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?
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.
(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.”
(Excerpt) There was also festive parts of the Wednesday strike.
A crowd of more than 300 parents with babies, toddlers and children of all ages marched from the main branch of the Oakland Public Library to 13th and Broadway as part of a “Children’s Brigade.” Children led the march and chanted “Who are the 99? We are the 99!” while parents with wagons, strollers and infants in carriers marched behind them, toting snacks, crayons, chalk and bubbles.
"I’m only 6. I can’t afford a lobbyist" read one sign.
Chris Specker, a Temescal resident who owns the “It’s Your Move” game store on Telegraph Avenue, attended the march with her 5-year-old daughter Sarah, who is in kindergarten at Oakland Unified’s Peralta Elementary. Specker said she was one of several Peralta parents who signed her daughter out of school at lunch time Wednesday.
"The concept is easy: everyone needs to share," said Specker, a single mom. "I closed my store to support the strike, and I want my daughter to learn that activism is important."
(Excerpt) Many more parents are, inspired by the commitment of the young people camping in the park for so many weeks, finding our own ways to confront the 1 percent and its pathetic lackeys. Parents are gathering to protest at Cuomo’s New York City offices on Election Day, in protest of the governor’s continued insistence on protecting the hedge fund set instead of our kids. Brooklyn public school parents have taken the lead on this action.
Not even that bastion of the one percent, the Panel on Educational Policy (for more on the PEP, see this past September’s Report Card, “Our Fake School Board”) has been safe from OWS. As this column went to press, teachers, parents, children, and activists took over a PEP meeting, using “the people’s mic”—an OWS practice in which the group repeats what the speaker says, to make up for the fact that microphones are not permitted in Zuccotti Park—to drive Chancellor Walcott from the stage. The incident was the launch of Occupy DOE, whose next planned action was a People’s General Assembly on the steps of Tweed, to create a People’s Agenda for Our Schools.
Don’t get me wrong: Occupy Wall Street is a diverse group, and not everyone sleeping in the park would even agree on the need to pressure the state to deliver better services like education. But that may not matter. The courage of the Occupy Wall Street protesters—and their astute naming of the problem—is slowly inspiring the rest of us to stand up to the 1 percent.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has been sweeping the globe and captivating the media this month. With the message “We are the 99%,” American protesters are drawing attention to the frustrating growth of income inequality in the United States. Here in New York, working families have joined the protests, and parents are working together to highlight the many struggles of today’s families, such as the rapidly rising costs of health care and child care. On Columbus Day, many children visited Zuccotti Park, the movement’s home base just a few blocks away from A Better Balance’s office. Based on the continuing interest of New York families, Parents for Occupy Wall Street also held a family sleepover in the park last weekend.
The timing of this family involvement in Occupy Wall Street is notable because October is National Work and Family Month. This is an opportune time to consider the frustrations of many American parents who struggle to manage the competing demands of work and family. Because our country has done little to support the work of caring through public policy, families are left to confront these challenges largely on their own. All families are affected—even the 1%—but for those with fewer financial resources, the problem is particularly severe…
Parents are protesting, Lisa Duggan writes, because they want a better future for their children.
It started simply enough. Dana Glazer and I (Dana is the documentary filmmaker of The Evolution of Dad) were playing email-tag, trying to find a day to have lunch, when he wrote:
Do you think there’s a parenting angle to the protests currently going on at Wall Street? I’m itching to go down there with a camera but was thinking that maybe there’s a mom / dad angle to this? What do you think?
Not only did I like his angle, I had been thinking along similar lines.
Avi Nathman (aka @TheMamaFesto) and I had just finished drafting an open letter to the 2012 Presidential Candidates, which addresses many of the same issues Occupy Wall Street and the numerous Occupations around the world do. We chose to sign the letter, “From the Mothers and Fathers of America.” (More on the letter later, and how you can participate.)
Before I could hit send, Dana wrote back to say he had found this group while Googling—Parents For Occupy Wall Street. They were planning the world’s largest sleepover in Zuccotti Park on Friday, October 21, and he was going to be there to film the event—and did I want to come?…
As Occupy Seattle enters its fifth week, protesters held a pumpkin-carving event for families at Westlake Park. Most of the protesters are staying at a base camp on the south lawn of Seattle Central Community College.
“The park’s makeshift collective library has a children’s section, complete with a copy of “Harry Potter,” Beverly Cleary titles and Meg Cabot’s “Holiday Princess.” A group called Parents for Occupy Wall Street, headed by Kirby Desmarais, a Brooklyn mother and record label owner, even organized a sleepover at the park for more than 80 parents and children on a recent weekend night. (The families had to be moved at dawn to make way for new police lines and barricades.) Spin-off parent groups have sprung up in other cities like Denver and Seattle.
But most mothers and fathers bring their children on their own. Some recall marching in antiwar protests in the 1960s and ’70s, and say they would like to show their children what it means to be part of a large movement advocating for social change. Those with babies and toddlers admit that the children are unlikely to remember anything of their time at Zuccotti Park, but that they believe the children will one day appreciate that they were present.” Helaine Olen
"The head of the O.W.S. community relations group, Justin Wedes, said then that the park is open to everyone and that it would not be “plausible” to make special space available for neighborhood users.
