Monthly Archives: November 2011

March Day 1 – Liberty Plaza to Elizabeth, NJ

Approximately 20 people had committed to this march as of Tuesday evening. Even as of late this morning(Wednesday), hours before the march is set to start, many marchers have no knowledge of the media frenzy springing up all over the world. Crawling out of our dew-covered tents, exhausted from another night of Manhattan noise, excitement still shines brightly through tired voices. To quote one marcher, “This is going to be the most awesome thing I’ve ever done even if just 3 of us go.”

By 10AM, already being hunted down by international reporters throughout the Liberty Plaza encampment, we all stand in awe behind the great global power of this movement. By noon there are 25 confirmed marchers assembled underneath the bright red steel beam structure at the southeast corner of the park. A reporter mob of twice that number battles one another for the best shots in the very confined spaces of a stairwell. None of us has ever experienced anything like this, now feeling as if we have just stepped onto the red carpet to receive an Oscar. Some marchers seem to be left speechless, surely to the great dismay of this media army who outnumbers us 2-to-1.

Last minute marchers include a man with no shoes and another man carrying only a Guy Fawkes mask. The mass of well-wishers marching with us to the ferry terminal is so great that at least one marcher looses his way and will have to rejoin us later via public transit. A fleet of NYPD motorcycles joins in as we pass along the perimeters of Ground Zero. A dozen remaining reporters fight rolling waves to get group shots on the ferry to New Jersey. A new batch of police is there waiting for us on the Jersey shore, politely asking that we please move through the city before the schools close.

The number of well-wishers and reporters slowly dwindles through the afternoon, leaving just two reporters by early evening. Local cops hand us off to one another at each jurisdictional border, with 1 to 4 police vehicles always following or leading. Marching through historic downtown Newark and other areas with many pedestrians, we chant popular Occupy slogans and make up a few new ones also.

Public support is absolutely amazing, with horns honking and hands waving almost constantly. A river barge captain even blows his fog horn while the crew cheers on deck as we cross a bridge. Bone shaking semi truck horns are at times nonstop, with all commercial truck drivers seeming to relate very strongly with the Occupy movement.

Many people have heard about this march on last night’s news. Negative comments are far and few in between, less than 1%. One onlooker yells, “Lets kill the flag holder” as we pass through a government housing project. He is referring to either the lead marcher who carries an American flag or a rear marcher who carries a “corporate” American flag. One male motorist yells, “Get a job” and another screams, “Go home!”. In none of these cases did any marcher express any concern for our safety, considering that a cop car was always within earshot.

A police cruiser collides with a black SUV in a pedestrian crossing just as we step out into the roadway. Pieces of the cop’s bumper land within feet of us as the black SUV slides sideways through the crosswalk. Another freak near-accident happens when a marcher falls halfway through a manhole cover that is not properly seated. The marcher’s leg is pinned by the heavy steel cover and has to be freed by another marcher, but no serious injury.

The day’s voyage could have been completed soon after sundown had the police not asked us to change our route. A potentially dangerous highway overpass is detoured at a cost of at least 3 extra miles, leaving us to march for hours after dark.

At 8:30 we arrive to the home of tonight’s hosts, arranged via couchsurfing.com. One police car follows us to the house and another is already there waiting. An officer in a white dress shirt stands ominously on the sidewalk, asking to speak with the home owner. Not having considered this type of police action, we’d earlier told a cop the exact address we were headed to.

“Why are you letting these people stay with you?”, “What are you serving for dinner?”, “Can we remain parked in front of your house tonight?”, the better-dressed cop asks in a series of unusual questions to our host.

At this point everyone looses just a bit of patience for this police presence, changing from a stance of politeness to one of mere tolerance. The homeowner informs the cop in white that he is not welcome to park in front of his house. Two police cars remain parked at the end of the street all night long.

The single family dwelling is packed to the brim with marchers. Our host actually lives with his mom and extended family. We had contacted him 3 days ago requesting to arrive with 7 marchers. “Mom, there’s 25 people coming now”, he’d informed her this afternoon. Seeing every single chair and most of the floor space of her entire first level filled with strange strangers, mom simply greets us with a big smile and serves ice tea.

Our couchsurfing host, the son Ken, prepares a pot of hot soup….then another…..then another. He makes his shower available immediately, AND EVEN HIS BIG BACKYARD JACUZZI! After dinner we begin our first-ever marchers’ General Assembly. The meeting is somewhat informal but very smooth, also attended by our host and a young boy, both of whom follow along in the proper format and offer suggestions.

As this text is being composed at 3AM, a group of 3 marchers sits in the kitchen with our host and a roommate as the rest sleep throughout the home and its backyard deck.  Two of us answer the flurry of email and comments while the shoeless man makes a dream catcher out of broken automobile light bulbs, bolts and other things he found along the walk today. He says no shoes all the way to DC and we say more power to him.

OCCUPY EVERYTHING NOW!


Already in news and we haven’t even left yet

Lots of media outlets are all over this thing, some of the news articles are already posted. It blows my mind crazy how fast this thing is taking off!

