FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2012
Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr. and Reverend Dr. Jamal Bryant led thousands nationally to Federal Reserve Banks to fight against economic injustice and economic inequality
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2012—The Occupy the Dream, Martin Luther King day events drew huge crowds across the country. Thousands of concerned citizens “Occupied” the Dream at Federal Reserve Banks to protest the bank’s monetary policy and income inequality. In Washington D.C. over 200 marchers showed up and in New York City over 500 showed up. The marchers heard remarks from Dr. Chavis and Dr. Bryant and engaged in a series of chants including, “they bailed out the banks, but sold us out” and “we fight to live and not to die.” Leaders of the Occupy the Dream movements laid down several demands including:
- A Constitutional Amendment to limit the amount of and role of corporate money in politics;
- Full funding of Pell Grants and greater access to low interest student loans;
- An end to the Bush Era Tax cuts that assist the rich;
- An immediate end to foreclosures and the development of a plan to put people back in their homes;
- Employment and training programs for the returning soldiers who come back and others in need;
- Rebuilding the Nations Infrastructure including bridges, roads, tunnel, highway, etc.
Occupy had a huge turnout from all participating cities. Occupy joined forces with the Black church community and people from all over the country. Besides Washington, D.C. and New York City, demonstrations were held in Delaware, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Oakland, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Atlanta, just to name a few. Also present were Howard University students, Rainbow PUSH and the National Action Network. Reverend Dr. Jamal Bryant told the crowd “this is to remind the banks that they work for us and we do not work for them…Occupy is a diverse organization, not white or black but a reflection of America in it’s totality.
In New York over 500 people attended the Occupied the Dream event which started with a prayer ceremony at the African Burial Grounds in lower Manhattan led by Queen Mother Delois Blakely. The protest then moved to the Federal Reserve Bank, where Bishop Mitchell Taylor led the crowd in prayer and was followed by Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr. Latino leader Estelle Velasquez, Executive President of the1199 Labor Union, spoke on behalf of Union and Latino’s to show support for Occupy the Dream. Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr. told the crowd “we affirm the dream of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for economic justice by protesting today at the Federal Reserve Bank.”
The other Occupy the Dream movement locations had huge turnouts all over 100 protestors, Richmond even topping 2000 protestors; Chicago had 800 protestors, San Francisco had 300 protestors, Philadelphia had 150 protestors, just to name a few. For photos and video of events all around the country and for continuing coverage:http://studiooccupy.org/#!/submit/OccupytheDream
About Occupy the Dream
Led by the North Carolina State Youth Coordinator of SCLC under Dr. King, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., and Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant of the Empowerment Temple Church, clergy and faith leaders from across the nation will travel to the nation’s capital, site of the historic “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” to once again proclaim their moral responsibility to join the front line of the struggle against poverty and economic injustice.