6 copies of each) plus teaching materials.

    Collection Includes:

    $159.00 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grades 6-7
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Scholastic Trio Individual Theme Unit Set 6, Social Studies - Civil Rights, Grades 6-7
    Grades 6-7 $159.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Junior Scholastic

    Junior Scholastic

    Bring thought-provoking national and international news into your middle-school classroom with Junior Scholastic. Combining a comprehensive newsmagazine with dynamic online resources, Junior Scholastic helps you achieve your Social Studies curriculum goals. Every issue features American and World history articles as well as map-reading activities designed specifically for a middle school audience. In addition, Junior Scholastic helps educators like you meet Common Core Standards with complex informational texts and close reading “Core” questions. Online, you and your students can explore digital editions, high-quality videos, skills sheets, games, news updates, and much more.

    $8.35
    Classroom Magazine | Grades 6-8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Junior Scholastic
    Grades 6-8 $8.35
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com