SQUAT NYC Jan 15 (Dr. King's b-day) with Rev Sharpton & Daughtry

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 29 Dec 1999 16:48:56 -0800 (PST)

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SQUAT NYC Jan 15 (Dr. King's b-day) with Reverends Sharpton & Daughtry:


FWD  Found 1999/12/28 [unattributed news article, I guess]


     NYC demonstrators draw attention to the
     disparity between the rich and poor

NEW YORK -- Homeless advocates, standing beneath Rockefeller Center's
towering Christmas tree, offered a Christmas prayer for the city's
destitute after reminding hordes of holiday passers-by that Jesus was
born without a home.

"Here in the seat of New York opulence, as shoppers are buying special
presents and throwing credit cards down, we're here to remind them that
people are still living in the street,'' said the Rev. Al Sharpton, one
of the event's organizers.

"Two thousand years ago, Mary and Joseph were looking for shelter,''
Sharpton said.

Sharpton, along with veteran civil rights activist the Rev. Herbert
Daughtry, led several dozen demonstrators in a brief SHARPTON silent
prayer below the 100-foot Christmas tree.

"This underscores the appalling disparity between those who have and
those who have not,'' Daughtry said.

Around them, shoppers scurried into a variety of stores around
Rockefeller Center and tourists snapped pictures. After the prayer,
demonstrators marched silently in a circle along 49th Street and handed
out leaflets, braving temperatures in the high 20s.

According to Sharpton, the protest was sparked by Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani's recent homeless policies. After a brick-wielding homeless man
nearly killed a Queens woman, police began arresting homeless people who
refused orders to move from city sidewalks.

The city also moved to put children in foster care if their parents
sought city shelter but refused to accept work assignments. Two judges
blocked the city from instituting the foster care rule.

"Jesus would have been in foster care if Giuliani was mayor of
Bethlehem,'' said Sharpton, who was arrested Dec. 6 after trying to
spend the night in City Hall Park.

Sharpton and Daughtry also announced plans to take over a vacant
city-owned building and fill it with homeless people seeking shelter.
The event will occur Jan. 15 to coincide with the birthday of martyred
civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., they said.

The unspecified Harlem building will be dubbed "The Martin Luther King
House,'' Sharpton promised.


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