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Occupy Protesters Rally at Smith Haven Mall

A peaceful demonstration is held in solidarity with Occupy sites across the nation.

This as thousands of residents flocked to the Smith Haven Mall to accumulate bags full of the best deals on the hottest consumer goods, the Occupy Black Friday demonstration protested the commercialization and corporate control of the holidays.

Standing curbside in front of the entrance to the shopper's paradise starting at noon and extending for the next several hours, Occupy protestors rallied. Every few seconds a car horn would honk approvingly at the approximately 75 people holding up signs and peaceably protesting as part of the demonstration held in solidarity with Occupy sites across the nation.

The Occupy Long Island rally included members of the Suffolk Peace Network, along with various peace and justice organizations and members of Long Island groups that regularly hold rallies and meetings in support of the grassroots Occupy movement that has spread like wildfire across an increasingly disillusioned America.

Protester Terri Scofield, 52, has been an activist in Suffolk County for the past 25 years. She wore a cardboard sign inscribed with a paraphrased quote by American author Edward Abbey, which encapsulated the unified group's overarching philosophy: "A Patriot must always be ready to defend her country from her government."

"Whether it's corruption on Wall Street or corruption in Suffolk County it all costs us money," she said. "I'm tired of it. The collusion between business and government has gone too far, and we're taking our country back."

One of the youngest, and most vocal, demonstrators was Dana Sausa, 17. She recited the Declaration of the Occupation, which was approved by consensus on Sept., 29 2011 at the New York City General Assembly in Occupied Liberty Square. It included the statement, "We must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies."

As Sausa recited each line, the entire group chanted it back verbatim and in unison, in the call and response format, which they did with an almost religious fervor, as each person had something to share. This is a tradition carried over to Occupy sites across the country, and taken from Zuccotti Park, the site of the longtime encampment in Lower Manhattan. It is known as the "people's microphone." This rudimentary amplification system began in lieu of megaphones or PA's where the police forbade their usage.

Sausa, a high school dropout and self-proclaimed "poster child for the movement" feels that her parents and the school system have failed her.

"By being here I expect to root out some misconceptions people have," she said, "[such as] that this isn't affecting them by shopping at these corporate conglomerations."

Also on hand were Verizon workers from a local store, for them this was just another typical day. A handful of workers were in front of the mall protesting as usual. They have adopted the "99 percent movement", since several employees are incensed that the billion-dollar company has been stripping them of their union benefits.

Hauppauge resident Mary Ann Murphy, 57, explained the significance of gathering in front of the mall on the biggest shopping day of the year.

"Black Friday represents conspicuous consumption, and shipping jobs overseas," Murphy said. "We're not lemmings; we're human beings. For me it's a lot of what it's about. Think about what you're doing, don't just do it because of corporate advertising. This is about consciousness raising."

terrri scofield November 27, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Thanks, Shana. Please let folks know we'll be back at the Rt 25 mall entrance Sat, Dec 3rd from 10am-2pm. Please also encourage folks to visit the Occupy Long Island Facebook pages to find their town or village Occupy group and participate locally
terrri scofield November 27, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Oops, sorry 10am to 12pm
Sue November 27, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Why are children part of the "occupy" movement at Smith Haven Mall?I am sure they cannot even explain the meaning of corporate greed. Instead of all this protesting, how about somebody express plausible solutions to these problems instead of making useless and unproductive noise. Monkey see as monkey do.
Juan C Gallardo November 27, 2011 at 08:07 PM
I joined the action of Occupy BlackFriday as well as Occupy Port Jeff (Saturday) because of my children (6) and my grandchildren (9); they deserve a better America with more economic and social justice and without wars. Children at the demonstration at Smith Haven Mall, as well all the children at Port Jeff on Saturday waiting for Santa, received a civil lesson on Democracy; they saw caring elders demanding an end to corporate greed, end of poverty, health care for all; jobs for the unemployed, specially the young, but most importantely end of wars as first resort to solve conflicts. Yes children must be part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Janet November 28, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Bravo to people who peacefully voice their opinions. What better way to teach children the ideals that America stands for, fairness, a level playing field and community. Not to mention freedom of speech.
ROBERT G November 28, 2011 at 03:26 PM
I FIND IT DISTASEFUL TO USE CHILDREN IN THIS WAY. THEY HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT THEY ARE PROTESTING, BUT THEN AGAIN NEITHER DO MOST IF THE PROTESTERS. IF YOU CAN'T OFFER A SOLUTION YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. IT WOULD BE BETTER TO DO SOMETHING POSITVE LIKE HELPING OUT AT A FOOD PANTRY OR SALVATION ARMY ETC. ROBERT
Janet November 28, 2011 at 10:04 PM
I understand you find this distasteful and you disagree with the protesters. I am happy we live in a country that allows us to voice our differences of opinion. In general how we teach our children is up to each individual family. I respect your view. However, parents have children participate in many activities that children may not understand, may not consent to or may not value such as religious instruction. Also unless you have spoken to the protesters you really don't know if the protesters help in food pantries.
Patrick November 28, 2011 at 11:20 PM
I support the first amendment. I personally think most of the people (as a general statement) protesting at these types of events are the ones that ran up their debt with huge mortgages and maxed out credit cards over the past ten years. Now they want a bail out. Which many are getting. There is a lesson to be learned for the children here - work hard for what you want and live within your means. Come to think of it most adults in the US could use that advise today as well. Without consumer greed - there is no corporate greed!
Janet November 29, 2011 at 01:49 AM
It is difficult to respond to general statements about people you do not know. I am puzzled that we have bailed out banks and corporations because they are too big to fail but we don't feel families are too big to fail. I know people who worked all their lives in fairly good jobs, paid their mortgages on time for over twenty years and then lost their jobs. They are at an age when companies are not interested in hiring them not to mention it is a fact that companies do not want to hire people who are not working. Now they are about to lose their home. Financial institutions that we bailed out are making giant profits do these people get a break?
Patrick November 29, 2011 at 11:07 AM
Yes they do. Its called mortgage modification program. Billions of dollars have been written down at the tax payer expense. Lets get our signs :).
Janet November 29, 2011 at 04:17 PM
The HAMP program which President Obama instituted had good intentions but has fallen short of it's goals due to the underestimation of how greedy the banks can be. The Treasury Department has announced penalties against Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, due to their poor performances in the foreclosure prevention program. The intent of the program was to give these mortgage servicers an incentive to modify a mortgage rather than foreclose. The servicers have been deemed to have done a very poor job processing applications in a timely matter and homeowners who have been mishandled have little recourse. The servicers are not contractually obligated to he homeowners. They are obligated to the trusts or banks that pay them. In addition, the homeowner cannot choose the servicer. If you are stuck with one of the servicers who are dragging their feet on your home too bad for you. You are now among the homeless. How do we benefit as a society when we now have a homeless family who will need housing?
Janet November 29, 2011 at 07:25 PM
I just read an article citing 10 lenders including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of American illegally foreclosing on 5000 American active duty military personal. So far JP Morgan Chase and BoFA agreed to settle with 200 military members whose homes were illegally seized. This is how the banks treat people defending our country. They appear to care about profits and not the people who fight and die for us.

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