Thursday, October 6, 2011
Down at the Occupation
There were no riot cops, as rumor had it there would -- or might -- be. Instead, there were four horse police. I don't know how it is with horse police in your area, but in this area, getting out the horse police is a serious matter, but typically it is not a threatening one. The horse police, whether used by the city or the state, are usually there to protect the crowd, as they did today.
What did they do? They assisted an unpermitted march from the plaza to the Capitol and around the Capitol Park and back to the plaza. Later, I assume they assisted another march to the Bank of America and Wells Fargo buildings on the Capitol Mall (I say "assume" because I wasn't on that march having hurt my foot on the earlier march. The perils of old farts marching.) Essentially what they did was ride ahead of the marchers and block vehicular traffic so that the march could proceed without (much) slowdown.
There were patrol officers along the route, as well as some bicycle police, but there were no incidents, even when the march stopped and moved on to the Capitol grounds (again, unpermitted) for a brief rally.
The crowd seemed to have doubled upon returning to the plaza; around a thousand left the plaza at about 10am; there were, by my estimation, close to 2,000 when we returned.
After a brief assembly, the crowd decided to go march on the banks previously mentioned. As I was infirm due to injury, I stayed in the plaza. When the marchers returned, quite triumphantly to huge cheers, there were some speeches.
I recorded some of them, but it will be a little while before I can process them. This occupation does not yet use the People's Microphone, so it is often difficult to hear the speakers, even when they use a megaphone. The General Assembly process is still in the embryonic stage as most of the participants don't quite understand the mechanics of it, though many understand the purpose and function. At this point, proposals are few, and I was glad to see there were few votes as well. They're working out the process on the hoof as it were, just as it should be in my view.
This crowd was very diverse age-wise, gender-wise, and ethnically. Kind of like Sacramento itself. There were a number of homeless people -- who would be in the plaza anyway, for it is a favored day-time hangout. But today, they joined and they were welcomed into the occupation. If anybody had got the willies over it, I didn't see it.
The only action proposals that were adopted before I left were to occupy the plaza indefinitely, to stage the march to the Capitol and later to the banks on Capitol Mall, and to stage daily marches to the banks, to the Federal buildings and to the various state government buildings, focusing especially on the Department of Justice.
For it is Justice, more than anything, that the people involved in this occupation want. Social justice, economic justice, and legal justice. There is no statement of demands, and at the meetings today it was decided to coordinate with New York's General Assembly on the development of a Declaration and any demands that may eventually come to the fore. But for right now, the focus is on Justice.
If I had my way, the focus would be on Dignity, Justice, Community and Peace.
Something tells me, we're gonna get there.
And no one can stop us.
A selection of pictures; more will go on line eventually...
This last one is actually taken from Anonymous's video -- "Tipping Point" -- and I believe the sign-holder is in Liberty Plaza in New York.