Occupying Gracie

With snow on the ground and a chill in the air, nearly a hundred of my fellow ninety-nine percenters and I met at a corner on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We were several miles uptown from Liberty Square but we carried the same signs, sang the same chants for an action called #occupygracie. This past Friday our fellow activists at the Job Party read an article in the National Journal, a publication mainly read in Washington, D.C. that noted Mayor Bloomberg would be meeting with members of the Congressional "Super Committee" and other business leaders over the weekend in order to find trillions in cuts to our federal budget.

Mayor Bloomberg is very much a part of the 1%. His statements against the Millionaire's Tax and actions meant to thwart the Occupiers' efforts at Liberty Square make it very clear that his allegiance is to his wealthy fellows. For instance, the day before this past weekend's snowstorm he had law enforcement confiscate all generators from Liberty Square. Instead of sitting back and taking that abuse, we took ourselves to his doorstep and voiced our dissent.

Our chants reverberated between the buildings on what is normally a very quiet East 88th Street. Yet as we rounded the corner and had Gracie Mansion in our sights, we were directed towards a penned-in area created by NYPD barricades. Across the street the police had shut down Carl Schurz Park, in which sits Gracie Mansion. Not only were we mad that we could not exercise our First Amendment rights where we wanted to, so were neighbors who wished to walk their dogs!

To make ourselves heard, we left the pen and headed down the street so we could be directly in front of the mansion. However at that point we were met by a wall of NYPD officers. It seemed they had orders to keep us far from the Mayor and his elite guests. One of us that did try to get close was arrested. The rest of our crowd was slowly pushed back down the sidewalk by members of the police. Yet we remained strong and our only reaction was to make our voices louder. Our elected officials will hear us. We will continue to #occupy and as more of us get involved, we will win!

In Solidarity,

Josh Silverstein


Democracy for New York City