Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Folk Legend Pete Seeger Supports "Occupy Wall Street" Protesters

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TWC News: Folk Legend Pete Seeger Supports "Occupy Wall Street" Protesters
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"Occupy Wall Street" protesters received a jolt of support from American folk singer Pete Seeger during an Upper Manhattan march Friday night.

"I am here right now in solidarity with Pete and the other singers and musicians," said one protester.

"Pete Seeger is an absolute idol of mine, and I dreamed that he would come and support 'Occupy Wall Street,'" said another.

Demonstrators gathered around high-dollar apartment buildings and the Time Warner Center to protest corporate greed.

Many of the same people took to downtown streets earlier in the evening to protest Verizon. Company officials said the protest's targets are misguided.

Several dozen Muslims took part in a three-hour prayer service earlier in the day before a Jewish group celebrated Simchat Torah.

Demonstrators also reacted to President Barack Obama's announcement that the Iraq War would come to an end by the end of the year. News that U.S. troops will be returning home by the holidays generated a mix of excitement and skepticism in Zuccotti Park.

While their main focus has been against big banks and corporations, many said they've been waiting for the announcement for some time.

"That's wonderful, that's wonderful. He also has to bring home the troops from Afghanistan," said one protester.

"Last year they reported that the last combat troops had been pulled out of Iraq, which was not true. Several of my old friends who were in combat units - cavalry, infantry, artillery - were still there and they were being replaced by units as well, that were again combat not support. So that's my only skepticism there," said another.

Meanwhile, some Lower Manhattan residents living near Zuccotti Park said they're losing patience with the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters.

Lawmakers and residents attended a meeting for Community Board 1 Thursday night to voice their complaints.

Some said they supported the "Occupy Wall Street" message, but several called the protesters a nuisance.

"Our neighbors do not beat on drums while children are sleeping. Our neighbors do not verbally attack people on their way to work. Our neighbors do not break into our buildings and vandalize them. Our neighbors do not urinate and defecate in the street. These occupiers need to vacate our neighborhood," said one Downtown resident.

"For a long time now our neighborhood has been continually a battleground, culture wars, global local national and it's been a huge burden for us. But it's also part of why we love our neighborhood. It's part of our strength, it's part of why Lower Manhattan is the most dynamic, incredible neighborhoods on this planet," said another.

Residents say the meeting was a good start, and they urged the protesters to consider a curfew for drumming.

Several protesters say they want to be respectful of the neighborhood, but it's unlikely the nighttime drum circles will be ending anytime soon.

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