Spirits were high last night as occupiers were joined by 92-year-old folk legend Pete Seeger for a late night march to Columbus Circle, where a midnight performance featuring Seeger’s grandson Tao Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, composer David Amram, bluesman Guy Davis and others.
A live stream of the action offered millions an opportunity to view the transcendental nature of the moment that was unfolding. The march was one of the most inspiring yet because the repetitive chants were abandoned for folk songs Pete Seeger & others are known for singing. “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” “O Mary Don’t You Weep” & “This Little Light of Mine” were all sung by people while marching to Columbus Circle.
When the group reached the circle, all gathered around to further experience the power of song. Daniel Massey of Crain’s New York Business was at the scene and reported Pete Seeger stood on the steps of the Columbus monument. Pete Seeger, Guthrie and others sang “We Shall Overcome.” Seeger conducted a version of “Jacob’s Ladder” with his cane. The musicians sang “Which Side Are You On?” and also turned “All Day All Week Occupy Wall Street” into an impromptu song. Television crews were largely absent.
At one point, everyone joined together and sung “This Little Light of Mine” a second time:
The group sang “We Shall Not Be Moved.” In the middle of the song, according to various messages on Twitter, NYPD moved in to disperse the crowd and declared the park was closed. Pete Seeger had just left the park so it is possible they were waiting for him to leave before shutting this musical celebration down.
It was truly a spiritual experience and opportunity for younger generations to hear some of the best folk/protest music in the history of America. Songs like “This Land is Your Land” have become patriotic songs yet the song written by Woody Guthrie is actually a song for revolutionaries. That is why a sanitized version of the song is often sung. Pete Seeger actually sang the version with lost verses during a “We Are One” concert at the Lincoln Memorial that was part of Obama’s Inauguration.
This is one of the typically absent verses:
As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.
Firedoglake’s premier live blog continues. Here is a Twitter list to follow for the latest updates (now has 235 followers).
Have any up-to-date information on any of the Occupy efforts taking place across the country? Send your tips to [email protected] to help us spread the word.
Support our wall-to-wall coverage of the Occupy Movement – donate $10 or more to sponsor our independent reporting and analysis of these historic demonstrations across the country.
FDL LIVE STREAM
Kevin will try to live stream at 11p CT, and perhaps earlier – Elliott
LIVE STREAM OF OCCUPY WALL STREET & OTHER OCCUPATIONS VIA GLOBAL REVOLUTION
12:27 PM Atlanta Hip Hop Day has been canceled. Some version of the day’s events are likely to continue and happen under the permit that Occupy Atlanta has from the city. The city gave them notice less than 24 hours ago that they needed to find more money to cover security costs. They didn’t have the money so their permit was revoked.
12:00 PM Occupy Atlanta Livestream [*temporarily offline now but will be back up.]
Press conference concluded. Today is Atlanta Hip Hop Day with Afrika Bambaataa headlining. As explained, the Atlanta police were handing out notices to everyone entering the park. The notices told anyone entering the park that Atlanta Hip Hop Day was canceled. The reason why is because at the last minute the police asked for $11,000 to do security for the event. An organizer of the day’s event said the price was set just because it is a hip hop music event. But, then the situation became more of a problem for the police and city because Occupy Atlanta is using the park.
The city has tried to pit Occupy Atlanta against Atlanta Hip Hop Day. They wanted Atlanta Hip Hop Day to find another park to do the event. But, the two partnered up. Now the organizers are having vendors who showed up ticketed as they unload in the park. The city has turned this event that would have flown under the radar into headline news and now thousands of people are expected to show up.
It seems like the event will be happening, despite the notices of cancellation. I do not know if this means people will be risking arrest/fines/citations for participating. Tune into the Occupy Atlanta livestream for the latest.
11:04 AM Ten were arrested at Occupy Cleveland last night. WKYC covered.
11:00 AM USA Today write-up on Seeger & Friends marching to Columbus Circle with occupiers:
At the circle, Seeger and friends walked to the chant of “We are the 99 percent” and “We are unstoppable, another world is possible.” Seeger stopped to bang a metal statue of an elephant with his cane — to cheers from the crowd.