The Occupy Wall Street protests may have already spread to cities across the world, but the movement’s next major migration will be easy to see if you're on the East Coast anytime soon. Protesters are taking the movement on the road — literally.
Starting Wednesday, November 8, protesters in New York City’s Zuccotti Park, the central hub and starting point of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street movement, will be marching hundreds of miles from Lower Manhattan into Washington DC, stopping at smaller occupation-style demonstrations along the way.
Organizers on the OccupyWallStreet.org website have revealed plans for Occupy the Highway: The 99 Percent March to Washington. Protesters will be playing in safe, however, and will ditch the major roadways in exchange for more pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares. They intend on leaving New York City Wednesday at noon and plan to march roughly 20 miles a day, stopping along the way in Trenton, Philadelphia, Baltimore and elsewhere before arriving in Washington two weeks later.
On November 23, demonstrators intend on arriving in the nation’s capitol in time to march to the White House in protest of that day’s meeting of the Congressional Deficit Reduction Super-Committee, the bipartisan panel that will decide on whether or not to keep Obama’s extension to the Bush-era tax cuts. On their website, organizers write that keeping the cuts on the books will only benefit the richest one percent of Americans in any kind of significant way, so they are hoping that their march will “let the committee know what the 99 percent think about these cuts.”
“Join the march to make sure these tax cuts for the richest one percent of Americans are allowed to die!” reads the website.
After leaving New York’s Zuccotti Park, marchers will head to Elizabeth, New Jersey before heading south towards DC. Along the way they will stop in New Brunswick, NJ, Wilmington, DE and seven other towns before arriving in Washington. In Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD the group hopes to take a day off of marching to join the Occupy protests happening in those towns.
Along the way, organizers hope that others in small towns like Andalusia, PA and Laurel, MD will join them.
“A major draw for this march is to encourage more people in rural communities to get involved as well as bring spreading the word along the highway. We are hoping people will join the march along the way; whether for an hour, a day, or the full two weeks, we feel its imperative for OWS to be involved in the historical signiﬁcance of long distance marches to support, promote, and encourage economic and social equality,” reads the website.
Protesters plan on arriving in DC’s McPherson Square, which has served as Washington’s Occupy-hub for over a month now. In recent days, however, tensions have grown beween the DC Police Department and the protesters. On Friday, two demonstrators were ran over following a protest outside a conservative-funded event at the DC Convention Center. Yesterday Police Chief Cathy Lanier would not meet with reporters to discuss the incident but issued a statement saying, “demonstrators have become increasingly confrontational and violent toward uninvolved bystanders and motorists.”
OccupyDC organizers, however, insist that it is just the contrary.
“The injuries cited by police were perpetrated by others against peaceful Occupy DC protesters – making today's police statement all the more dishonest,” reads a response from the group.