In regard to the parents event, Moore said, “I find it very interesting that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Obviously it’s possible when it’s for an O.W.S. event.”
When asked if it was fair that O.W.S. chose to create a restricted section of the park for the event, when the community has been asking for shared space in Zuccotti, Bill Dobbs, with O.W.S. press relations said, “I’m not going to comment on that. All I’m going to say is that it was handled in a reasonable way.”
“This past Friday’s Family Sleep Over in Zuccotti Park, sponsored and organized by Parents for Occupy Wall Street (PFOWS), was considered a success in that turnout was higher than expected, and both parents and children actually slept. It was a resounding success, according to a local parent who attended, because she “found an amazing, living form of democracy” in Zuccotti Park.”
Braving Chaos, Parents and Kids Occupy Wall Street for a Night by Josh Harkinson
"Zuccotti Park, like most public places in New York City, can be dangerous late at night. Midnight attacks by street people, stolen laptops, dozing women who’ve been groped or propositioned: Sesame Streetit is not. But with a little bit of coordinated self-policing, Occupy Wall Street can be a safe place to bed down for anyone. That, at least, was the idea on Friday night when 68 families with young children showed up at the park, blankets and cupcakes in tow, for a sleepover.”
I don’t think he captured the event very well, and he said only 68 families showed up, when there were over 500 people, but it isn’t all bad.
Thirty-five days into New York City’s Occupy Wall Street protest, a new type of crowd — 500 parents with their children — gathered in Zuccotti Park. The event, sponsored by Parents for Occupy Wall Street, was a family sleepover that started at 4 p.m. on Oct. 21 and ran through 11 a.m. on Oct. 22. It came complete with crafts, storybooks and … politics.”
Press TV takes revolutionary steps as the first Iranian international news network, broadcasting in English on a round-the-clock basis.
"The crowds in Zuccotti park can range from two hundred to two thousand depending on the day. So for parents, bringing your children into the crowded space can be a precarious adventure. Parents for Occupy Wall Street say the child safe zone allows people to express themselves without compromising the safety of their children”.
"Commentators have begun to describe Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party benignly as spontaneous expressions of democracy arising from both the left and right wings of the political spectrum. It’s interesting to note, however, that some supporters at Tea Party rallies used the occasions as opportunities to carry guns openly while Occupy Wall Street is providing arts and crafts, a singalong and a bedtime story for kids.” Susan Sipprelle
“Looking into the eyes of the future, you can’t help but be caught up in the movement that’s trying to affect change in a peaceful, positive way, Desmarais says. this is why she’s bringing her toddler to Occupy Wall Street … how about you?”
Skeptical or not, the students know they’re witnessing something significant.
"We’re pretty much videotaping everything, putting it altogether in projects and stuff," said Eighth grader Hector Angel Gonzalez.
Then there are the college students, who are examining what it takes to be a participant. Is it enough, for example, to simply “Like” “Occupy Wall Street” on its Facebook page, in order to support it? It’s a probing question for a new age of instantaneous communication.
"Clearly it’s spread globally, people are finally being heard, and that’s what the goal is," said one college student.
More youngsters could be heading to the Downtown park soon. A group called Parents for Occupy Wall Street is planning a sleepover Friday night.
Organizers say the aim is to show support for a movement that could impact the future.
“Occupy Wall Street protesters have been hard at work trying to capture the hearts and minds of the middle class, Middle America, and mid-level talk show hosts. But now it seems they’re turning their attentions toward a block with slightly less voting power: children. Tomorrow, there will be a Family Sleepover at Zuccotti Park for the sake of “our children’s futures.”’
“The latest communique from Occupy Wall Street press man Patrick Bruner is titled “Families Plan Sleepover on Friday, October 21, Growing Support for Occupy Wall Street Community.” They’re going to be having a sleepover for protesting families, starting at 4PM on Friday and running until 11AM the next day. Of course, they are careful to note that they are doing this for this children to do…for the children:
With the Family Sleepover, Parents for Occupy Wall Street are Occupying to speak up for the ones without a voice and make real change, change for their children’s futures.
Futures, indeed! What does your pepper spray have to say to the children, New York Police Department? Who will your power washers wash now, Mayor Bloomberg? Etc.” Foster Kamer
"I don’t know about you but I’ve been following the protests happening on Wall Street and other areas around the world with great interest. While the media has painted, rightfully so or not, that the Occupy Wall Street protestors are just a bunch of hippies, radicals and druggies, I believe that the discontentment they are expressing is valid and widespread. Obviously, as a parent, I’m not alone.” Dana H. Glazer
If you have wanted to join in on Occupy Wall Street and haven’t been able to do so because of family obligations or if you want to teach your kids about making our voices heard- you now have the opportunity to do so in a safe and festive event. Parents for Occupy Wall Street is having a family sleepover in Zuccotti Park from Friday, October 21 to October 22nd. The event will not only be a great teaching moment for kids but a totally community driven peaceful protest with events throughout the weekend.
What a great way for the world to see that parents and children can and should be heard (and not just in restaurants!), but about important matters. We can show everyone that this peaceful movement affects all U.S. citizens and that includes families. This isn’t just a movement for the radical, super young or unemployed- as it has been popularly described- but a movement for families who have had home foreclosures, seen cuts in their school budgets, loss of health insurance- and most definitely, unemployment.