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Why Senior Citizens Protesters Occupied A New York City Post Office

Watch this inspiring video that shows elderly people who won't be ignored—even by the post office.

[Top Photo: David Sucsy/Getty Images]

"Seat and window now. Seat and window now!" That’s the chant of a group of senior citizen protesters marching on the Manhattanville Post Office on Harlem's 125th Street in New York City. Their beef? The post office has no bench for senior and disabled customers to sit while they wait on very long lines, which wouldn't be as big a problem if they had opened a promised dedicated window for them.

According to DNAinfo, the post office had promised that a dedicated window would be open at 9 AM (handy for old folks, who are always first to the shops in the morning), plus there would be seating so they could wait in comfort. This meeting took place last spring, but the bench never arrived. And while the senior window is in service, it doesn’t open until noon, which is the young-person equivalent of, like, the evening.

After the post office refused a follow-up meeting to discuss the problem, Morgan-Thomas organized the protest. Given that it took place in sub-zero weather, these seniors may be sprightlier than they’d like us to believe. The group has some heavyweight members, too, in the form of elected officials Senator Bill Perkins and Assemblyman Keith Wright. The video of the group in action is a dose of inspiration.

Staff behaved in the way you might expect. First an employee threatened to call the police on anyone taking photos and have them arrested. Then someone did call the cops, who put an end to the protest. But the seniors will be back. "We might be a little small in number but we are loud in spirit," Assemblyman Wright told DNAinfo. "A lot of our seniors don't use social media, they depend on our post office."

It’s nice to think of the local post office as being a kind of Twitter or Facebook for old folks. Local hat maker Harriet Rosebud told reporters that "There’s a general mood in that post office—and I think it stems from the branch manager—of just apathy, as if they are untouchable." It sounds just like Facebook.

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