On the way down from the Oscar Grant Plaza where several thousand strikers converged to block the corner of Broadway and 12th street, my colleague Tex remarked: “Isn’t it weird that we didn’t see a single cop during the whole march?” Not when a cab tried to breach the crowd blocking the intersection, not when we marched passed the City Hall and surged in front of the Wells Fargo and Chase banks, we never saw a single blue uniform and badge.
The crowd was full of labor folks: nurses, teachers, SEIU workers, carpenters and even iron workers representing their unions marching side by side with students, babies in strollers and retired folks who kept saying, “I never thought I’d see this day”. After the frightening night when the police attacked the Occupy Oakland encampment, with the severe injuries to an Iraq Vet Against the War, Scott —people were adamant that the streets belong to the people and that we will not let fear and intimidation diminish our hopes for a different kind of world.
As soon as Tex remarked that there was no police presence we saw a BART police officer and I went over and asked him how he thought it was going. “Oh, I’m not authorized to make a comment”, he said with a smile, “but we are here”.
In the sunny early part of the day there was a lot of optimism, as the chants and brass band belted out the rhythmic chants:
The system has got to die
Hella, hella occupy
We are the 99%
United in our dissent.
We’ll be using our website, blog, twitter account and facebook as a hub of information and live updates, so check in throughout the day. The good folks at Movement Generation have a great list of events posted here.