I've just returned home from the city - It has been a long and exhausting day filled with tension, joy, sadness, hope and a chance to bare witness to the history of a people that has long held democracy in its heart.
I awoke early this morning and headed into the city to work. I had every intention of going to work today. I hoped to make it to Foley Square around five but when I got downtown the following events happened.
First we met at Liberty Park or Zuccotti and assembled by the cube. Word was that there would be thousands of us - there were hundred. It was a cold but the spirit was festive and across the random MIC CHECKS chants were going up.
The crowd seemed very pissed at Mayor Bloomberg for some reason.
This man stood above the crowd and began talking:
After he was done we were told that there would be two marches and that we would be holding down the different intersections in wallstreet. The choice was before us to choose between following the green flags or the black flags.
A fellow Kossack met up with me and we decided to follow the black flags. The thong of people moved forward and us along with them. Thus began the first march to shut down wallstreet.
It was at that point when we were no more then a hundred feet from the cube that a gang of motorcycles sped into us and pushed its way through the crowd.
We quickly got out of the cops way or they were going to run us over. We proceeded along the street taking up chants along the way. We reached Nassau street first and a group of people volunteered to stay behind. I wanted to keep moving at that point and continued down pine street.
Our chants could be heard everywhere. This is the story that CNN was not reporting as I heard in the crowd that they kept showing the sky view of wallstreet depicting it as empty when it was not. The police had blocked off specific access to the exchange and other key streets to get into it.
Still our voices were heard. We continued to march with the purpose of shutting down wallstreet.
At each intersection we paused and left behind more brothers and sisters of the movement. When my group reached exchange place there were maybe 30 or 40 of us left out of the hundreds that had started. The police had surrounded us on all sides except one. We chanted, and sang, and then decided we should sit in a circle and tell stories as the police looked on.
A mother of three tells of how the banks refused to refinance her mortgage and how the court sided with the banks - now they are homeless.
This is why or at least part of why we are doing this. My blood boiled as I listened to all the story of hardship that never had to be. It should not be birth in this country that determines your own future. It should not be birth that will decide if you will be able to have a home - be able to go to college - be able to pursue your dreams - but it is right now.
Our circle of Athenian story telling at Exchange place.
Word began coming in that we had delayed the morning bell by 20 minutes. WE HAD DELAYED THE STOCK EXCHANGE BY 20 MINUTES!! That was a huge victory in my eyes and most likely the eyes of all those who dared to protest against the corrupt system that has gamed everything from tuition to home loans against us.
Shortly after is when the police violence I witnessed began.