Irish in New York rally support for ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters
Irish flags flying as New York residents partake in mass protest in city
Irish Americans in New York joined forces this past Saturday to take part in the day of global protests in Manhattan which were inspired by the ongoing movement, Occupy Wall Street.
Organizers gathered on the outskirts of the now infamous Zucotti Park before marching up Broadway to Times Square on Saturday afternoon; an estimated 50 Irish Americans were involved.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters say they represent the 99 percent, in reference to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz’s study that the wealthiest one percent of U.S. citizens control 40 percent of the American wealth.
Tyrone man Owen Rodgers who took part in Saturday's protests said, “We thought it was a good idea to get the Irish involved, because similar things are happening at home”.
After witnessing the demonstrations at an early stage, Rodgers and Deanna Slattery decided to appeal to Irish Americans in New York to get involved. They issued a statement early last week in which they urged Irish Americans to “take part in the Saturday, October 15 global protest in support of Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan”.
“I see what is happening in the financial world and the lack of jobs,” Rodgers told the Irish Voice.
“The food lines are getting longer,” said the Manhattan resident, who manages an apartment building on the Upper West Side.
After witnessing Occupy Wall Street herself, Deanna Slattery originally from Michigan was keen to rally her fellow Irish Americans.
“I thought it would be a good idea for Irish Americans to go down,” Slattery, a small business owner, told the Voice.
“While everybody is getting laid off, bank fees are going up, no one seemed to get organized and say something,” she reflects.
“It’s a really impressive group, from all walks of life and all ages.
“I am very proud of what’s going on,” she added.
Occupy Wall Street protests have now spread to Ireland
Gathering on the outskirts of the Financial District last Saturday, the group marched up Broadway towards Times Square.
“It was exhilarating,” says Slattery, who carried a tricolor.
Liam Hennessy, from Kerry, admits he was expecting to find dirty hippies when he first took a stroll down to the protests a few weeks ago.
“I wanted to see what it all was about, so I went down one Friday evening near the beginning,” the computer technician told the Voice.
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