Occupy protestors head to the post office

Just say no: Janie Groff of Peace Action Bay Ridge Interfaith Peace Coalition and Bay Ridge Democrats for change holds up an anti-war leaflet.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Occupy Wall Street just went postal.

Protesters from the hibernating movement spent Tax Day rallying outside the Fort Hamilton Post Office with members of MoveOn.org, and the Peace Action Bay Ridge Interfaith Peace Coalition, to wage war against Uncle Sam, while soliciting signatures for a petition decrying a showdown with Iran over its controversial nuclear weapons program.

The sparse bunch — seven in all — pushed fliers on 11th-hour filers, many of whom inked their John Hancocks on the list before heading inside the post office on 88th Street and Fifth Avenue to mail off their tax forms.

Paul Bardo, a passerby who signed the petition, said he worried that the government may be on the verge of locking horns with Iran, which has insisted its atomic program is peaceful.

“It seems to me they’re pushing for war, and I don’t believe Iran has a goal to create a nuclear weapon,” he said. “I think it’s a lot of hype.”

Peace Action President Vicki McFadyen, heartened by the response, lobbed a lowball at the one-percenters.

“People understand how much of their money is being spent on wars, and that the rich aren’t paying their share,” she said.

Peace Action members also had motorists on their radar — three of them held up signs reading, “Rebuild the Economy, Tax the 1%,” towards passing traffic.

McFadyen said protestors were just following tradition — Tax Day protesters have rallied outside the station since 2004. But she conceded it was the first time the demonstration included the Occupiers, whose anti-rich rhetoric rocked the anti-establishment movement on a global scale.

“This is the first year we’ve done the ‘one-percent’ stuff,” McFadyen said. “I think it’s the most hopeful thing that’s happened in years.”

The Bay Ridge rally coincided with an Occupy protest at Bryant Park in Manhattan, though none of the protesters said they’d actually make it there.

“I have to go to work,” said McFadyen, a legal secretary.

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