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Community Board Urges "Good Neighbor Policy" For Occupy Wall Street

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TWC News: Community Board Urges "Good Neighbor Policy" For Occupy Wall Street
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Brooklyn politicians joined more than 100 union members and protesters to march across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement this evening.

The group, which was co-organized by Democratic Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, headed to Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, where the protesters have camped for more than five weeks.

Many Occupy Wall Street protesters have said that politicians are often under the influence of big business, but Lopez said that the demonstrators need certain politicians' support in order to be successful.

"Today, my trying to mobilize a lot of politicians, only a few came out. But the answer can't be that the political sector steps aside," said Lopez.

The marchers demanded more jobs and affordable housing in the city and country and an extension of the state's so-called "millionaire's tax," the state's highest tax bracket set to expire at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan passed Tuesday a resolution that supports the First Amendment rights of the protesters and addresses quality of life issues in the area.

The resolution says that the protest must follow city laws regarding sanitation, safety and noise levels, without having city officials or Brookfield Properties, the owner of Zuccotti Park, use "excessive and unnecessary force."

Also, the resolution asks for Occupy Wall Street protesters, city officials and Brookfield Properties to work out their differences and arrive at solutions through talks.

One of the issues is to help the city find outside bathrooms for the protesters.

"We're not saying the city should pay for that. There are actually many third parties willing to pay for that, so what we're saying to the city is take them up on that and have these offsite bathroom facilities," said Community Board 1 Chairwoman Julie Menin.

Some who pay rent and own homes near Zuccotti Park said at the meeting that living near the protests has become unbearable.

"It has a freezing effect on anyone who is thinking of buying or renting or owning a business in this area," said a local.

Occupy Wall Street organizers said they agreed to limit drumming to four hours a day, and protesters reached out to Lower Manhattan residents for compassion.

"I understand that your lives have been affected," said one protester. "I want to cry right now because we are giving our every last breath this is our only chance we've been pushed and pushed and pushed and shoved."

This came as Occupy Wall Street protesters disrupted a public Panel for Education Policy meeting on raising classroom standards at Manhattan's Seward Park High School.

When the meeting began at 6 p.m., the demonstrators started to hold their own separate disruption on education.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott adjourned the official meeting to other rooms, where he met with smaller groups of parents.

The protesters held their own two-hour meeting in the school's auditorium, and discussed mayoral control of the Department of Education and school budget cuts.

Many Demonstrators Reject Plea Deal From Manhattan DA

This all comes as the lawyer for some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge at the beginning of October says many will not be taking a plea deal being offered by the Manhattan District Attorney.

About 700 people were arrested on October 1 and about half were charged with disorderly conduct.

Attorney Martin Stolar said the DA's office is not willing to drop the charges but are offering to dismiss the cases against those given desk appearances if they stay out of trouble for six months.

Stolar said some demonstrators will not accept the arrangement because it would limit their ability to take part in future protests.

Others defendants said they did not do anything illegal and would prefer to go to trial.

The other 350 people arrested on October 1 were given summonses to appear before a judge.

Protesters have threatened to take their cases to trial in an effort to clog up the court system.

The DA's office said this type of plea deal is typical when a defendant has no criminal history.

Arrest Made In Connection With Zuccotti Park Assault

Police arrested on Tuesday a man allegedly involved with an assault that took place in Zuccotti Park on October 11.

Hasan Castillo, 23, of East Orange, N.J. was charged with intimidating a witness.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the incident started when someone went into a tent and tried to sell drugs to the people inside.

A fight broke out, a woman was assaulted and police made an arrest.

Authorities say three other men threatened the woman's life because she came forward.

Two other suspects, aged between 18 and 20, were still at large late Tuesday.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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