Local religious leaders join Wall Street protest

October 9, 2011 7:36:46 PM PDT
First the unions joined, now local faith leaders are joining the Occupy Wall Street movement.

In its 23rd day, the protest shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, it's only gaining momentum.

It was a coming together both in prayer and in purpose.

Religious leaders from mosques, synagogues and churches in our area came to Zuccotti Park, they say not to support the Occupy Wall Street protesters, rather because they too are part of this movement.

"There can be no such thing as justice until there is economic justice," Rev. Michael Ellick of Judson Memorial Church said.

Rev. Ellick led the procession.

The group carried a golden calf, they say a symbol of our spiritual poverty, a false idol.

Marcie Agee came here with her pastor.

"Jesus stood with the 99 percent, Jesus believed in equality for the masses, the rights of workers for everyone having their fair share," Agee said.

It was a peaceful demonstration with no arrests, the group working with police to make sure it stayed that way heading into the fourth week of this mass gathering.

Just two days ago the leaders of this late afternoon march had a major meeting and decided an interfaith service was exactly what the protesters needed.

Rev. Stephen Phelps from Riverside Church says he was deeply moved by this show of hope for our country.

"This expression of our unity has not come to this city with this energy and the churches are here to support this upwelling, a feeling it is a fundamentally spiritually commitment of our churches to say yes to this," Phelps said.

On Sunday night, protesters hung a giant sign across the street from the stock exchange reading, "The banks got bailed out, we got sold out".

Meanwhile, police arrested one protester Sunday night.

Police say he refused to move, after he and other protesters tried to sleep on the sidewalk near the stock exchange.

The man says to help solve America's problems, protesters will need to break laws he calls "unjust".

The Occupy Wall Street movement is moving beyond Wall Street and onto the main streets of other major U.S. cities.

Hundreds of Rockland County residents rallied in downtown Nyack Sunday night.

They want the government to do more to fix a wide range of issues, from unemployment to the foreclosure crisis.

In Washington, DC, protesters marched to the White House on Sunday.

Most displayed anger over funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The crowds are smaller but still making their presence known in cities like Denver, Colorado.

There, several hundred protesters marched to the state capitol.

More than 500 people lined the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina. The crowd marched to Bank of America's corporate headquarters which is located in Charlotte.

And protesters stopped traffic in Indianapolis, but police say they did not make any arrests.