Councilwoman Letitia James: Family of Elderly Woman Burned Alive Have Been Victimized Twice

The family of an elderly Prospect Heights woman who was burned to death by a man she once helped told reporters on Thursday that she was always trying to assist people and that her generosity cost the woman her life.

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Occupy Wall Street Re-Occupies Foreclosed Home in East New York: A Report From the Scene

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Nick Pinto
Occupy Wall Street ushered in a new phase of its movement yesterday when about 400 people participated in a collaborative takeover to re-occupy a vacant foreclosed home in East New York for a homeless family.

The afternoon's event, part of a collaborative National Day of Action effort taking place in over 20 cities, was accompanied by a real estate tour of five foreclosed buildings in the area, a block party, and even some intermittent rain that posed no real threat to the day's planned activities.

The neighborhood was one that most of the day's participants would rarely venture into, with its high crime rates, vacant buildings, and bodegas. Once an enclave for working class Italian, Jewish, and other European immigrants, East New York is now a predominately Black and Latino area affected by extremely high unemployment.

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Thank God It's Over!: New York NaNoWriMo Participants Speak On Their Ambitious Writing Endeavors

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Courtesy
Erin O'Brien, a member of the New York City NaNoWriMo group

They have overdosed on coffee, written on layovers in Canada, traveled from the Netherlands, put pen to pad on a packed tram headed to Roosevelt Island, and made time for writing even after dealing with a parent's heart attack.

They're New York City's NaNoWriMo participants, and no, they didn't do it for kicks.

The global writing initiative, also known as National Novel Writing Month, challenges participants to write a novel of at least 50,000 words during the month of November every year. Now that December is here, participants have collectively exhaled and some are even plotting to have their novels published--much to the dismay of critics.

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The Story Behind Last Night's Verizon Building 99% Projections

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For many Occupy Wall Street Day of Action participants, the highlight of the evening was a series of "bat signal" pro-OWS messages projected on a building bearing Verizon's name.

Yesterday, the Voice's Steven Thrasher wrote about the series of Occupy Wall Street related messages on a building bearing Verizon's name after our own Nick Pinto tweeted about the sighting near the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. Projected messages included "99%" "Mic Check," "Occupy Earth" and "Love."

While some have speculated that Communications Workers of America were behind the projections on the building, located at 375 Pearl St., a group of visual artists affiliated with OWS are the creators. And while many New Yorkers refer to the structure as "the Verizon Building," it is not owned by the large communications company, but rather to a company called Sabey Data Centers, John Bonomo, director of media relations at Verizon told us in an e-mailed statement today.

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Students Call For Debt-Free Education, More Diversity and Other Highlights From The OWS Student Walkout

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Gennady Kolker (The Nation Magazine)/Twitter

Hundreds of college students gathered at Union Square Thursday for a mass walkout in tandem with Occupy Wall Street's Day of Action to deliver an urgent message for the institutions that keeps them drowning in debt and without jobs after graduation.

Collegians from NYU, CUNY, The New School, The Julliard School, among other local institutions, gathered at 3 p.m. near the north end of the park to protest increased tuition rates and student loan debt, while also tackling discrimination and diversity (or the lack thereof) on college campuses nationwide.

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Small Crowd Rallies on Central Park South to Draw Tourist Support on a Horse Carriage Ban

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Michelle D. Anderson
Donny Moss, documentary filmmaker, and Elizabeth Forel, president of CBHDC

Targeting tourists and New York residents, a group of horse advocates and animal-rights activists sought to bring awareness to and gain support for a citywide ban on horse-drawn carriages yesterday.

The group, the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, hosted a rally and "hotel crawl" in response to three carriage horse accidents that occurred between Oct. 23 and Nov. 4. Yesterday we wrote about the group and its ongoing efforts to get the city to ban horse-drawn carriages, which it says are unsafe and inhumane, despite carriage operators who say the horses are treated well and politicians who say the carriages contribute to the city's culture and tourism industry.

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The Horse-Drawn Carriage Debate Continues; Local Groups and Celebrities Call for a Ban

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Michelle D. Anderson
The effort to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City rages on.

Another report of a carriage horse collapse in a two-week span has left animal-rights advocates -- including celebrities such as Glee's Lea Michele and Pamela Anderson -- with a renewed passion to end the use of horse-drawn carriages.

Today the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages (CBHDC) will hold a rally and tourist-hotel crawl on Central Park South at 6:30 p.m.

According to Elizabeth Forel, CBHDC's president since the group's inception in 2006, the latest horse collapse, which occurred Friday, is not the second in two weeks but rather the third. Forel tells us that on Oct. 28, a horse bucked and nearly hit several taxis after racing along 59th Street.

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Angela Davis Visits Occupy Washington Square Park and Occupy Wall Street

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Noted activist, scholar, feminist, and former Black Panther Angela Davis joined a growing list of notable figures to speak to Occupy Wall Street participants Sunday evening.

Davis addressed the General Assembly of Occupy Washington Square Park, a smaller group autonomous of, but loosely affiliated with Occupy Wall Street.

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Foreclosure Fallout: Did Organizing for Occupation's Singing Protest Accomplish Anything?

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Michelle D. Anderson
1241 Flatbush Ave. was sold at auction on Thursday, despite a song-delayed court session
Last week the Voice reported on Organizing for Occupation's first co-sponsored Occupy Wall Street action in Brooklyn, which took place at the Brooklyn Supreme on Thursday and saw the arrest of nine people.

The event, which sought to bring awareness to the mass foreclosures in the city by rallying against the auction proceedings of three Brooklyn addresses, drew local coverage with its unorthodox tactics, like grinding court to a halt by singing a song called "Mrs. Auctioneer."

By the end of the day, only one of the three buildings set to be auctioned (which had all been profiled by the Voice before Thursday's protest) was sold to a new owner.

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Who's Getting Foreclosed on in Brooklyn Today? The Voice Finds Out

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Michelle D. Anderson
Iqbal Hossain, manager of New Bombay Masala, had no idea the building his restaurant rents from will be auctioned today
Yesterday, the Voice wrote about a protest happening today at Brooklyn Supreme Court. Led by Occupy Wall Street and the group Organizing for Occupation (which led a successful eviction blockade of 82-year-old Mary Ward's home in August), the afternoon event will protest the foreclosure of three more properties in Brooklyn.

But though the rally will attempt to stop the auctions of 90 Glen Street, 964 Dean Street, and 1241 Flatbush Avenue, event organizers have no idea who occupies these addresses.

Who lives there? Who works there? If renters, do they know they soon could be evicted?

We decided to find out. In no case did the current tenants know of Organizing for Occupation, nor that Occupy Wall Street had any interest in the fate of their building.

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