March Day 2 – Elizabeth to New Brunswick, NJ

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. The window rolls down to reveal an expression of blank surprise, eyes coming into focus on the steaming green cups. With a sudden waking moment of comprehension the driver accepts the coffee, spoons and sugar packets. He mutters a perplexed “thank you”. Our host Ken replies, “You’re welcome. Just set the cups on the porch later if you would. Good night.” We stroll back to the house in silence.

The kitchen is alive with aromas as the marchers shuffle past one another in our personal morning routines. Ken rests himself in the outdoor jacuzzi with a Coors light in hand. 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.

Three police cars pull up to the house. “It was funny that the police car sat in front of the house all night”, says one of our Romanian-American marchers to a cop in a white dress shirt. On the back of his head is the same Guy Fawkes mask he left Manhattan with. “Oh, you think that’s funny huh?”, the cops replies, instantly ending the conversation. “We took your officers coffee last night”, I continue. “Oh, thanks, that was very sweet of you”, says the cop with his eyes turned away from me.

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, fourty, 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. One of our medics sits slumped in a parking lot up against a convenience store wall, “I can’t go on. I’m gonna have to meet up with you all tonight.” Messages are sent out to certain members of our online audience who have offered to help in just such situations. Arrangements are made for a human delivery, the group marches on.

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 8 years greet us with child-sized protest signs, standing under a shower of falling brightly colored 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.

……

It pains us not to be able to stay up all night and write in great detail about all the amazing acts of solidarity and kindness witnessed every day, but we also realize that some rest is required to keep the march going.  You and we are together finding great motivation in this journey, so we would be doing everyone a terrible disfavor by blindly pushing ourselves to the point of collapse. We vow to compose the missing parts of our daily story into a free e-book a week after the march has been completed.

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. You Laugh, We Laugh – Your Cry, Our Cry. Your free flowing support, both through technological and personal encounters, continuously leaves us in moments of humble speechlessness and raw unrestrained joy, all in the same breaths. You are each of us, all of us, and the grand ancient emotion of enlightenment could be reborn once again to bring peace for our world. 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.

.

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32 responses to “March Day 2 – Elizabeth to New Brunswick, NJ

  • Daisy

    My God, your post tonight brought me to tears. It was awesome of you to bring coffee to the officers. I’m grateful they have been there to escort and protect you. I am a 55 year old mother and grandmother and think of you
    as my kids. I am so proud of you all and what you are doing for our country and our planet. I wake up in the morning wondering where you are, what you’re doing, and hoping you’re okay. Apparently I’m not the only one. Much love, support and absolute solidarity from Springfield, MO!

  • Korkie Moore-Bruno

    Please … rest whenever you can. Adrenaline can only take you so far. I live in the Burbs of New York. If you need emergency car intervention, please contact me via email korkiemb@optonline.net. Leave me a contact number.
    Be well, you all have already won with the first step you took on this march.

    Korkie Moore-Bruno

  • Anita

    Thank you for your presence and your fortitude in the face of challenges. I, too, echo the sentiments expressed above: take care of yourselves, get sleep so that you can continue this important march. We are with you!

    Anita

  • Anonymous

    I DESPERATELY WANT TO MARCH WITH YOU!!! I hope to meet up with the group when you arrive at Occupy Philly. i am a 38 y/o married female; veteran of the US military, and a nurse by profession – unemployed…. I have been following the protest since RT first aired the ONLY media coverage back on 9/17/11. I live @ 6 miles from Occupy Philly, and have visited NYC OWS multiple times. I have a station wagon, and want to open my home to those NYCtoDC marchers who may want to sleep indoors for the night. I also have a fenced in back yard which can hold @ 5 tents…. Even if I don’t join you, I want you all to know YOU ARE MY HEROS!!! keep marching <3

  • aurora

    Hi again, i mistakenly thought my email address would be attatched to my comment. I am the veteran/unemployed nurse who wants to march with you from Philly to DC; roarycasiano@gmail.com.

  • Scarletsusieq

    For every seed that autumn drops into the heart of the earth, there exists a different manner of splitting the shell from the pulp; then are created the leaves and then the flowers, and then the fruit. But regardless of the fashion in which this takes place, those plants must undertake one sole pilgrimage, and their great mission is to stand before the face of the sun.
    Khalil Gibran
    March on my bretheee

  • Anonymous

    Perspective is a powerful thing, from Dan “the dad” at the park, drawing a distinction by using terms like “comfy middle-class suburbs” not really helpful. Remember we are the 99% as well. We were not too long ago bike couriers, waitresses, baristas and are now teachers, government workers, mothers, fathers who appear to be living “comfortable” lives in the suburbs but are riddled with debt, underwater mortgages, and skyrocketing property taxes, we are also victims of power and economic inequality. (As evidenced by the itnteraction with the police in the park.) Comfy” is a relative term.

