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Folk music icons Seeger, Guthrie join Wall Street protest

  • Activist musician Pete Seeger, 92, center, sings before a crowd of nearly a thousand demonstrators sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street protests at a brief acoustic concert in Columbus Circle, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, in New York. The demonstrators marched down Broadway singing "This Little Light of Mine" and other folk and gospel songs while ad-libbing lines about corporate greed and social justice. ((AP Photo/John Minchillo))

NEW YORK — Folk music legend Pete Seeger and '60s folk singer Arlo Guthrie joined Occupy Wall Street demonstrators Friday in their campaign against corporate greed while residents near the protest park encampment pushed to regain some peace and quiet in their neighborhood.

Seeger joined in the Occupy Wall Street protest Friday night, replacing his banjo with two canes as he marched with throngs of people in New York City's tony Upper West Side past banks and shiny department stores.

The 92-year-old Seeger, accompanied by musician-grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger, composer David Amram, and bluesman Guy Davis, shouted out the verses of protest anthems as the crowd of about 1,000 people sang and chanted.

They marched peacefully over more than 30 blocks from Symphony Space, where the Seegers and other musicians performed, to Columbus Circle. Police watched from the sidelines.

Occupy Wall Street began a month ago in lower Manhattan among a few young people, and has grown to tens of thousands around the country and the world. A recent Associated Press-GfK poll says more than one-third of the country supports the Wall Street protesters, and even more — 58 percent — say they are furious about America's politics.

But the encampment at Zuccotti Park has become more than a tolerable nuisance, some neighborhood residents say. At a meeting Thursday, they complained of protesters urinating in the streets and beating drums in the middle of the night. Some called for the protesters to vacate the park.

The area's community board voted unanimously for a resolution that recognized the protesters' First Amendment rights while calling for a crackdown on noise and public urination and defecation.

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and state Sen. Daniel Squadron said in a statement that the resolution was "an attempt to establish a sensible framework that respects the protesters' fundamental rights while addressing the very real quality of life concerns for residents and businesses around Zuccotti Park."

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