On the Scene as Occupy Gathers in Bryant Park
Here's a few of the many hundreds gathered at Bryant Park Tuesday morning for Occupy Wall Street's May Day demonstrations stood out from the crowd: * A military man who thinks the nation's biggest problem is that businesses are taxed too much. *Two toddlers and an infant. * A man wearing a Burberry raincoat, a Calvin Klein gray pin-stripe suit and a blue J Crew tie. The suited man, Matthew Bolton, said many in the 99 percent dress in suits. His brief case with a large "Occupy" sticker showed he was with the crowd. Bolton, 31, a political science professor at Pace University, not far from Wall Street, acknowledged the Occupy movement has not yet had an effect in Washington but added, "Politics doesn't only happen in Congress. What Occupy has done is change the conversation for the media?. "I also hope it does make a change in Washington. It has already been a symbolic victory and symbolism is incredibly important." Throughout the crowd, drums of course were beating, but guitars, banjoes, saxophones and trumpets were also being played. Police presence in the park was extremely light but it grew by a little later in the morning. Most in the crowd did not seem to notice police, who did not move on a few violating city law by smoking in the park. The crowd stayed off the park's plush lawn, which was closed but barely protected with low ropes a few inches off the ground. The military man, Luis del Carpio, 43, a veteran of the first Gulf War, works in the Far East conditioning elite golfers. He said he had a business in this country but tax policy drove him overseas. "I hope they change the tax laws so US small businesses can make money and hire people," he said. He'd like to see the Occupy movement shift a little to focus more on taxes than income inequality, but he supports their cause. "If you are a corporation, you are hardly paying any taxes but if you are small business you are paying high costs." He said he ran a day care center in Texas but had to close it because of his taxes. A mother of one of the toddlers said she came to support her friends in Occupy, and hadn't thought about what she hoped to someday teach her 18-month old son about it. "I'm not the one to ask because I'm not a big occupier myself," she said. Except for a large jar of Skippy peanut butter, there was not much corporate support at Occupy's free food table. Around noon, pasta and sauce was on the menu. As one of the protesters put it, "The revolution must be fed." You can follow New York Press columnist Josh Rogers @JoshRogersNYC.
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