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Photo: Karen DeWitt
Photo: Karen DeWitt

Occupy Albany protestors a "sustained presence"

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The Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out in Albany plan a rally supporting the state's "millionaire tax," as some organizers lash out at Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Media reports say Cuomo wanted state police to enforce a curfew that would have driven the demonstrators out of the park Friday. But Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, a fellow Democrat, instead allowed demonstrators to stay. There was no comment from Cuomo or Jennings yesterday.

The protesters are camped out across the street from the State Capitol. Yesterday they told Karen DeWitt they have no intention of leaving anytime soon.

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Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

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One of the organizers of Occupy Albany, Colin Donnaruma, a graduate student at SUNY Albany, says he thinks the people camped out in more than a dozen tents in a park across from the Capitol will be a “sustained presence”,  despite the increasingly chilly upstate New York weather.

“Just as the weather is getting colder, the budget process is going to be getting warmer,” said Donnaruma, referring to upcoming legislative session and talks on the new state budget.

“We might be looking for an indoor space,” he said. 

When asked if he meant the State Capitol building, Donnaruma answered “no comment”. 

While the protesters have a variety of complaints, Donnaruma says he’s most concerned about cutbacks at SUNY and recent tuition hikes, and he backs calls for a continued tax on the state’s millionaires. He and some of the other protesters have begun calling Governor Cuomo, who wants the tax to expire, “Governor One Percent”.

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