Peaceful rally in New York to "reboot" anti-Wall Street movement

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 28, 2012 7:38 PM
Peaceful rally in New York to "reboot" anti-Wall Street movement

By Gianna Palmer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Celebrities joined about 200 people gathered peacefully on Tuesday for what they called a "reboot" of the dormant anti-Wall Street protest movement that has loosely organized around a message decrying economic inequality.

"Non-violent demonstrations always have signaled positive change," said actress Susan Sarandon speaking from a stage to the cheering crowd in Union Square.

"This is how we reboot this great experiment called democracy," she said.

Sarandon handed the stage over to a guitar-strumming Peter Yarrow, the folk singer best known as part of the 1960s music trio Peter, Paul and Mary.

Marchers prepared to head for Zuccotti Park, birthplace of the movement they called "Occupy," which has been relatively quiet in the months since police cleared encampments in New York, Los Angeles, Oakland and other major cities.

"I'm here to see what's going on with the movement because there are still very many pressing political issues," said Peter Mack, 22, a college student carrying a sign that used an expletive to denounce the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Barack Obama designed to guard against terrorism.

Darcie Grunblatt, 14, gathered with her high school friends to listen to the music and speeches.

"I just like what they stand for," said Grunblatt, smiling broadly to reveal her braces. "They stand for equality."

A rallying cry of the movement has been that 1 percent of the population has too much of the nation's wealth and the remaining 99 percent are disadvantaged.

The gathering and march was held on the eve of what is being billed as a national day of solidarity among Occupy groups across the country on Wednesday. Groups from Connecticut to California announced plans to demonstrate against corporations that lobby for legislation to create tax breaks and other benefits for large businesses.

(Editing By Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)