So today I went downtown to catch up with OccupyPgh at Market Square. I had originally hoped to walk over and catch up with the march, but that didn’t work out.
I’ll load my photos and tweets tomorrow.
- Crowd estimated by City police to be 1500 to 2000. Other assessments from 400 to 3,000. I wandered perimeter of Market Square gathering several times. There were more than 1,000 people.
- The music and dancing was very nice. Loved seeing the large circle of folks holding hands and moving in a circle (in the square).
- Union presence. USW has video up already.
- What struck me the most were the individual conversations taking place on the perimeter (where I lurked). People were passionate and articulate and sincere, but they also listened and shook hands and agreed to disagree. Literally. I was very impressed.
- Very disappointed that there was such a poor presence of local elected officials. I saw three. Guess who? Not whom you would think. It will be interesting to see how they respond in the coming week. I hope they remember that very few municipal elected officials are part of the 1%. Right? Just wondering … did I miss them?
- Someone tweeted that the protestors ESPECIALLY me were pathetic. I was impressed his life was disrupted enough by my tweets that he took the time to post. It was also nice that tweeps like Kevin Acklin took the time to refute him. I did ask him nicely why he said that, but he never replied. I was standing on a sidewalk tweeting. I had no sign. I had no one with me, didn’t say a word the whole time I believe. I took some photos. I tried to listen to the speakers and I just soaked up the million small moments happening around me. And I tweeted a little window into what was happening. (OK, I was stalking Chris Potter but he was busy being all professional and such.) Then I walked back to my car and went home. Grateful. More on that tomorrow.
- This was peaceful. Folks were intense, but intent on respecting the values the organizers had embraced. It was really quite nice to behold. I saw quite a few grizzled protest veterans. I saw many more faces I didn’t recognize, but whose lives probably echo mine … it is hard to put into words.
Please visit their website, Facebook page and, I might suggest, the City Paper Blog, Slagheap. I’ll have some more links up tomorrow along with videos that have already gone viral. Jasiri X has a nice piece and a group from South Carolina has a video of a song called “Occupy.”
For now, I’m going to enjoy a bit of SNL coverage of the protests and see what happens next.