Occupy Wall Street protesters have been fairly quiet since their rally in Duarte Square last month, but the group is planning a series of candlelight vigils on Sunday to celebrate Martin Luther King Day with the support of local politicians, Russell Simmons and a pair of 1960′s folk musicians.
Vigils will be held in New York in Bay Ridge, Staten Island and at Riverside Church in Manhattan. Organizers also promise affiliated candlelight vigils in Egypt, California, Canada and Australia. Occupy Wall Street has collected 277 signatures of those pledging to participate on a petition. Signatories include Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, writer Reza Aslan, country singer and “The Wire” actor Steve Earle, the rapper K’Naan, former NYCLU Director Norman Siegel and Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams.
Last night, Occupiers celebrated after the barricades surrounding Zuccotti Park were taken down for the first time since the Occupy Wall Street encampment was evicted in November. Though, the park had not been closed and the police say they still plan to enforce the rules banning tents and camping, the removal of the barricades was seen as a symbolic victory for the group. Barricades were taken down after the Department of Buildings received a letter challenging their legality from the National Lawyers Guild and the New York Civil Liberties Union, among others. Despite the celebrations last night, early this morning WABC News reported that only a small group of protesters remained in the park.
Update 10:55 AM: An earlier version of this post left off the “former” in Mr. Siegel’s title.