The late people’s historian Howard Zinn declared, “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” Today will be the largest and most significant march yet. The number of people, who have participated in marches prior to this one, will pale in comparison to the tens of thousands of people, who are likely to come out to protest and show solidarity with Occupy Wall Street this afternoon. That is why Zinn’s quote has renewed importance.
This movement didn’t begin because someone started to kick around a petition. The movement didn’t ignite because people found a person whom they would like to get elected to a position in government. The movement didn’t start because some people called a rally on the steps of Capitol Hill that would last for a few hours and “send a message” to Congress. The movement grew because a few disgruntled Americans had the guts to unite and call for a protest action with a vision of truly beginning to do the work citizens must do to no longer live in a society subservient to corporate and special interests.
Less than one hundred went into a park on September 17 and did not leave. The police appeared intent on forcing them out of the park but the occupiers found out late in the night they would be allowed to stay. An opening was created. One occupier tweeted it felt like “a mini Tahrir Square.” And, in the first week, with very little media attention, those who were tired of letting Wall Street and the top 1% ruin their lives and other people’s lives—somewhere between 50 and 200—occupied the park.
Those who slept in the park the first week, especially on the first night, are the vanguard of this movement. They were not part of some known community group or union. They were not affiliated with any campaign launched by any liberal organization. They were not even directly connected to any of the more radical groups in the country, like the Socialist Workers’ Party or Communist Party USA. They were not being visited by celebrities or media personalities. They were just students saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. They were people who were fed up with growing poverty. They were citizens who were no longer willing to tolerate Wall Street influence over politicians, who tailor legislation and policies to benefit corporations and the richest 1% at the expense of the other 99% of Americans.
They are responsible for inspiring the “occupy” actions springing up all over the country and giving hope to so many Americans, who had become cynical and demoralized because President Barack Obama caters to powerful interests on Wall Street just as much as President George W. Bush did.
The march begins at 3 pm ET. The blog will be covering it as it unfolds. In addition to that, the blog will also be covering student walkouts, which are to begin at noon ET today.
Firedoglake’s premier live blog continues. I am now in Washington, DC, ready to bring you live reporting from the scene of Occupy DC and Freedom Plaza. I’ll likely be going to Liberty Park at some point too. Here is a Twitter list to follow for the latest updates.
LIVE STREAM OF OCCUPY WALL STREET FROM THE UPTAKE
3:16 PM There was an incident at Occupy Seattle. A person is hauled away by an ambulance. Tents are still up though.
2:59 PM Buses of nurses arrive at Occupy Boston
2:47 PM Glad media, including various progressive blogs, are now giving the “We Are the 99 Percent” Tumblr a lot of attention. I noted it when it first began and started featuring photos in the blog. I even used the blog to defend the occupation from charges that it had no message. It is one powerful blog and deserving of an award as it gives voice to Americans whose voices are typically ignored. Some of the most recent images to go up:
2:30 PM Note: Replaced Global Revolution live feed with The UpTake’s. Will use this for the march.
2:10 PM The scene in Zuccotti Park – video
2:01 PM Students at St. Lawrence University walk out (h/t Cahokia)
1:57 PM Brooklyn College students walk out, have the support of some faculty (via @QueerFruitFly) :
1:43 PM Occupy Seattle update: Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn supports the protesters but does not support them keeping tents up in the park. There will likely be arrests today if occupiers do not remove the tents.
1:18 PM Lawrence Lessig’s commentary, plugs new book:
In my book, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It— published today byTwelve, I spend hundreds of pages trying to make clear what should be obvious to every single protester shivering in a Wall Street doorway. But the whole point of the book could be captured in the single quote that I stole from Thoreau right at a start: “there are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil, to one who is striking at the root.”
These protesters should see that they are that one striking at the root. They should understand that our system has been corrupted by money — even if the Supreme Court refuses to call it “corruption,” and even if political scientists are unsure about whether their regressions can show it. And they should recognize that until this root is hacked, the weeds of this corruption will continue to destroy this democracy, and this nation.
1:16 PM Media covering “Take Back the American Dream” only there because Occupy Wall Street is unfolding. It would be just another rally on Capitol Hill if the “occupy” movement had not erupted in the past week.
1:11 PM Former Senator Russ Feingold shares his view on Occupy Wall Street with Greg Sargent:
“I’m really encouraged by what I’m seeing. People around the country are finally organizing to stand up to the huge influence of corporations on government and our lives. This kind of citizen reaction to corporate power and corporate greed is long overdue”…
…Feingold rejected the argument — made even by some of Occupy Wall Street’s sympathizers — that it has failed to articulate a clear message or agenda, arguing that the coalescing of outrage itself is the story and the message here, even if it seems incohate at times.
