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Welcome to September 17th. Today is the 225th Anniversary of the Constitution of the United States. It’s also the first year anniversary of the start of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests/movement.
Over the weekend people streamed into New York from around the nation for a three day event remembering the protests last year. Although OWS events are scheduled for 30 cities around the world, most in the mainstream media are running with the meme that the Occupy movement is dead. There will be events in San Diego today. (See Below)
The Huffington Post, that so-called bastion of liberal news, ran an Associated Press report on its front page declaring that this morning’s protests were already over, even as numerous videographers were livestreaming via various social media showing protests in progress. The hashtag #S17 was the number one reference on Twitter at of 7am PDT, meaning tens of thousands of people were following tweets from the events in New York.
It’s difficult to tell just what is going on as I’m writing this, but obviously there is more to this story than the mainstream media is reporting.
On Saturday around 300 people marched on Zuccotti Park – the lower Manhattan site which served as base camp for months of demonstrations. Yesterday (Sunday) saw thousands show up for a live music event, including a Foley Square concert featuring Tom Morello, guitarist for the rock band Rage Against the Machine. Activist Jews staged a Rosh Hashanah service in Zuccotti, allowing people to stream into the NYPD’s forbidden zone. The police could not risk the potential public relations blowback of photographs of people trying to hold a religious celebration being carted off to jail.
The plan for today (Monday) was that Occupy were expected to attempt to surround the New York Stock Exchange and disrupt morning rush hour traffic in Manhattan’s financial district. Evidently the news media and the NYPD expected one large group to march on Wall Street, which didn’t happen. Instead, groups ranging in size from a few dozen to several hundred converged from all directions and participated in rolling slowdowns and blockades of intersections around the financial district. Some of the Occupy protesters were dressed in business attired, making it more difficult for police to sort out the Occupiers from people headed to work. (Stay tuned for updates)
Here in San Diego Occupy has a series of events this afternoon. Women Occupy San Diego is encouraging people to meet at Canvas For a Cause (3705 10th Avenue) at 4pm for a rally speaking out in support of Proposition 37, the initiative that will require foods containing Genetically Modified Organisms, to be labeled.
Speakers will include the San Diego/Imperial Labor Council’s Lorena Gonzales, professor Norrie Robbins and poet Jeeni Criscenzo del Rio. The women’s Occupella group will also perform. Starting at 5 pm, the group intendeds to line the overpass bridge on Robinson Avenue in Hillcrest overlooking State Route 163 to display signs and banners visible to rush hour traffic headed through Balboa Park.
When Women OSD takes to the Robinson Avenue Bridge with their signs, OSD plans to go further north and protest on the University Avenue bridge, also over State Route 163, with OWS signs acknowledging the movement’s 1 year anniversary.
At 6 p.m., Occupy San Diego will march west on University and then south on 6th Avenue to Laurel Street (Redwood Circle). The march will end at Balboa Park for a free speech, open mic, drum circle and other activities in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street’s first anniversary.
This is an edited version of Doug Porter’s Starting Line at San Diego Free Press.