12-10-2011 Event

Parents For Occupy Wall Street: Anti-Bullying / Police Brutality March, Press Release.

Parents for Occupy Wall Street, a collective community of parents & organizations in support of Occupy Wall Street, will rally with their families at the Union Square children’s playground at 11am on Saturday, December 10th (The International Day of Human Rights). A children’s GA and open-mic will take place where children and students of all ages can voice their concerns about problems within their communities, every child will be given the opportunity to speak. 

During the GA there will be an arts and crafts session for the younger children and their parents to help make Anti-Bullying signs and paper hearts. At noon, we will march with our signs held high and our yellow balloons announcing our presence to Foley Square, in front of the State Supreme Court building to deliver a message denouncing bullying and specifically the recent actions of NYPD Police Brutality. There will be a intense visual statement made where our children will turn their backs and cover their eyes, as this silent message will be one too shameful for them to see. We will then march on to City Hall Park where the children will then place 5,000 paper hearts, one to represent each peaceful protester arrested over the past 3 months in a large circle in the center of the park. 

Since the Occupy Wall Street movement began in September, we parents have watched in disbelief and disgust as individuals within our law enforcement agencies have appeared to step above the law and use excessive force and outright violence against citizens for simply exercising their1st amendment rights, to assemble and peacefully protest. These actions are simply unacceptable.

We teach our children at home and in the schools that bullying is wrong and that the police are there to protect and serve the public.  These recent actions by a few individuals of the police force are confusing our children – and we are left to explain their inexcusable actions.

We are proud New Yorkers. We are proud of our city and for the most part we are proud of our Police force. We know that they are also part of the 99% and we welcome them to join our movement with our arms open.

Since 9/11 we have looked to, and held the NYPD to be symbolic of our cities finest and bravest. As heroes and role models for our children to look up to. Unfortunately the events of the past few months have started to strain our trust and diminish our respect for the department, as first hand witness, online video and live-stream technology has brought the shocking and ugly truth of disturbing actions to our attention.

#POWS encourages all parents of the 99% to stand united and march with their families and join with Occupiers, Students, Unions and New Yorkers of all walks of life to demand that our law enforcement officers act appropriately and responsibly when serving their public. We are not a ‘Police State’ and we do not accept being treated that way.

On December 10th we will march together to Foley Square were a delegation of children will wait to deliver a message in the form of a piece of art the children created to police commissioner Kelly.

The NYPD’s attention should be focused on convicting the criminal actions of the Wall St. elites who crippled our economy with fraudulent investment scams. Since September 17th over 5,000 peaceful ‘occupiers’ have been arrested. Since the 2008 financial crisis 0 bankers have been arrested. These people brought our country to its knees, effectively robbed our treasury, and not one has been taken into custody. We have every right to ask the question: NYPD, who do you serve?

We demand:

  • That the NYPD apologize for the many documented instances of brutal and unjustifiably violent engagements with civilians and endeavor to return to the honorable role of protecting and serving their citizens.
  • That NYPD commanding officers end all orders of violence and intimidation against peaceful protestors.
  • That the NYPD Supervisors [white-shirts] remain in their role as supervisors and control those officers they are on the ground to oversee. On too many occasions we have observed supervisors leading acts of aggression against protestors, acting as instigators, looking to incite violence. On these occasions rank-and-file [blue-shirts] officers have lacked supervision with the result being many situations descending into chaos.
  • Demand that the press, are allowed to freely document the Occupy movement without restriction, intimidation, arrest or physical assault; all of which have been widely observed.
  • Demand that the escalation in the stop-and-frisk policy be ended; this policy is another example of NYPD bullying and statically proven racial intimidation.

Facebook Event Page: http://on.fb.me/taC6i1

www.parentsforoccupywallst.com

Twitter: @ParentsForOWS

Email: Parents@everythingindependent.com

One of our active parents featured in an Atlantic article. 

Brian Douglas, who proposed to his girlfriend in Zuccotti Park, talks a little bit about why he supports the Occupy movement

(Excerpt) Homeless people who have made their way into Zuccotti Park among Occupy Wall Street protesters have been a topic of conversation in recent weeks. In late October,protesters worried their make-shift kitchen could not accommodate everyone from the movement, as well as homeless people who gravitated into the park because they were hungry. 


Now, Occupy Wall Street protesters plan to address what they call this humanitarian issue. The groupParents for Occupy Wall Street announced a partnership with as many as 20 social workers who will visit Zuccotti Park to provide an assessment on Sunday to understand the needs of individuals. One of the goals, organizers said, is deflecting the stigma attached to the very word “homeless.”

"I take issue with the fact that that terminology is a blanketed statement," said social worker Meagan "Star" Bond, who explained that many people in Zuccotti Park consider themselves homeless, including runaways or people who have lost their homes to foreclosure. 

Bond, a social worker who also supports the movement, said Sunday’s assessment will include a questionnaire to help identify issues like mental illness or substance abuse. From there, Bond said the group of social workers might provide counseling, referrals or case management to address individual needs.

"We are capable of taking care of our own. We are there to supplement and provide to those in need and we will not turn anyone away," Bond said. "They are just as much a part of the 99 percent as anyone else."

(Excerpt)The group came out of a practical need for secure places for parents to be with their kids at the demonstration. While visiting Occupy Wall Street with her 18-month-old daughter Georgiah (also known as Baby G), Desmarais noticed a lot of families. But because of the high foot traffic, she saw them keeping their kids in strollers or close by. So she started organizing specific child-safe areas at Zuccotti Park, and the kid-centered movement was born.

“We took extreme measures,” Ms. Desmarais said about the security for the sleepover. However, she is skeptical about stories that Zuccotti Park is a particularly treacherous place for children, “it’s as safe as any street fair you would bring your kids to.”

Another run of AP story