Yesterday afternoon was clear and cool and the perfect day to go downtown and make some drawings of the march to support the Wall Street occupiers. The marchers met in front of the courthouse and walked down to City Hall to show their support for the activists who are occupying Wall Street, representing the 99% – that is, the 99% who have no access to the majority of wealth in the US.
There were so many people on line to get in line…it was a pretty impressive turnout. Marching bands, even, although they were small, added to the parade-like atmosphere. There were union groups represented as well. I saw teachers, nurses, iron workers, students, musicians, etc., etc. A great cross-section of New Yorkers. One guy told me that he just left his job at Wall Street a few months ago. “I’m very popular with the reporters,” he quipped.
The guy with the drum was singing a song about Ronald Reagan. I couldn’t make out all of the lyrics, there was some sarcastic remarks about ‘trickle down’ in there though. The other guy was just standing around with a big sign. He seemed a bit lost, although earnest. I heard a lot of conversation among the people who swarmed by me. Several people talking about the good old days when City College was free. (It really was a great system that educated my parents and their generation.) Also heard a woman say she was there because her Mom was out of work. Lots of people complaining about the housing bubble and who is to be held accountable for that fiasco?
Once the parade started moving it went by fairly quickly. Lots of police and police helicopters in the air, but the day was quite peaceful. I saw one person (bottom right of drawing above) wearing a mask like the ones the recent protestors in Spain were wearing. Funny because I was making that comparison mentally even before I saw her.
As the parade wound down I planted myself on the edge of City Hall Park to get some of the people marching by. Even saw one of my students from Pratt! It was a great day and I was glad I was able to sneak a few hours out of all my obligations to get down there and draw. I’ve heard criticism leveled at this whole event, saying there is no strong issue that is being protested. But that’s the beauty of it – it’s just people getting out and letting the government know that they are not happy with the status quo. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?