More arrests as Occupy Albany protesters challenge state curfew
Occupy Albany protesters continue to risk arrest, challenging the curfew in Lafayette Park. Our Lori Chung reports that demonstrators say they're intent on convincing state leaders to hear their message.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "To be effective in the capital, it's important that the state recognize our constitutional right," said Brendan Kelly.
To that end, the sight of protesters in handcuffs is becoming a common scene in Albany's Lafayette Park. State Police arrested 48 Occupy Albany protesters Saturday night and Sunday morning for refusing orders to vacate the state owned park. That's the highest number of arrests since protesters began challenging the 11 p.m. curfew.
But back at the encampment on the city-owned side of the park, protesters say their defiance serves a purpose.
"It's not enough to have speech. The speech needs to be effective and to be effective, we need to be able to be respected on the state level," said Kelly.
Convincing Governor Cuomo to allow them aces to the park is just one of many priorities for the movement that names economic equality as its goal. Though spectacles like mass arrests grab the most attention, protesters and their supporters say it's important make sure their overall message stays clear.
"Is it curfew? I think they have to reach a balance between making their point and drawing attention and getting the powers that be too annoyed," said Steve Andersen of Schenectady.
Andersen is among the movement's supporters, donating money and supplies on a regular basis. His daughter and granddaughter are visiting from out of town and expressing faith in the message and the tactics protesters decide to use.
"One of the only ways to be heard is to let everybody see you and hear and listen," said Stephanie Andersen of Pennsylvania.
Getting arrested is one way of being seen and heard. But while protesters plan future actions like foreclosure reform events, it's too soon to tell if those efforts fall silent in the midst of loud clashes with police.