The Occupy Wall Street protests brought an influx of tourists to Zuccotti Park Saturday, and some, including one Californian grandma, said they plan to spread the demonstrators’ message back home. NY1’s Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
Susan Reep is a retired grandmother of 10 who traveled all the way from Bakersfield, California for the weekend just so she could visit Occupy Wall Street.
“People are fed up. They're just fed up and this is where it started. This is Wall Street, and I may go occupy Los Angeles when I get home. I don't know, but this is where it started,” said Reep.
She's not alone. In tour buses and on foot, dozens of tourists visited Zuccotti Park Saturday, snapping pictures, taking videos and asking questions of the protesters who have been camped out for more than a month.
Some were surprised their message isn't more united.
“I'm a little disappointed on the organization on this,” said one tourist. “I'm walking through here and I'm not getting a clear message of what the point is.”
Still, the protesters say they're happy to explain it in the hopes their message will spread beyond New York.
“Come here from wherever you live, we'll give you whatever information you need, the website, all that stuff and then you go back to where you live and then start one there,” said protester Christopher Guerra.
And while Lower Manhattan residents NY1 spoke with said they haven't necessarily noticed a huge influx of tourists drawn to the protest, they said they are growing tired of the impact it's having on their neighborhood.
“It's kind of an inconvenience. I think it's a worthwhile cause, but personally I'm kinda over it,” said resident Michael Pirrocco.
It seems like residents will have to get used to it, though, because tourists NY1 spoke with said they planned to post the photos they took on social networking sites to encourage all of their friends to visit the protest, too.