Occupiers stage Black Friday rally at Smith Haven Mall

LAKE GROVE - A group of Suffolk activists rallied outside the Smith Haven Mall today in solidarity with the "Occupy" movement, urging shoppers not to make purchases at big-box stores.

The Suffolk Peace Network says today's demonstration was aimed at getting shoppers to buy from small, local businesses.

"The corporate culture and commercialization are destroying our country, and we need to support our local people," says activist Dana Sausa, of Holbrook.

The rally comes on Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season and one of the biggest days of the year for retailers.

Some shoppers seeking out bargains today agree that buying locally is better, but others, like Michael Santos, of Farmingville, say the rally is pointless and draining on local police resources.

In St. James, employees at Ecolin Jewelry Store say they're happy to have support from the "Occupy" movement, adding that businesses like theirs help prop up the local economy.

Protesters with the "Occupy" movement staged similar rallies around the country today.

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