  • Anonymous

    when do you guys plan on arriving in dc? i know a couple guys who are documenting occupys from fl to ny who would like to meet you there.

    -sarah

  • Cheri Carpenter-Lundstrom

    I’m going to get a sinus infection if I keep crying like this, not your fault, menopausal. Thank you so much for being there and especially thank you for the updates, they mean a lot. I thought I would die at 70 like my mother and grandmother but now I desire a 90th birthday just to see this through. I am so proud of you and of your parents for whatever they did right or wrong to make you what you are today.

  • Rob

    Please make sure to get some rest! You’ll do nobody any good if you pass out in a crosswalk.

    Thank you very much for the update!

  • Lainie Duro

    Love and solidarity from Austin, Texas. You would be welcome to occupy my home and yard any time!

  • Anonymous

    Wish I was there- stay strong- solidarity-The road your on is headed in the right direction and was made for you and me

  • Anonymous

    Safe journey to you all–this is beautiful. In your honor I’ll be going down to sit with the Occupy Lexington, KY group.

  • Richard Rabinowitz

    Verrry interesting landmark you passed, guys, a giant Buddha statue (between New Brunswick and Princeton). Right here in New Jersey. Who would’ve thought?

  • Richard Rabinowitz

    Anyway, as I’ve said before and will say again, best of luck and stay safe (nag, nag, nag :) ).

  • Ruben

    What you are doing is very inspiring! Keep up the good work. Stay safe! Have fun! This moment comes along once in a generation. From this Gen-Xer in Texas I say,…March ON!!!

  • Anonymous

    sending you all love and strength from all the way over here in australia. yes, the WHOLE world is watching. many of us are talking about you. we are watching you with admiration. we thank you. we love you. we are one.

  • Rachel

    Baltimore is working on a jacuzzi for you all. Hugs, love, and tons of support from Charm City.

  • charlene boicourt (@toobigtwofail)

    i am very proud of OWS. I wish i could be there but i do plan to meet up sometime. My family plans to come to dc on the 23rd.

    If yr happy with the way yr life is headed (FINE). If u feel negative about OWS that’s FINE also. please try not 2 show disrespect (we had enough of that from CORP.) by yelling get a JOB. Some people protesting against big banks, corp, and the 1%, have jobs.We r just REALLY FED UP with our economy. Jobs cannot be created and there is a hiring freeze, U.S.A govt. want to cut most programs that will help the less fortunate, Big corp,& Banks want to give to the fortunate. They want to jump start the economy by using the 99% money. They should have to pay their fair share, We r the people(99%) facing high unemployment, foreclosure,high health insurance and loss of pensions,Every time u turn around there is increase of tax on most things,Our paychecks stay the same THE ECONOMY STINKS!!!! We need to speak out and b heard. We want to change the U.S.A way of thinking.* Banks got bailed out”!!!! we really did get sold out.Banks do not care about us. they r all about the “GREED”.They rather take there business overseas instead of helping at home. They r not 4 the people.

  • Melvin Dean Baker

    Tips from the GPM. See if you can rent a van to carry gear and be what we on the Peace March called the blister van. You can use it to pick up Marchers who are wiped out and carry them ahead either to the next campsite or to the next rest stop. We found it best to stop every four miles, where we set-up our porta potties. I know you don’t have those, but since you’re a small group you may plan those around gas station or public restrooms of some kind. If private restrooms, make sure you make all your water purchases etc from there to keep them happy. The blister van itself can also be used for scouting work for said restrooms.

    As to the police. Love bomb the guys with kindness, work closely with the local highway patrol guys when you have to travel on highways. This not only makes sense, it also makes it easier as you go along. The cops talk to each other and if they learn that you are nice guys the next set of cops you are handed off to will be a lot more pleasant.

    • aurora

      right on! sign me up, only i have a station wagon; but i dig the idea. philly to dc…. if interested ~ roarycasiano@gmail.com

      O, and love bombing is just another way of passing it forward; golden rule is the most righteous concept ever concieved, even if common sense isn’t so common anymore…. <3

  • Axel

    Bon courage mes amis! –from Montréal, Québec

    If Montreal were between NYC and Washington, we would have host you all.
    I’m looking forward to read this free e-book.

  • Laura

    Been looking for marchers all day on Arleans Rd in Levittown, Pa. Did I miss something?

  • Daniele (@Dakitty0)

    You occupiers… you are so good, and so kind. It really warms my heart. Occupy our country. Occupy their hearts.

    Stay strong.

  • poetryeditor

    I used to be able to walk 20 miles in a day with no problem, when I was 18. I didn’t do it on a diet of Coors Light, cigarettes and no sleep though. This is a marathon-like activity and I hope you can make it to the finish line.

  • Kristine Sara Ekman

    Sending prayers for your day. You inspire us all:)

  • V

    I think I know that romanian-american marcher/occupier! Kudos, man! I’m glad it’s happening. You girls/guys/people are my heroes.

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