Occupy Brooklyn Begins
The #OccupyWallStreet movement is now world famous. 'Occupy' protests have sprung up in hundreds of cities around the world, from Boston to Reykjavík to Seattle to Madrid. But there's at least one culturally significant, hugely populous location -- one that's curiously nearby to Liberty Square itself -- that still hadn't seen an Occupy movement sprout. And that's Brooklyn.
This Saturday at 11 am, the Occupy Brooklyn movement officially begins -- fittingly, in solidarity with the city's second largest Greenmarket, and the independent farmers who set up shop there. The event will take place at Grand Army Plaza at Prospect Park, and has already garnered the support of Borough President Marty Markowitz. Brooklyn's loquacious leader stated that "It was only a matter of time before the ... rallies made their way to Brooklyn. There is no doubt that Americans -- those in the '99 percent' -- are hurting, and we can all agree that some of the issues being raised by these protests are concerns we can all rally around."
Whether or not he'll show up in solidarity remains to be seen. Regardless, Brooklyn is primed to become the latest hotspot for the Occupy movement (full disclosure, I've been attending meetings and helping out with some organizing). Brooklyn, after all, is not only home to 2.5 million people -- most of whom don't work in the borough -- but the median annual income for Brooklynites is some $15K less than that of Manhattan, where the movement has been most visible thus far.
Furthermore, Brooklyn is currently a cultural hotspot, not just for New York, but for the nation in general. Many of the country's most influential artists, musicians, and writers now live in Brooklyn -- which presents a keen opportunity to weave the message of Occupy Wall Street into the nation's cultural fabric.
But most of all, Brooklyn is home to some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, and some of the hardest hit by the recession. We in Brooklyn live under the shadow and influence of the corporate titans just across the river, and perhaps it's time to even the scales ...
If you're a Brooklynite concerned with economic and environmental justice, come on out to the Occupy Brooklyn rally and share your voice. See you there.
More info at the Occupy Brooklyn Facebook event page.