Today’s news:

Mainstream pols embrace — or is that simply try to be embraced by — the ‘Occupy’ movement

The Brooklyn Paper

A group of Brooklyn politicians and union representatives — led by Democratic Party boss Assemblyman Vito Lopez — will march across the Brooklyn Bridge to Zuccotti Park on Oct. 25 in a “day of solidarity” with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene) and Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsburg) will join the anti-greed march.

“We’re attempting to show that Brooklyn — the largest county — is supportive of what’s going on at that rally against Wall Street interests,” said Lopez (D–Bushwick), who has been in the assembly longer than many of the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been alive.

Lopez’s young protege Levin was an early supporter for the movement, showing up at the Occupy Brooklyn rally in Grand Army Plaza last Saturday.

“I would like to see this movement help to bring about some serious legislative changes and reforms,” he said, citing his support for a surcharge on high-wage earners — the so-called “Millionaire’s Tax” that Gov. Cuomo said he will allow to expire on schedule at the end of the year.

Tuesday’s march will begin with a rally in front of Borough Hall at 3:30 pm — there will be speeches, said Lopez — before the group heads to the Brooklyn Bridge en route to the larger protest in Manhattan.

The last time anti-Wall Street protesters marched across the bridge, on Oct. 1, more than 700 people arrested, but Lopez said getting in trouble isn’t on the agenda.

“Our intention is not to be arrested,” he said.

The protesters will lawfully walk over the bridge on the walking path, he added.

The “day of solidarity” is the latest show of support from local Democrats, who have started to embrace, and perhaps try to co-opt, the leaderless movement.

Some members of Occupy Brooklyn don’t have a problem with that right now.

“Any time it becomes popular movement, political leaders are going to try to acknowledge it,” said Brian Merchant, an organizer. “That’s part of what the protest is about.”

Yet others were more suspicious of the pols’ involvement.

“A lot of liberals are eager to use Occupy Wall Street to push their own message, both reformers and regulars alike,” said one political insider, who requested not to be named.

Lopez, however, emphasized his participation by citing the economic hardships endured by many in New York.

“The number of people living in poverty in New York has increased to a 12-year high of 20 percent,” he said. “A financial system where the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer will not work for the betterment of anyone.”

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or (718) 260-2531.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Dave from Park Slope says:
Frauds! Corrupt pols like Vito and Marty are the problem, not the solution. Stay home, phonies!
Oct. 21, 2011, 10:49 am
johnny boy from windsor terrace says:
these two dick heads will do anything for a photo op.
Oct. 21, 2011, 11:43 am
al pankin from downtown says:
this is really a joke, our politicians protesteing greed...where do they things their money and patronage comes from? the tax fairy? our state budget is $146 billion dollars, Florida with the same population is $66 billion dollars. How come? where does our tax money go?
New york used to be the Empire state, now it's the welfare state..business are fleeing this state, look at upstate N.Y., there are no jobs, other than govt. jobs. the politicians in power have driven the middle class and upper middle class out of this state..no on wants to see their taxes thrown away. the govt. employees who retire don't pay the 10% state income tax on their pensions so they don't care how much the state raises taxes....
Oct. 21, 2011, 11:45 am
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
The best thing you can say about these "Occupy ..." Obamavilles is that they show us who the extremists in and out of politics are. Like sunlight reveals cockroaches, these demonstrations reveal who the Bubblegum Communists are.

These overgrown adolescents--who seem to think that not working is hard work--will wake up in the future and dread the day they were U-Tubed bashing everything in America the same way middle-class retirees dread the tatooes they inked on their wrinkled hides during their addlebrained youth.
Oct. 21, 2011, 12:20 pm
gaston from brooklyn says:
Vito Lopez has secured a huge salary for her wife, making them part of the 1% that is over-represented in our government.

This was published 9/12/10:

"In one year, Lopez's girlfriend and his campaign treasurer made just shy of a million bucks between them from a taxpayer-funded social-service center in Bushwick, according to tax records.
Christiana Fisher -- the center's director and Lopez's campaign treasurer -- pulled down $659,591 in "base compensation" over a 12-month period in 2008 and 2009 for working only 17.5 hours a week at Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, according to the filings."

