The free-spirited protest movement that’s “occupying” Wall Street is finally coming to Brooklyn — and the borough’s top elected official is already fueling up the bandwagon.
A shadowy group calling itself Occupy Brooklyn is set to rally in Grand Army Plaza on Saturday — the first big protest in Brooklyn — and unlike many mainstream Democrats and Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Markowitz is offering some support.
“It was only a matter of time before the … rallies made their way to Brooklyn,” Markowitz told us. “There is no doubt that Americans — those in the ‘99 percent’ — are hurting, and we can all agree that some of the issues being raised by these protests … are concerns we can all rally around.”
Markowitz said he had not decided whether he would actually attend the 11 am rally, but organizers insist that they’ll have more than enough bodies to “occupy” the plaza, if only temporarily.
“There are an incredible amount of people here who want to get involved,” said one of the organizers, who would only give her name as Lady B because, she said, the movement must remain leaderless for now.
In the first days of the borough’s “occupation,” many online wags have mocked the “movement,” but the organizers have built quite a following — at least online. In just a few days, with multiple Twitter feeds, a website, and a Facebook page, thanks to members’ digital skills.
Organizers hope that the rally in Grand Army Plaza will demonstrate Brooklyn’s growing support for the anti-greed movement.
Last week, a group of 150 Brooklyn College students walked out of class to join the protest in Manhattan, and residents were set to hold a rally on Friday at the Dyker Heights office of Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge), according to the Bay Ridge Journal.
Occupy Brooklyn has designs on actually occupying a public space, but haven’t found a space yet. As the occupiers of Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park successfully discovered, the trick is finding a public space that is actually privately owned.
Occupy Wall Street began on Sept. 17 in Manhattan — and eventually spread across to more than 25 cities across the country as people found common, though often nebulous, cause protesting the nation’s growing wealth gap.
A diverse band of protesters — derided by many media outlets and politicians — has found solidarity representing the “99 percent,” lashing out against high unemployment, corporate greed, and the notion that wealthiest one percent of the country controls at least one-third of the wealth.