A coalition of community organizations, elected officials and labor unions plans to lead hundreds of Uptown residents from Washington Heights to Zuccotti Park on Monday.
This is the first time communities of color from Northern Manhattan have organized to join the Occupy Wall Street movement. The march is expected to include elected officials, community activists and members from the black and Hispanic community, and is intended to show solidarity from diverse communities around New York with the Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park.
David Segal, press secretary for City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who is backing the march, said it’s inaccurate to portray the Occupy Wall Street movement to be predominantly white. “It’s important to let the rest of the city to know that people of color are in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement,” he said.
Organizers from the Occupy Wall Street protest attended a press conference announcing the march on Thursday morning in front of an abandoned building on 182nd Street and St. Nicholas. Tyler Combelic, a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street, said it was important to recognize the needs and concerns of the New York City neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the recession. “I’m marching all 11 miles,” he said.
United New York, a nonprofit that helps the working class find jobs, is one sponsor of the demonstration. “The march is a way for people of color to lend their voices to the movement and express their dissatisfaction with the lack of jobs,” said Cara Noel, who works with United New York. “It’s an opportunity for them to take care of their families.” Noel said her team has been tweeting, passing out fliers and working with partner organizations to spread the word on the walk. “I’m expecting it to be very organized and to make a statement,” she said.
Among the groups participating and expecting to march are the Transport Workers Union, Alianza Dominicana, the Service Employees International Union, and The Northern Manhattan Improvement Coalition. New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Councilman Member Rodriguez plan to lead the walk.
The march, called “End to End for 99%,” is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Monday at 181st Street and St. Nicholas, work its way South through Harlem, and end at Zuccotti Park about 3 hours later. Segal said it is one of the few times that Harlem and Washington Heights has united in a movement.
Because there is no permit for the march, staff from different community organizations will work as marshals to help guide demonstrators.
Emmanuel Abreu, a resident of Inwood who expects to participate, said he thought the march would start small. “Two people will know, more and more people will join in and by the time we reach Harlem there should be more people.”
The march will end with a final rally in solidarity with Uptown residents and members of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
This article was updated on 11/04/2010 to correct that David Segal said that it was an inaccurate portrayal of the Occupy Wall Street movement as mostly white, not that it was a betrayal.