Moral Low Ground

Economy

‘Occupy the Highway’: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Begin Epic March from New York to Washington, D.C.

To all those who say that the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement is nothing but a bunch of lazy bums sitting around and waiting for a handout, or that they should be demonstrating against lawmakers down in Washington, get a load of this: a group of Occupiers has kicked off a 240-mile (386 km) march from Liberty Square, site of the OWS encampment in lower Manhattan, to Washington, D.C. They’ll be marching all day, every day, for the next two weeks. The action, dubbed ‘Occupy the Highway,’ will pass through four states and the District of Columbia, with marchers stopping in cities and towns along the way and hooking up with local occupations in places like Elizabeth, Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore. According to OWS:

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’ll be employed for two weeks in the business of walking,” organizer Jason Coniglione, who has been involved with OWS since it began on September 17, told the Village Voice. Coniglione told the Guardian that the march has been in the works since the beginning of the movement, “but at the first week we had no idea what [the occupation] was going to turn into.”

The goal of ‘Occupy the Highway’ is to make it Washington in time for the November 23 Congressional super-committee meeting that will decide whether or not to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

“The reason for going down to D.C. specifically is to make sure the billionaires get taxed,” marcher Mae Fraser, age 32, told Agence France-Presse.

The marchers, of whom about a dozen are expected to make the full trek down to D.C., were described as “ragtag but enthusiastic” by AFP. “We’re pretty well prepared,” 30-year-old paramedic Eric Carter told the agency. “Getting a pace going and the first days, that will be hardest. The highway will be cold and the wind will be blowing all the time, but once we get in the swing, it will be really easy,” he predicted.

AFP reports that police officers seeing the group off were shockingly dismissive of the marchers. “Low-lifers,” one muttered as the protesters prepared to board a ferry out of New York. When one friendly officer shook hands with a demonstrator carrying an American flag, his colleague sneered: “He shook his hand– probably catch a disease.”

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