Protesters want world to know they're just like us

October 8, 2011 - 12:35 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — One is a Harvard grad who was laid off from her publishing job. Another is a retired teacher. Both marched this week in lower Manhattan, protesting for the first time in their lives.

As the Occupy Wall Street protests expand and gain support from new sources, what began three weeks ago as a group of mostly young people camping out on the streets has morphed into something different. It's now an umbrella movement for people of varying ages, life situations and grievances.

Karen Livecchia has what she calls two "fancy degrees," including a master's from New York University. The 49-year-old never thought she'd be chanting in the streets. But on Wednesday, she was collecting signatures at the march.

Nancy Pi-Sunyer also was drawn into the fray. The 66-year-old couldn't protest during the civil rights movement or the Vietnam war. She wants her voice to be heard now.