Vito Lopez represent the problem that Occupy Wall Street is fighting.
Oct. 21, 2011, 2:10 pm
bill from glendale says:
lopez is a joke him and is girlfriend should be in jail hey mr attorney general grow some balls oh wait thats right vito is your buddy
Oct. 21, 2011, 2:25 pm
UmadBro? from wat says:
Haha Mike is mad because after all his "hard work" he can only afford to live in Bay Ridge and will probably have to retire somewhere out in the middle of Jersey.
Oct. 21, 2011, 3:30 pm
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Embrace this, azzwipes...
Oct. 21, 2011, 3:34 pm
Fred from Williamsburgh says:
Vito must hate Jews if he supports these people. The entire occupy wall street movement was started by ad busters a jew hating group from Canada.
Oct. 21, 2011, 8:29 pm
Jew Hating Group from Canada says:
Hi Fred. Just stopped by to mention that, in between pulls on the ole Molson bottle and fat forks of back bacon, we hate you. Ha!
Oct. 21, 2011, 10:53 pm
Chaim Pesach from Williamsburg says:
Vito Lopez is way cooler than Lincoln Restler, who's just a young old fogy. Vito, you rock!
Oct. 22, 2011, 6:53 am
Frank from Brooklyn says:
I think Lopez and the other politicians are right to see this as a unique moment to address important changes that need to be made to help the overwhelming majority of NYC residents that aren't the wealthy 1%. Money for schools, affordable housing and other necessary and important government services shouldn't be cut, but increased in this time of need. The only way to accomplish this is by taxing very wealthy millionaires. Obviously, posters above critical of this, or of the politicians seeking to raise this important issue like Lopez, are merely trying to undermine this growing movement.
Oct. 22, 2011, 7 am
bill from glendale says:
VITO IS A DISGRACE GOD knows whatYOU DO AND ALL THAT YOU DONE KARMA IT WILL BE SLOW AND PAINFUL IT ALWAYS BITE YOU IN THE ASS AND YOUR TWO FACED GIRLFRIEND SHE USE OUR TAX MONEY TO GIVE HERSELF A RAISE WHILE EVERYBODY IS JUST MAKING IT WAKE UP BROOKLYN PEOPLE VITO DONT CARE ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY
Oct. 22, 2011, 9:20 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Marching our way to Obamaville!

The Rich get richer and the poor get children!

When the rich don't get richer it's called a depression.

Taxing the rich may get rid of the rich, but it won't get rid of the poor.
Oct. 22, 2011, 11 am
Tony from Park Slope says:
Vito Lopez, criminal, and his political hack army will have rude awakening as they attempt to march anywhere in "solidarity" with the Occupy Movement. We sent Charlie Rangel packing and we'll escort Criminal Lopez from our midst.

He is a criminal opportunist politician. We do not need political endorsements or support. If they all did their jobs honestly, with a focus on the common good, and without allowing the flood of corporate and big business money, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Vito, wherever you go, they'll be a protest AGAINST YOU to face.
Oct. 22, 2011, 11:56 am
BILL from glendale says:
im 100% behind wall street protest keep up the good work BUT DONT LET VITO LOPEZ JOIN THE CAUSE HES A TWO FACE HE AND IS GIRLFRIEND ARE TAKING OUR TAX MONEY HE GETS THE FUNDS TO GO TO THE CENTER WHERE HIS GIRLFRIEND AND HIS MANAGER GAVE THEM SELF A RAISE OF OUR TAX MONEY TOTALING 1 MILLION DOLLARS WHILE WE STRUGGLE DONT ALLOW HIM TO JOIN HE SHOULD BE IN JAIL WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND
Oct. 22, 2011, 2:35 pm
BILL from glendale says:
TONY FROM PARK SLOP PLEASE DONT LET HIM JOIN THE PROTEST VITO IS a bad person just out to make money for him and his crew hes 70 hope they put him in jail soon hes pretty old
Oct. 22, 2011, 2:40 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Vito Lopez is a dirtbag. Scamming NY taxpayers with his girlfriend is only one of his many crimes. He would be in jail by now, except that the Brooklyn Democratic Party controls all the judgeships in our borough.

No, OWS is equal opportunity, folks. It's not Democrat vs. Republican or any of that circus Big Media, Big Finance, and Big Government like to peddle to distract & divide us. It's the 99%, both Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, against the 1%, both Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, who are robbing us blind, destroying our country, and killing our children.

If God is just, Vito's, Jamie Dimon's, Lloyd Blankfein's, and all of the 1%'s heads will wind up on pikes before this is over. Now, Tea Party and OWS, shake on it and get it done.
Oct. 22, 2011, 8:26 pm
Jonny from Bushwick says:
Vito Lopez and middle of the road pols like Jeffries are part of the problem, not the solution. Don't accept their alliance.
Oct. 24, 2011, 3:17 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Links