Salon.com – http://www.salon.com/2011/11/09/occupiers_plan_epic_new_york_to_washington_march/singleton/

The Guardian – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/08/occupy-wall-street-washington-march

 

- Jason


Check out this radio interview with Michael Glazer on KBOO in Portland, OR

http://kboo.fm/node/31987

 

We want to thank everyone for their kind words and support. Some people have suggested we have mailing addresses for people to mail and/or drop of items at the locations we will be arriving in. You can send any package to General Delivery  C/O Michael Glazer (co-organizer for this march) to the post office in any of the towns we’re staying in. Just send us a tweet if you’ve mailed and/or dropped something off so we know to stop by the post office in the morning.

We’re also in the works about setting up a donation/we pay  service to this website and/or occupywallst.org. We have received $3,000 from the OWS General Assembly, but obviously don’t want to refuse any donations-all of the GA money unused (if we raise a lot on our own) will be returned to the OWS General Assembly.

 

Thanks again for…everything!!!!!!

-kelley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


Wow! So Far This is Looking OK (that’s an understatement)! And the ‘About’ Page Has Been Updated!

flyer-an updated version is on the way! To update as fast as possible since it’s 5am and I want to get a little shut eye before the day begins again tomorrow. Michael, co-organizer, made the proposal to the General Assembly for $750 for the march last Saturday night. The GA wanted Michael to propose it again and ask for more money. Sunday night Michael proposed $3,000 for the march and the GA was all on board! Yesterday, we had our first meeting after Michael and I laid out the ground work. There were ten of us at the meeting. Tomorrow we expect even more and we’re also expecting to grow as we go. *Any unused funds will go back to the OWS GA

We have an updated flyer in the works and I’ll post it again tomorrow morning, but want to get something up here now! We would also like to recognize that we will be stopping at Occupy Trenton and if thee are other occupations in the towns along our route that we missed or didn’t get word about, please let us know and we’ll update that info.

We’re also planning on having nightly GA’s in the town’s along the route. We’re aiming to get into those town’s by 5 or 6pm and hold the GA at 7pm in the town’s “center.” I f you live in one of these towns and have suggestions send ‘em! If you would like to facilitate or learn how let us know as well. We have a few facilitators on board. And, as a note, we do not plan on co-opting any existing occupation-we are not about imperialism folks.

So I’m taking my autonomous actions a little far when I get to speaking about the group when it’s just my singular voice, but fuck it! It’s 5am and I’m still up! (that’s meant to be a joke).

Will follow up with more tomorrow. Good-night everyone and thanks so much for your support thus far!!!

-kelley


OWS hits the Road!

A line drawing of the route: total milage is 240

Hey everyone! A group of us here at OWS are going to be occupying the highway soon enough. We are planning a two week march from Liberty Square in NYC to McPherson Square at Occupy DC! Tentatively, we are leaving this Wednesday Nov 9 at noon. We will be marching down to the ferry and heading over to NJ.

The plan is to make it to DC on November 23 for the Congressional Super Committee meeting which will be deciding whether the Bush tax cuts to the top 1% will stay or go. We want these cuts gone! We are taking action to fight for the 99%! Please join us if you are able. Whether for an hour, a day, or the full two weeks, we feel it’s imperative for OWS to respect and participate in the historical significance of long distance marches to support, promote, and encourage economic and human equality. We will march on average 20 miles a day from 9am to 5pm (banker hours) and hold nightly GA’s and/or discussions at 7pm in each town where we camp. We will be spending our two “days off” at Occupy Philly and Occupy Baltimore. We are also hoping that a few people from these occupations will join us in the march to the White House and Occupy DC.

We are unsponsored, which means we will not have support vehicles or much funding. We are collecting what donations we can so if you’d like to contribute please send us an email: owsmarch2dc@yahoo.com

Additionally, we hope to, as much as possible, coordinate with OWS and other occupations on planned actions, specifically on Nov 11 and Nov 17. We can do a lot from the road! Additionally, It would be beneficial if a medic(s) and a drummer(s) could join us! Although our preparations will include a crash course with the medical team so we can be prepared for the unexpected as we will be marching unsponsored. Lastly, due to the nature of this march, it is important that each participant understand their personal health and physical condition and feel comfortable walking this distance without a support vehicle. We are unsponsored and have extremely limited funding. Please bring as much of your own supplies as possible. We are also collecting what donations we can so if you’d like to contribute this way please send us an email: owsmarch2dc@yahoo.com

After Nov 23 marchers can do what ever they choose: stay in DC, return to OWS, or plan another march to further occupied cities. Hopefully, we will have a little bit of money to provide people with transportation expenses. This march is to take OWS on the road using nothing more than our feet to spread the word along highways and rural communities. Some of us walking have been at OWS since the beginning and others have joined OWS in the last few weeks. We have all gathered a variety of skills and knowledge that we can share with other occupations if needed.

We are formally inviting all of you to join this march. If you cannot march please help to send us off this Wednesday at noon. We will be taking the Staten Island Ferry just south of the square.

More details coming soon!


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