“The guys who are protesting are not filing legal briefs,” he said. “They are expressing the populist, genuine view that people have been ripped off. It’s a fundamental identification of the fact that people are getting taken for a ride by powerful interests who are getting away with murder.”… [emphasis added]
12:58 PM Chicago Board of Trade: “We Are the 1%”
12:49 PM @UBSpectrum – student newspaper at the University of Buffalo – reports at least 75 students walked out. A teach-in is under way.
12:43 PM NBC New York reports on organizers trying to secure a permit for today’s march. Headline is misleading because they can still hold the march without a permit. But, organizers expect thousands and want to be able to use a sound system.
12:33 PM Occupy BostonNU — People’s Mic being used. (via @mynameskate)
12:30 PM UNC students walkout (h/t TarheelDem) (Photo: @VivianaBL)
12:25 PM New School faculty in full support of student walkout and Occupy Wall Street. They issue a statement. While it seems most students were to walk out at noon, the New School is holding their walkout at 3:30 pm, just before the big march on Wall Street from Foley Square.
12:21 PM Lisa Derrick at La Figa with more reporting on Occupy LA. It has its own livestream now, not on the same channel as Global Revolution. City Council members are going to be pushing a resolution to support the protesters’ continued occupation.
12:19 AM Video of Occupy Santa Barbara arrests last night.
12:10 AM In case you missed it: Yesterday the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus endorsed Occupy Wall Street.
11:58 AM Colleges/universities who will be participating in Occupy Colleges this afternoon:
1 Adrian College
2 Austin Community College
3 Baruch College
4 Bluegrass Community & Technical College of Lexington Kentucky
5 Borough of Manhattan Community College
6 Bradley University
7 Bronx Community College
8 Brooklyn College, City University of New York
9 California State University Long Beach
10 Champlain College–will be meeting in Hauke Courtyard
11 Chapman University
12 City College of New York
13 College of Staten Island
14 Columbia College Chicago
16 CUNY Graduate Center
17 Duke University
18 East Carolina University 45. Boise State University
19 Eastern Michigan
20 Eastern Washington University
21 Elizabeth city State University
22 Hostos Community College
23 Hunter College
24 Huston-Tillotson- 10/5 Noon in commons area ( march to UT if you want)
25 Illinois State University–will be meeting up with Bradley University and Occupying at Bloomington Normal Illinois
26 Indiana University of Pennsylvania–will be meeting in Oak Grove
27 John Jay College
28 Kingsborough Community College
29 La Guardia College
30 Lehman College
31 Lone Star College Tomball
32 Medgar Evers College
33 Montana State–will be meeting in lawn South of Montana Hall
34 Moreno Valley Community College
35 Mount Holyoke College
36 North Carolina State University–meet in NCSU Brickyard
37 Northeastern University
38 Queens College
39 Queensborough Community College
41 Santa Monica College
42 Sonoma State University
43 Southern Illinois University at Carbondale–will be meeting at Old Man Quad
44 State University of New York campuses:
45 University at Albany
46 Stony Brook University
47 University at Buffalo
48 Binghamton University
49 SUNY Cobleskill
50 SUNY Cortland
51 Farmingdale State College
52 Fashion Institute of Technology
53 Purchase College
54 SUNY New Paltz
55 Erie Community Colleg
56 St Ed’s
57 St. Lawrence University in North County
58 Syracuse University
59 Texas State University San Marcos
60 Texas Tech–not confirmed, still a “maybe” 25. Florida Atlantic University
61 UCLA–will be meeting at Bruins Walk
62 UNC Charlotte–will be meeting at UNC Bell Tower
63 University of Colorado Boulder–they are set to “maybe”
64 University of Connectivut at Storrs
65 University of Florida
66 University of Kentucky
67 University of Maryland–will be meeting at College Park
68 University of Massachusetts Amherst–will be meeting at Amherst Commons
69 University of Massachusetts Lowell
70 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill–will be meeting at Wilson Library
71 University of Oklahoma–will be meeting in front of S. entrance of Bizell Library
72 University of Texas Austin–will be meeting outside tower in South Mall
73 University of Wisconsin-Superior
74 West Mount College
75 York College
11:50 AM “Take Back the American Dream” conference is about to have their “Jobs, Not Cuts” rally at Capitol Hill with participants from the conference, including leaders of endorsing organizations. Yes, I am here in DC and could go cover but how will their rally be any different than any rally held before on the capitol steps? At the same time, students across the country from 75 different colleges will be engaging in walkouts. They will rally on their campuses (or somewhere nearby). The student actions are much more important to cover.
11:20 AM Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Foundation has put together a video to push more Americans to participate in the growing “Occupy” movement.
11:15 AM Yesterday’s live blog for anyone who wants to catch up on all things Occupy Wall Street and “Occupy” related.