Pete Seeger Leads Protesters, on Foot and in Song

The Occupy Wall Street protests have drawn their share of musical supporters over the past few weeks. On Friday night, Pete Seeger lent his voice to the cause, though the protesters had to go uptown to hear it.

Mr. Seeger, whose activist credentials go back at least as far as a benefit concert that he and Woody Guthrie did for California migrant workers in 1940 and who wrote or helped write populist ballads like like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and “If I Had a Hammer,” had been performing at Symphony Space at Broadway and 95th Street with Arlo Guthrie, Woody Guthrie’s son, and others.

About 11 p.m., Mr. Seeger, 92, emerged from Symphony Space wearing a red knit cap and carrying two canes. He then set off south, walking at a brisk pace and accompanied by a crowd of about 600, some of them carrying placards declaring support for the self-declared 99 percent that have been occupying Zuccotti Park for five weeks.

The crowd sang as they marched in the October chill, their voices swelling softly and carrying words to songs Mr. Seeger helped popularize, including “Down by the Riverside,” and “We Shall Not Be Moved.”

“He’s a symbol of the peace movement,” said one of the marchers, Larry Manzino, a retired research scientist from Piscataway, N.J. “He’s a guy who never caved, a guy who had integrity, a guy who stood up and said no when he had to.”

Police officers on foot and in vans traveled with the march. People peered out at the crowd from storefronts. At West 79th Street, a man silhouetted in the lighted window of an apartment gave a thumbs up to the marchers below. The crowd began singing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”

T.J. Frawls, from Harlem, who said he was in an “apocalyptic punk metal band” called Universal Truth Machine marched along, strumming a guitar.

Despite the difference in their preferred genres, he said he was thrilled to be performing — sort of — with Mr. Seeger.

“He’s an icon of folk music, the people’s music.” Mr. Frawls said.

Shortly before 1 a.m. the crowd streamed into the center of Columbus Circle. There, surrounded by gushing fountains, musicians that included Arlo Guthrie, Tom Chapin and David Amram, joined Mr. Seeger on the base of the Christopher Columbus monument.

The crowd quieted. Guitars began strumming as Mr. Seeger began singing “We Shall Overcome,” a song that he introduced to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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