Vocal by Justin Samuels
Vocal New York led an Occupy March from Zucotti Park to City Hall as a part of a protest against the lack of funding of diseases that have disproportionate impact on the poorest people. Vocal NY advocates for those suffering from HIV, Mental illness, substance abuse hepatitis C, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. Vocal advocates for an extension and expansion of taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers (and on the federal level). They would have this money spent on healthcare on and the research, treatment, and cures of the above mentioned diseases. They also advocate more funding for the housing of the poorest of New Yorkers, such as the homeless, mentally ill, and aids victims. The poorest and the sickest of people tend to respond much better to treatment for mental and physical illnesses if they have stable housing. Vocal New York has joined forces with the occupation to bring attention to these issues.
As for the march itself, protesters met at Zucotti Park at 11am on Dec. 1st, 2011. After having different HIV patients and services providers speak, the group proceeded to march to city hall. On Broadway across from city hall, around 10 protesters chained themselves together in the middle of the street in an act of civil disobedience. Traffic was blocked and the police arrested the protesters. Vocal New York has done a great job in making the needs of the poorest and sickest segments of the population visible.