Occupy Wall Street protest holds teach-in

Oct. 22, 2011 at 11:55 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City moved to Union Square Saturday to bolster the 16th Annual Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality event.

Dozens of protesters marched in support of the annual protest against police violence, WCBS reported. Event co-founder Carl Dix said the re-enforcements from Occupy Wall Street made the rally bigger than in years past.

"Look, when we talk about the police brutality and repression, the people that comes down on primarily are part of the 99 percent, so we see it as a companion issue," he told WCBS.

A teach-in in Washington Square Park also was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, as well as a rally and march, NY1 reported.

Protesters called for the end of the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy, which they say disproportionately targets men of color. In 2009, more than 500,000 people were stopped and frisked.

A protester climbed a 30-foot sculpture Saturday morning and called for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's resignation.

The man, Dylan Spoelstra, 24, was talked down by police without arrest but was taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

"Your tongue is powerful. There's so many ways of protesting and me personally, I consider that as another sign of protest. It's not like he was trying to commit suicide or anything. He had demands. It was government demands and everything. His mind was on one thing," said another protester.

Friday night, a march on Manhattan's Upper West Side was joined by Pete Seeger, a 92-year-old singer and activist, and folk singer Arlo Guthrie.

"It's reminiscent of the time when people were sort of without leaders, without agendas. Just something happened back around 1964, 1965," Guthrie said. "People felt like they oughta say something cause the world was going in a way that didn't seem right. Seemed like it was getting a little crazy."

Police say 35 people were arrested during the march.

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