NEW YORK – The Rev. Al Sharpton was due to bring his nationally syndicated radio show to lower Manhattan Monday as the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations enter their 24th day, CNN reports Sharpton, an outspoken civil rights activist and talk show host, was due to broadcast from Zuccotti Park, where the protests are based, according to his National Action Network.
Organizers of the “leaderless resistance movement” also have billed Monday as “Kids Speak Out” day, with school children off for Columbus Day.
“Even as banks got bailed out, American children have witnessed their parents get tossed out of their homes and lose their jobs. Public school kids have lost arts, music and physical education,” the movement’s website said. “Now our kids can see activists take these issues to the streets in a democratic forum at Occupy Wall Street.”
On Sunday, politicians fought to cast the ongoing protests in a very different light, with two GOP presidential hopefuls calling them “class warfare” and prominent Democrats expressing support for the protesters.
As lawmakers took to the political talk shows, a crowd of about 100 people protested outside the White House, part of a wave of protests spreading nationwide inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The Secret Service said one person was arrested and will be charged with assault on a police officer after throwing a shoe at a uniformed officer.
Lisa Simeone, one of the protest organizers, said the man was trying to throw his shoe over the fence of the White House but missed.
Most of those taking part carried an anti-war message – something that has happened in other cities as well. Several carried signs asking President Barack Obama to join them for a “beer summit.” Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, who visited a protest Saturday in Atlanta, said Sunday that the protesters “want to be heard.”
“And at the same time they want to speak to America, speak to people in power, to officials of the American government but also to the business community, especially Wall Street, to corporate America, to bankers. They’re saying, in effect, that we bailed out Wall Street and now it’s time for Wall Street and corporate America to help bail out the American people.
The movement decries corporate greed and social inequality. But demonstrations have evolved to also include topics such as the war in Afghanistan and the environment.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a petition on its website, asking people to support the protests and send a message to the “reckless Republican leadership in Congress.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she supports “the message to the establishment, whether it’s Wall Street or the political establishment and the rest, that change has to happen.”
“We cannot continue in a way that … is not relevant to their lives,” Pelosi told ABC’s “This Week.” “People are angry.”