Occupy Wall Street protesters wed, consider sharing tent

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A couple who met six weeks ago protesting at Occupy Wall Street married Sunday in the lower Manhattan encampment where they now live in separate tents.

With friends and passersby witnessing, Emery Abdel-Latif, 24, and Micha Balon, 19, became husband and wife in a traditional Muslim ceremony held in a corner of Zuccotti Park, the New York Daily News reported. A Muslim New York University chaplain officiated.

The two, who plan to continue living in the lower Manhattan park through the winter, were unsure if they would move into a shared tent even after the wedding.

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This is the second Occupy wedding that has been reported this month; last weekend, a couple who met at Occupy Philadelphia were married there.

The New York couple met shortly after the demonstration began in September while trying to find a prayer space in the jam-packed park, the Daily News said. Their instant attraction was followed by dates at nearby restaurants and long discussions about politics and their shared Muslim faith, according to the Daily News.

The bride, a Hunter College student from Staten Island, wore a white blouse and long skirt, and the groom, who had been living at home in Pennsylvania with his parents while applying to law school, wore a jacket and tie. He told reporters that they plan to settle down in New York together.

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Balon told the Daily News that tying the knot in the park was ‘a good way not to make the marriage about ourselves.’ She added: ‘We are fighting for equality here.’ Another benefit was that it was “cheap,” she added. “We don’t have to pay anything.”

There was no mention in media reports of whether the couple’s parents attended the event.

After the ceremony, during which the couple stood on a bench next to a famous scultpure of a businessman holding a briefcase, the small crowd applauded, and the couple stood for wedding photos amid the tents.

By the way, this isn’t the first love demonstration in the original Occupy locale -- in October, a protester dropped to his knee in the middle of a meeting and asked his girlfriend to marry him.

Using a “mike check” — in which the crowd chants a speaker’s words so everyone can hear — the guy asked his girlfriend: ‘Will you occupy the rest of my life?’ She accepted.


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-- Geraldine Baum in New York