Occupy Detroit sympathizes with New York protestersPost a Comment
Josh Katzenstein/ The Detroit News
Detroit— The Occupy Detroit movement expressed sympathy for fellow protesters in New York who clashed with police Thursday over the Occupy Wall Street movement.
At least 50 people were arrested in New York as protesters marched down Wall Street, calling for economic reform by large corporations.
"To the extent (the movement) has failed, America has failed," said Rafael Adley, initially a member of Occupy Lansing before joining Occupy Detroit this past weekend.
Lee Gaddies, a member of the Detroit group's media team, said protesting on Wall Street put the New York group in danger of police action.
"The reason New York in particular is getting attacked is because they're closest to the locus of power," Gaddies said Thursday afternoon. "(New York Mayor Mike) Bloomberg is part of the top 1 percent."
Members of Occupy Detroit were concerned for their fellow 99 percenters in New York, but police raids in other cities, including Oakland, Calif., and Portland, have no effect on the local protest.
"Detroit is a very different place. You can't superimpose Oakland and New York on Detroit," Gaddies said. "Detroit is built on relationships. We have a relationship with the police department; we have a relationship with City Council.
"Our strength is the fact that we are Detroiters, and we are loyal when it comes to other Detroiters."
Lucianna Sabgash, another member of the Detroit movement, said Occupy Wall Street has been faced with "endlessly inconsistent" law enforcement, and she felt fortunate to be part of a group that has garnered support from Detroit' government and police.
One reason Gaddies thinks the Detroit group has been successful is the history of the civil rights movement. Citing influences like Grace Lee Boggs, he said this city understands protests, and the group has successfully worked to remain nonviolent since occupying Grand Circus Park on Oct. 14.
Several occupy groups...
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