Occupy Wall Street Marchers On The Road To Washington


Last Wednesday November 9th, 21 protesters left Zuccotti Park, the centre of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and set off down the highway.

Several of the marchers wore uniforms of the American Revolution.

The march hopes to arrive in Washington DC on November 23, the day Congress will vote on extending Bush-era tax cuts.

The Occupy Wall Street web site said: ‘The 20 mile a day/two week march from Liberty Square to DC is set to leave this Wednesday, November 9th at noon.

‘The march is being organised by a few of us here at OWS. We will be in DC by November 23 for the Congressional Super Committee meeting.

‘This committee has the power to keep the Bush tax cuts (that only benefit the top one per cent) or let them expire.

‘We want to be there to fight for the 99 per cent! We will also be connecting with Occupy Philly and Occupy Baltimore along the route, and, of course, Occupy DC!’

Occupy Wall Street added: ‘We feel its imperative for OWS to be involved in the historical significance of long distance marches to support, promote, and encourage economic and social equality.’

‘Everything is going well so far; everyone is in good spirits,’ Kelley Brannon, the march’s main organiser, said last Wednesday night, shortly before the protesters arrived in Elizabeth, New Jersey. ‘We’re doing well and looking forward to our travel.’

The marchers plan to walk through Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland on route to Washington DC.

On Day 2, marchers on the Elizabeth to New Brunswick, New Jersey, said last Friday: ‘At 4.30am we deliver two green ceramic cups of hot coffee to the two police officers staking out our host’s home in an Elizabeth city squad car. The driver appears asleep until the passenger nudges him.’

They added: ‘The kitchen is alive with aromas as the marchers shuffle past one another in our personal morning routines . . . Our estimated morning prep time of one hour proves far off, actually turning out to be over two hours. We’re all finally packed up in the front yard together at 10.30am.

‘Four police vehicles block off all traffic at major Elizabeth intersections as we near crosswalks.

‘Random well-wishers emerge from vehicles, homes and businesses, some handing out cash. Twenty dollars, forty, fifty – eventually a grand total of over $300 for the day!

‘Until today we had considered the value of this march to lie in outreach, but now it appears we may also serve as fundraisers for the Occupy movement. Amazing.

‘The first signs of exhaustion fatigue begin to appear by noon.

‘Many marchers are visibly uncomfortable by lunchtime, but yet another group of well-wishers is there at just the right moment to replenish us, physically and emotionally.

‘A group of young families are waiting in a park with sandwiches, fruit and candy. This is the All-American crowd; big minivans and little babies in the comfy middle-class suburbs of New York City.

‘Two girls of no older than eight years greet us with child-sized protest signs, standing under a shower of falling brightly coloured leaves. A little boy approaches with another sign.

‘The moms and a dad greet us with same level of enthusiasm, having arranged our lunch spread.

‘Occupy Wall Street is no longer just the domain of lower income classes. The power for real change, a true global change, shows a bit more of itself with each passing day.

‘Middle class this is our plea to you: Occupy your public spaces if even for just those minutes that you take your children to the park each day. Make a sign with your children and take them out to play. They will someday thank you with all their hearts . . . .

‘We end tonight’s broadcast with this: Dear World, Your cheers from every corner of this beautiful blue earth are inspiring hundreds of thousands to once again love who we are as individuals and what we are as one united human race . . .

‘Do not let your joy fade, for with this age humanity can begin to turn away from a future of annihilation and towards one of exploring this great mysterious universe together.

‘Now could be our last chance. Let us not throw our gift of life away. Use your voice. Use your silence. Use yourself. Occupy.’

The march arrived in Trenton, New Jersey on Sunday.

The march log said: ‘It’s Sun night, we arrived at Occupy Philly tonight to an awesome greeting.’

• Under the heading ‘Occupy Denver Under Attack: Occupiers Take Streets Facing Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets’, a series of updates on the Occupy Wall Street website on Sunday read as follows:

‘5.01pm It looks like this raid is imminent. This is the “largest police presence ever” for one of the smallest gathering of protesters. It seems at any minute they are going to bust in and take everything out.

‘5.11pm Police tape is up around the perimeter.

‘5.44pm Protesters are chanting at police. Police continue to move. Unsure if chemical weapons have been used yet.

‘6.27pm Police are chanting “Move back!” while the protesters rebut with “Peaceful! Peaceful! Peaceful!”

‘6.45pm Pepper bullets and tear gas launched into crowd.

‘7.17pm Protesters on the move up the 16th Street Mall, currently at Arapahoe and 16th. I can’t confirm, but I believe they are attempting to move camp to Skyline Park.

‘There is a police presence following them and “boxing” them in. If you have Occupations materials from the Civic Centre Park, please stay tuned for further updates on where to take those materials.

‘7.32pm Police are surrounding a group of protesters on the block of 16th and Champa. They are trying to head to 15th and Arapahoe. If you have contact with people down there, please tell them to stay together and stay out of the alleys.

‘7.55pm Protesters need water and supplies. Please help with what you can. I imagine there are medics on the scene and need medic supplies. There was also an announcement to give to the DABC for the bail fund. The police continue to pursue the protesters.

‘8.01pm Protesters are now moving down the street, not to Skyline Park, on a “confirmed” report that the Mayor Michael Hancock is down the street at 15th and Larimer.

‘8.15pm Mayor Hancock has been found at Starz Film Festival. Occupiers are chanting and letting him hear it, since he’s tried to shut Occupy Denver off.

‘8.20pm Live feeds lost after entering a parking garage at the Denver Centre for the Performing Arts. Last words were that riot cops have surrounded them on all sides.

‘8.29pm The march is heading to the “Justice” centre at 1331 Cherokee St.

‘8.44pm 16 arrests confirmed. The march is headed to the courthouse by Civic Centre Park.’