Nicki Angelo is running the public outreach table at the Broadway Street entrance to Liberty Plaza on this overcast, humid day. Outreach is but one of 12 “working groups,” ranging from sanitation and media, to direct action and legal. She speaks with a quiet intensity when I ask her what brought her to the camp last week.
She is one of many other young people saddled with massive student loan debt–in her case, over $50,000. And like many other Americans lumped into the 9.1% unemployment rate, she hasn’t been able to find a job for two years.
I ask her what her experience has been like dealing with a public who has likely never seen anything quite like the encampment at Liberty Plaza.
“At first, we had some people walk by and say ‘Get a job, hippie.’ They called us communists.”
Yet as time went on, she tells me, and New Yorkers saw these young people’s commitment through bad weather and NYPD intimidation, remarks grew more and more encouraging. In front of her sits a sizable stack of signatures in support of the camp’s presence and of the protesters right to be there. As of last night, the camp won the neighborhood council’s endorsement also.
I ask her how long she intends to stay. She grins.
“As long as it takes.”
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