Occupy Wall Street builds tent as ‘safe house’ to protect female protesters
Spurred by a spate of sex attacks in Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street protesters built a “safe house” for women on Friday.
The 16-square-foot military frame tent is designed to shelter up to 30 women from the predators lurking around the lower Manhattan encampment.
“It will be used to protect ourselves from people out there,” said Nan Terrie, 17, a protester from East Oakland Park, Fla. “I’m sick and tired of women getting taken advantage of, raped and murdered.
“We need to take charge. We can make it happen without men telling us what to do,” said Terrie, who heads a protester subcommittee called Strong Women Rules.
Terrie said the tent, erected along the southern edge of the park near Cedar St., will be outfitted with bunk beds, drawers and a welcome table. A second tent will house a computer.
“I think it’s a great idea, especially for a movement like ours, to show we’re supporting each other,” said Bieje Chapman, 37, of Park Slope.
“Certainly women are the first target for any type of crazies, but I live in Park Slope, and the rapists there are more scary. I feel safer here.”
The seven-week-old movement has been beset by a slew of crimes inside Zuccotti Park in recent weeks.
In one of the more alarming incidents, 26-year-old Tonye Iketubosin was charged with sex abuse after allegedly groping an 18-year-old woman.
Some protesters have blamed cops for taking a hands-off approach to crimes committed inside the park. Mayor Bloomberg said the demonstrators do not report crimes to the police, allowing predators to remain on the streets.
Also Friday, the top charge against David Suker, 43, a Bronx public school teacher who police said had tussled with a cop during a Wednesday march, was lowered from attempted assault, a felony, to reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor.