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Occupy movement seeks new recruits. In New York, it found some. (+video)

A new generation of activists skips school, flocks to Wall Street to join May Day Occupy protests. On their minds? student loans, reining in corporations, and being part of something that could matter.

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“I thought we would have solved our issues by now,” says her classmate, Jordan Hampton, 14.

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Both students cited the rising costs of college tuition as their main concern.

“Education is the most important issue to me,” Macella says. “I have to pay attention soon, since I am going to need to pay for college.”

Some people, while not new to the movement, were new to the one in New York.

Bradley Shields has been active in Occupy Honolulu. Because he was visiting family in New York this week, he decided to bring some of the “aloha spirit” to Occupy Wall Street, which he says is the center of the Occupy movement, because Wall Street and many corporations are based here.

“It’s inspiring to see so many people on a cold, rainy weekday,” he says. “I can’t wait to relay the news to Hawaii,” where he has lived for the past 40 years.

Ben Neiditz and Will Dean came up from Philadelphia for the day. Despite a few visits to the Occupy Philadelphia protests, they wanted to be in New York for May Day. Both took the day off from their jobs at the Art Museum at the University of Pennsylvania.

“This is where the movement started, and this is where Wall Street is based,” says Mr. Neiditz.

“I saw an article in Bloomberg News about private security forces banding together to guard banks and corporations today, so, I figured, if they were taking it seriously, so should I,” said Mr. Dean.

Marcarena J, a visual artist from Chile, joined the movement to offer free haircuts in Union Square. “Today is a day for workers, and workers need haircuts,” she says.

For others, the day was a way to learn more about the Occupy movement, despite some misgivings.

“I'm all for unions, so I figure another body out in support is a good thing, and also it just seems like fun,” says Jesse, contacted by e-mail in Portland, Ore.

Jesse, who asked that he be identified only by his first name, plans on attending what he calls the “permitted" International Workers Day parade in downtown Portland and the roving dance party, but will stay clear of less officially sanctioned events.

“I'm curious about the Occupy events but also wary and not too interested in being involved in any police-type conflicts,” he says. “Especially since I'm fuzzy on the reasoning behind a lot of things.”


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