Occupy Wall Street marks a month of protest

David Winitsky carries his son Lex, 7, on

David Winitsky carries his son Lex, 7, on his shoulders as his wife Elizabeth Samet, and their older son Zeke, 10, walk through Zuccotti Park to see the Occupy Wall Street movement. The family resides in Maplewood, N.J. (Oct. 16, 2011) Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

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The Occupy Wall Street protests entered their second month Sunday with guitar strumming, political discussions and children playing drums and drawing signs.

The calm autumn day at Zuccotti Park was a far cry from Saturday, when thousands jammed Times Square and 92 demonstrators were arrested at several protests in Manhattan.

Sunday, several supporters brought their children to the park, hoping to teach them a lesson in civics.

"It's their future," said Heather Silvestri, 39, of Maplewood, N.J., of children, Zoe, 7, Livia, 4, and Cooper Ferguson, 2.

Silvestri said she had explained to her brood that Occupy Wall Street -- a movement she predicted they'd be reading about in textbooks by the time they are in junior high -- was targeting bankers believed to be too greedy.

Zoe carried a homemade sign that read "Play fair!"

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"Even at a very young age, it's socially important to give them the sense that they can make a difference," said Zoe's uncle, Terrence Ferguson, 33, of Rockville Centre.

Police said that as of 8:45 p.m., no additional arrests of protesters had been made and that many of those detained Saturday had been released.

Meanwhile Sunday, parents were seen trying to maneuver strollers through the camp of hundreds who have called Zuccotti Park home since Sept. 17.

Children danced to the music, waved balloon animals and gaped in awe at the commotion.

Eliya Ahmad, 10, of Brooklyn, had pencil and reporter's notebook in hand and was interviewing the creator of an exhibit called "Occupy Lego Land" for an article she hoped to submit to IndyKids, a children's newspaper distributed nationwide.

"Compared to what I read in the paper, [the camp] seems both a bit more organized and a bit less organized," said Eliya, a fifth-grader who had come with her parents and sister. "Everything's really surprising and unique. I didn't expect to see people dancing with dollar bills or a Lego protest."

Zeke Winitsky, 10, of Maplewood, N.J., had a T-shirt made at the protest with the logo "I am the 99%."

He drew parallels between what he learned Sunday and his fifth-grade classes.

"It's fun and kind of crazy. It's exactly what we're learning about in school: the Constitution," he said.

"It says on the Bill of Rights that you're allowed to gather peacefully."


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