Updated 10/03/2011 11:13 PM
Union Workers, Politicians Voice Support For "Occupy Wall Street" Protesters Following Arrests
Hundreds were arrested over the weekend as the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters took to the Brooklyn Bridge, but politicians and demonstrators alike rallied Monday to show their support for the cause, which continues to draw skepticism from some due to its lack of a central message. NY1’s Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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After some expressed skepticism of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement because protesters don't have any formal demands, demonstrators appeared to gain some momentum on Monday, when Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer expressed support for the hundreds gathered at Zucotti Park downtown.
"The city should be able to manage people's right to speak out about their government or even Wall Street, and I don't think we should get all frazzled and freaked out ‘cause people are protesting," said Stringer.
The Transport Workers Union supported the protesters, as well, filing a restraining order in court to prevent the NYPD from transporting arrested demonstrators in MTA vehicles.
"Our operators are not there to transport folks that are arrested, particularly innocent folks that are arrested. That's particularly appalling to Local 100," said John Samuelsen, president of TWU Local 100.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn wouldn't say she would visit Zucotti Park, which some other officials have, like Councilman Jumaane Williams. However, she said she sympathizes with their message.
"This is a tough time in America. Unemployment is at a level that is extremely high. Even if you have a job, you're nervous about whether you are going to keep it,” said Quinn.
Some of the protesters came to City Hall this afternoon to condemn the arrest of 700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday. They continue to argue that protesters were misled onto the roadway, blocking traffic, by police.
"By penning people in, dividing people up, making it very difficult to get march permits, policing, making arrests for minor legal violations, they are denying peoples’ right to protest," said Alex Vitale of Brooklyn College.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has continued to say police acted appropriately.