Posted by TAG - January 26, 2012 | News


Celebrants hold candles aloft at the Riverside Church MLK observance
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 

NEW YORK — January 15, 2012. The 99 percent have a long struggle ahead of them to Occupy 2012, to Occupy Everything in the name of peace and justice, but on the evening of January 15, Martin Luther King’s birthday, they took the first step.

 
At 7 p.m. on January 15, candles were lit in countries throughout the world in an act of solidarity with Dr. King’s values and with the people who share them. In New York it was a bitterly cold night with sub-freezing temperatures, yet 500 people gathered on the steps of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The crowd was mostly Occupy Wall Street protesters and their allies, many of whom had walked there from Liberty Square in lower Manhattan — a 9 mile journey. After the candles were lit the crowd began a 10 block walk along Broadway, marching past Columbia University and making their way to Riverside Church. The streets were empty because of the cold but the participants walked slowly — singing and holding candles.

 


Occupy Wall Street marching to Riverside Church
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
As the walkers arrived at the church they were welcomed in by ushers and helped to seats in the beautiful vaulted main assembly hall. The huge room was warmly lit and filled with people. Many were Occupiers. The program made King and the Occupiers their focal point acknowledging that he would have fully supported their goals: ending war and creating social and economic justice. They are the embodiment of his ideas today.

 


Civil rights attorney Norm Siegel speaking at the MLK observance
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
There was music and a number of speeches, mercifully short. Unfortunately, most of the speeches appeared to lack passion. The wars went largely unmentioned and this observer thought it might have been better to play a recording of the speech MLK made there exactly a year before he died — when he condemned the role of the U.S. in the Viet Nam War and urged the U.S. government to end the war. About three quarters of the way through the program an Occupier stood up and said “Mic-check.” Since loudspeakers are not allowed at the camp site the people there developed a method of communication that would allow everyone to hear what a speaker is saying. The person wishing to communicate with the crowd shouts “mic-check”, people repeat the phrase and then the person wishing to convey their thoughts to the crowd speaks in short sentences which are then repeated by the entire crowd so that everyone can hear what is being said. It is slow but effective. The Occupier in the church then began speaking about what he learned from King and the crowd repeated word for word. Another then stood and expressed his love for King and told about how he learned non-violence from him. Then another spoke of learning to use passive resistance to change society. And another discussed what King meant to her and how she learned to be a decent human being emulating the values King espoused. All this was communicated using the mic-check technique. In effect the Occupiers hijacked the program and brought their passions to the forefront. They brought their OCCUPY banner to the front of the room and placed it on the dais. To their credit, the program organizers did not interrupt them, and instead said, “Mic-check. We love you all.”

 


Emma Goldman would have been pleased: dancing in the aisles
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
The event ended with the church choir singing some very lively gospel music and young people dancing in the aisles.

 


The audience “twinkling” their approval
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
The thousands in the church learned about King and about who the Occupiers are and what they want. There would have little doubt that King, had he lived to celebrate his 83 birthday, would have been pleased to see his values carried on with strength, intelligence, courage and great enthusiasm.

 


(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 

View Photos From The Event…

 

Posted by TAG - January 3, 2012 | News


A protester – and a symbol – occupy Zuccotti Park
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 

NEW YORK — January 1, 2012. Occupy Wall Street was the story of the year and it yielded many opportunities for photojournalists to ply their craft — including NLN photographers — but it wasn’t the only story.

 


In Times Square, protesters observe
the eighth anniversary of the Iraq War
(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

 
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars ground on throughout most of 2011 – and their respective anniversaries were marked with protests.

 


Adrienne Kinne of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)
at a 2011 protest
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 



 

Click on any photo to access the
Best of NLN – 2011 gallery…


 



A New Yorker demands the resignation of Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker — and Mayor Michael Bloomberg
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 
In New York and elsewhere workers walked the protest and picket lines in solidarity with public sector workers in Wisconsin.

 


A CodePINK activist demands the release
of whistleblower Bradley Manning
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 
A number of organizations took to the streets to demand the release of U.S. Army private Bradley Manning.

 


The 2011 NYC Pride March was a celebration
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 
In New York City the 2011 Pride March was a massive celebration as New York became the largest state in the union to legalize same-sex marriage.

 


Postal workers marched in 2011
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 
Members of the Postal Services four unions came together in 2011 – marching to save the USPS from privatization.

 


In 2011 New Yorkers sent a message to Governor Andrew Cuomo
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 
A number of communities organized themselves to oppose fracking – sending a message to elected officials.

 


New York’s financial district during an OWS action
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 
There was some anger and frustration in New York and elsewhere in 2011.

 


Hopeful protesters in Foley Square, celebrating OWS…
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 
But there was also something special…Hope.

 


(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

 
Happy New Year from NLN — We’ll see you in the streets of 2012!

 


View Our Best Photos/Videos From 2011…

 


A citizen journalist documents the OWS struggle
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)