A slow but steady stream of protestors today began to assemble across the street from the Capitol as part of the “Occupy Albany” movement, Gannett’s Aaron Scholder reports.
From Scholder’s report:
Men and women of all ages were part of the protest, which was held in Lafayette Park to show solidarity with the now-infamous occupation in New York City.
Many came armed with signs declaring a need for better democracy and jobs as well as better support for what they view as the bottom-feeding 99 percent of America.
“I think maybe it’s coming at a time when enough people are finally beginning to understand that they’re in a no-win situation and unless they do come together that they’ll never get anywhere,” Kinney, 72, of Albany, said.
The protestors gathered in response to what they see as injustice related to the political and economic situations of the country. Some protestors brought their children with them as a way of showing that the future of America is being hurt by the current economic situation.
“I’m heartened that so many people seem to understand the connections of so many struggles that have gone on for so long,” said Emma Potik, 35, of Albany, who set up a blanket and brought food for an extended stay. “We can disagree on all sorts of issues and still believe that we should all have a voice.”
Potik said the political system needs to respond better to the concerns of taxpayers and that she hoped the movement would reverse the trend of being ignored by politicians.
The protest drew an older-than-expected crowd as many assembled were not those looking for jobs, but rather retirees who felt betrayed by their government.
“A lot of people say that there is not a cohesive, explicit message (of the protests). There doesn’t have to be,” said Tony Fariello, 60, of Albany, a former state employee who also protested the Vietnam War. “There doesn’t have to be a cohesive polemic like back in ’68. I am angrier now than I was in 1970 but at least in 1970 I was able to escape to Toronto.”
Organizers of the movement began to set up tables for donations and frequently garnered support from the blaring horns of cars driving by.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of specific issues but I found the major blockage in just about every one of them has come from when you hit the political system,” said Gary Lamb, 63, of Columbia County. “Just about every politician at the state or federal level is elected because they have a lot of powerful money from interest groups behind them.”
Lamb said he planned to join the protest in Zuccotti Park in New York for a couple of days next week.