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Wall Street Protesters Occupy Subway in Harlem

By Jeff Mays | November 18, 2011 7:05am
Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in Foley Square.
Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in Foley Square.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

HARLEM — Nearly 100 Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered at 125th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue Thursday afternoon to take the C train Downtown, where they joined thousands of other protesters at Foley Square.

Along the way, the protesters, participating in a "Day of Action" to mark Occupy Wall Street's two-month anniversary, explained to passengers on the train why they were demonstrating.

"The idea is to alert more of the communities that are not on the front lines at Zuccotti Park, but on the front lines of poverty," said Walter Adler, 27.

The protesters went from car to car handing out fliers and chanting, "We are the 99 percent. And so are you."

"We are in a struggle for jobs and justice, and we need to fight for that justice," said 85-year-old Monnie Callan.

Other participants included a man with a graduate degree who said he relied on "food stamps and my parents" to survive, because he couldn't find a job.

Another woman said she was fired from her financial services job for blowing the whistle on corrupt activities.

Roughly 250 protesters were arrested Thursday at Zuccotti Park and outside the New York Stock Exchange, just days after the NYPD swept demonstrators out of the park.

The protesters received a largely positive reception from straphangers.

"I think this is a good thing because the elected officials who were supposed to protect us from abuses have failed," said a C train rider, who gave his name as Reggie, 60, and said he worked as a researcher.

"There needs to be some action to correct that, and these young people are coming up with a solution."

The protesters did encounter a small amount of resistance from one man who said the demonstration was getting in the way of him trying to get to work and feed his kids.

A woman screaming and crying said: "There are jobs. Just not the ones you want. How can you afford to sit in a park for three weeks?"

The group told the man that they were protesting for his child's future. They explained to the woman that unemployment was at record highs because of "corporate greed."

At Foley Square, thousands of protesters gathered and listened to other demonstrators as music played. The atmosphere appeared festive before the protesters filed down Centre Street and marched over the Brooklyn Bridge.

"I came out to do what I can do," said Diane Lane-Hymans, 59, a former Transportation Safety Administration worker, "because at this point, that's all you can do."