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Our expanded Occupy Brooklyn coverage — now with a slideshow, too!

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Photo gallery

1/12
And dignitaries included Councilman Steve Levin (the guy on the left!).
2/12
… Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber …
3/12
… And the irrepressible Borough President Markowitz.
4/12
About 100 Occupy Brooklyn protesters took control of the sidewalk south of the arch in Grand Army Plaza on Saturday, so click through our slideshow to see what went down.
5/12
Many of the signs offered a generic call to action, which has been the movement’s trademark. But this is Brooklyn, so...
6/12
… some people made more specific appeals, including this sign showing support for comedian George Carlin’s surprisingly cogent monologue about income disparities.
7/12
But our vote for most obscure intellitent sign is this lady, urging support for the Depression-era banking code.
8/12
This man was outnumbered by cops.
9/12
And, this being a protest, of course there was music.
10/12
And this being an Occupy Wall Street-style protest, there was also a big puppet called “the Occu-pus.” His tentacles represent corporate America’s hold on the political system (but you knew that).
11/12
Nice point, here.
12/12
Two protesters enjoy a copy of the Occupy Wall Street Journal (but only because copies of The Brooklyn Paper had all been snatched up).

More than 100 people — including the borough’s top elected official in a quietly supportive role — ushered Brooklyn into the Occupy Wall Street movement with a three-hour rally for economic justice on Saturday in Grand Army Plaza.

Dozens of cops were on hand, but the protest was entirely peaceful.

There were signs, there were props and there were speeches — all urging America to wake up to the nation’s growing economic disparity, the government’s too-close connections with banks, and a tax structure that favors the wealthy.

“Why join Occupy Wall Street?” one speaker asked rhetorically. “Because income disparity in the United States is worse than Iran and India.”

Nearby, a protester surrounded by police held a sign reading, “S—t is f—ked and I’m not LOL-ing anymore.” Another toted a huge “Occu-pus,” whose tentacles represented corporate America’s supposed hold on the political system.

“It just hit me that we needed to represent the problem so there’d be something directly to boo at,” said Kate Hibbard, one of the Occu-pus’s architects.

Borough President Markowitz mingled with the crowd — albeit also with the police — to offer qualified support for the larger point of the protesters, who were confined to the sidewalk just south of the fabled archway.

“They have a message which I agree with in many ways,” he said. “The disparity in income growth in this country is not a positive thing for the future of America — and it’s a great concern.”

Markowitz and the protesters echoed a growing body of evidence that the income gap is widening to historic levels. Since the mid-1980s, the chasm has widened by 20 percent, more than in most developed countries.

The richest one percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of the nation’s income, up from almost nine percent in 1976.

Many economists believe that growing income inequality prolongs recessions and makes recoveries much shallower — creating a cycle of economic downturn.

Markowitz is one of the highest-profile politicians to embrace the message — despite the fact that it has been criticized by media commentators as purposeless and mocked by the right wing as naive.

“I’m hoping that it will raise the consciousness of those who are scared away, particularly the working class, the union members, and all the working people that are supporting the Tea party,” he said.

Markowitz’s presence was a good sign, said one of the organizers.

“It’s a sign that the movement’s gaining steam and that it’s not going to be ignored,” said Brian Merchant. “It shows that Occupy Brooklyn is something that politicians don’t want to ignore any more.”

The NYPD certainly did not ignore the rally, though given the large number of officers on hand, it is likely that the police expected more people or anticipated violence.

Or maybe the NYPD was sending a message of its own, some protesters said.

“They sent out an excessive police force for a nonviolent protest,” said Michael Sternfeld, an organizer. “It’s for intimidati­on.”

Updated 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Publius from Bklyn says:
Ah, the so-called Brooklyn Paper, sister publication in Rupert Murdoch's NYC media empire, including the NY Post. How can this paper be trusted? The Post has a story today that OWS is Marxist: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/new_york_marxist_epicenter_gVrMJIKezP82E3Gkki2IvO#.Tpx0h7bJ9xY.facebook
Oct. 17, 2011, 1:40 pm
WW from Bay Ridge says:
That's what we need Obamaville in Brooklyn.

I voted for change and now I have no hope!

Marty thought there would be a ribbon to cut and lunch after.

Marty should tell his union buddies to divest their pension funds from Wall Street, and put it in their back pockets and under the bed.
Oct. 17, 2011, 9:16 pm
Anthony from Park Slopeq says:
I went down to Liberty (Zucotti) Park and can attest that even if unemployment were 1%, no one would hire those people. They are embarrassing.

I am also massively upset that these yahoos come from out of town and disrespect our incredible police force. (Sorry, but that douche under the scooter was such a massive fraud)

If they were just protesting fraud and dishonesty, then I would support them but if they are protesting the fact that other people have the nerve to be more successful than they are, dammit (imagine, the chutzpah!) and that they don't want to have to work as hard as the successful ones do to get there, then I shed no tears.

Their protesting is a great case in point.. Couldn't their time be better spent LOOKING FOR A JOB?

In any event, while every industry has its bandits and outliers, Walls Street is not exceptional. If these yahoos really wanted to protest corporate greed, than they should protest the Medical Insurance companies, or the big Oil companies...

Oct. 18, 2011, 6:16 am
heydg from Brooklyn expat says:
Holy crap love the suited dude's getup in slide 10: princess tiara on top, with a fat cat in one hand and big pharma in the other.
Oct. 19, 2011, 12:27 pm
Janet from Park Slope says:
Occupy my vagina - the fall out from Goldman's sack, Clitti-bank, and J.P. Moanin' chase is outrageously hot.
Oct. 19, 2011, 3:01 pm
BARRY from BED STUY says:
IT'S SAD I CAME FROM BED STUY, AND WHEN I REACHED GA PLAZA THERE WERE MAYB 20 PPL THERE MORE PPLE WERE A@ THE MARKET ACROSS T/STREET. i WNT N2 T/LIBRARY 4 1 HOUR EVERYBDY WAS GONE WHEN I CAME OUT! THERE WERE NOT THAT MANY PPL OF COLOR OUT EITHER. SAD COMMENTARY FOR T/ PPLS OF BROOKLYN ESPECIALLY FROM MY HOOD BEDFORD STUYVESANT BK! I GUESS THEY HAD BETTER THING 2DO! NEIGHBOR PLEASE..SMDH
Oct. 22, 2011, 12:06 pm
david from park slope says:
Idiots on capitalistic ipods looking for a free ride. I didnt go to college I went to work,, so I should pay for what might be the best time of their life,,, until realityhits,,, that their liberal eduacation/ indoctornataion is utterly worthless.
Academia sits backs collects and enjoys the high life while robbing the underclass, and now they r coming at even those smart enough not to be suckered by them,,,, via Oboma's next give away.
Oct. 26, 2011, 6:55 pm

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