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We Are the 99 Percent: MoveOn Supporters Hold Rally

Demands Washington focus on jobs, making Wall Street pay fair share

On Thursday, Nov. 17, just days after Mayor Bloomberg tried to shut out the voices of Occupy Wall Street in New York City; members of joined a nationwide day of action called, “We Are the 99%.” 

Marking the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, nearly 70 local community members from Long Island and beyond rallied at the former K-Mart property on Hempstead Turnpike at Gardiners Avenue in Levittown to demand that the politicians in Washington focus on creating jobs and making millionaires on Wall Street pay their fair share.

The “We Are the 99%” day of action was organized in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests taking place across the country, with more than 300 similar demonstrations organized throughout the country.

Organizers said that events were held nationally at crumbling bridges, understaffed schools, and other sites that show the local symptoms of a failed economy. Local protesters chose the old Levittown K-Mart location because of its once thriving contribution to the area, a substantial corner of real estate, unused for years.

While more than five Nassau County Police Officers were on-site to monitor the expected peaceful rally, organizers and supporters carried posters with their messages and acknowledged dozens of car-honking supporters in hundreds of passing vehicles at the rally intersection, held for more than two hours during the after-work rush-hour.

Protesters were also targeting members of the Congressional Super Committee to increase pressure on the committee to focus on making millionaires pay their fair share, rather than what they said were job-killing cuts that will hurt working families. The protests were being held just days before the Congressional Super Committee’s deadline to submit a debt reduction proposal to Congress.

The Super Committee failed to meet its deadline to forget a deficit deal. Automatic budget cuts will take place in 2013 if there is not a deal before then.

“We’re here today to demand that politicians in Washington stand up for the 99 percent and stop their assault on the American Dream,” said Lisa Oldendorp, a local MoveOn member. “The big banks and corporations are reaping the benefits of an economy that only works for the 1 percent, while the rest of us have been left behind. It’s time that Congress started fighting for an economy that works for all of us, not just the millionaires on Wall Street.”

The event was organized by MoveOn. org and the new American Dream Movement. Members of were joined by other local groups: Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, Veterans for Peace, Long Island Progressive Coalition, New York State United Teachers, Code Pink, and Yes We Can!

The American Dream Movement, the organization states, is made up of “millions of ordinary Americans, along with dozens of leading grassroots organizations, fighting together for good jobs for all Americans, securing a future for our children and our communities, and finally, making corporations and the super-rich pay their fair share in taxes.”