Occupy San Diego, Day 1 – WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT! With Photo Gallery

by on October 7, 2011 · 9 comments

in Civil Rights, San Diego

Occupy San Diego – This was the scene that welcomed me to the Civic Center Plaza. Photo by T. Collins Logan

Originally posted October 7, 2011

It’s been a long, short week, if that makes any sense at all… I haven’t slept much in the last few days, the wheels in my head have been spinning constantly, a mantra in the near reaches of my conscious thoughts, we, are, the 99%…

After 4 hours of sleep last night, an early morning meeting with the Better San Diego Coalition about the upcoming Mayoral Debate (more on that in the next few days) and tending to family matters most of the afternoon I grabbed a couple of chicken burritos from our neighborhood mexican grill and hopped on the trolley to downtown hoping to meet up with Frank and a multitude of friends, old and new, in the Civic Center to begin the Occupation of San Diego.

There weren’t many people on the trolley car I was on, most folks at that time of day are headed east on the Orange Line, not west. The trolley rocked me almost to sleep and I was starting to wonder if I would be able to make my tired body march… As the trolley made the turn into downtown I looked out the window and saw helicopters circling. “Wow,” I thought, “it must be big!” The mantra in my head kicked in again (we, are, the 99%) and the fatigue started to retreat a bit.

As the trolley traveled down C Street I started to see people on the streets with signs (We, Are, The 99%!). When I hopped off the lonely trolley car and rounded the corner into the Civic Center I was completely awestruck… The plaza was completely full of people. I have heard conflicting reports, someone said the cops estimated 1500, others said as many as 3,000 people turned out to be seen and be heard. WE ARE THE 99%!

My emotions have been running high all night, at times I had to work at keeping the tears from rolling down my face. I have never been part of something as uplifting and powerful. I am proud of our city today. We are here. Finally.

The following gallery of photos is a sampling taken from several different people. Enjoy, San Diego. Now I need some Jack Daniels and some sleep. More in the morning…

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

mara prezioso October 8, 2011 at 3:08 am

From Italy: I’m 99% !


tfv October 8, 2011 at 9:48 am

To decide what these occupying forces represent, start by asking yourself the following
“What are the three (yes, only three) most important objectives that the U.S. (even w/o Congress) must do to reinstall the American Dream and to restore the U.S. as the world’s sole superpower?
Note: Even after using the term ‘superpower’ I’ll bet that ‘winning’ the ‘war’ in Afghanistan is not in your top ten…..but here:

How about these three:

a)forgive all student loans as a means to stimulate the economy and to unburden those who have or are in the process of obtaining a degree
b)rehire 50% of all laid off teachers (some may merit it but no more than 50% I’m ‘sure’

2)Stop All Home Foreclosures:
Only owner occupied homes i.e. no speculators or landlords allowed…..details to come (ex. grant all underwater homeowners a 30yr fixed mortgage at the current 4%, guarantee it by the government, but require 10% of a homeowner’s profit when sold after the market stabilizes as a result of this program). This equates to a a massive stimulus by taking (idle) money from banks, putting it into people’s hands, and then directly into the economy!….BUT being in a catch-22 between unemployment and foreclosures these foreclosures must ‘first’ be stopped and then we can move on to the massive problem of….

a)Adopt the Obama jobs bill now or…(Republicans pls no’ jobs creators’ diatribe)…create demand for goods/services….taxes and uncertainty do not restrain hiring…..lack of demand does…lack of consumer discretionary funds does….simply.
b)Eliminate the representative in ‘representative democracy’ through popular voting (a bill at a time beginning life a a super polling/tie breaking/debt ceiling fiasco ending mechanism) via computers, telephones, etc.; a PIN; and your SS number.
Employ continuous security/hacking resistance by using testing by Anonymous.
If the majority (silent or not) are truly in charge you can bet that they will have jobs and it will be the lobbyists out of work….all 700,000+ of them.


Brittany Bailey October 8, 2011 at 11:17 am

I was so happy to meet up with you guys last night. It was incredible. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of people, or the tone of the whole thing. I was expecting a lot of anger, and I was surprised to find such a positive and uplifting feel. Strangers were interacting, smiling, making friends. This is how it’s supposed to be.


Marilyn Steber October 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

We wondered what the “tipping point” would be back when we protested in Balboa Park, Arlington West, at the exit from Hotel Dell while Prez Bush (P-tui) partied while the hurricane barrelled toward NO, etc. We took abuse from our neighbors, lost friends, found friends, and went on. We expected to be run down by cops on horses. We expected to be assaulted by the pro war faction across Laurel Street.
We had a cause and shouted our demands.
This movement has not announced demands. Good! We just know we are miserable with the way we have been manipulated. Roger Hedgehog–cock!–and other conservatives are looking for something to rale against, and they can’t find one. Just dirty jobless hippies with no direction.
Isn’t life interesting!
By the way, that Hedgehog comment is from Stephanie Miller’s radio program. She can’t resist and I won’t, either. 8-Q


richard October 9, 2011 at 11:41 am

We do not condemn the preachers as an individual but we condemn what they teach. We urge that the preachers teach the truth, to teach our people the one important guiding rule of conduct – unity of purpose.
Malcolm X


Chris October 7, 2021 at 12:22 pm

Honestly I never got into this “we are the 99% percent” thing. I thought it was comically cliché and more than anything it was just the fact that the 99% percent were no where near being 99% in agreement with each other. Trump beginning the the Trump presidency and the years since really drives that home.


Frank Gormlie October 8, 2021 at 9:19 am

Chris, we still use references to that language, your so-called comical cliche, today. It was an important acknowledgement of the on-going class struggle in America that no one wanted to talk about; don’t forget the occupy movement arrived at the end of the Great Recession and large banks were getting away with everything but the kitchen sink.

The percent language acknowledged quite openly the huge gap between the very wealthy and the rest of us, a gap that hadn’t been that wide in this country for a 100 years.

During the height of the occupy movement, the consensus among protesters was astounding and unprecedented. Plus, polls at the time showed widespread support for the movement among the American people.


Chris October 8, 2021 at 4:33 pm

Frank, there is no dispute over the growing gap between the top one percent and everyone else. And it’s only gotten worse. The police who harassed and physically beat the occupiers,white supremacists, tea partiers, future Trumpians, those who would later attack the Capitol and all their supporters, police who shoot and kill unarmed black men and their supporters, “Luv Murcia or git” types, I could on. All of those people are 99 percenters. There was not and is not any real unity amongst those of us below one percent. Yeah there’s unity amongst those of us who lean left to varying degrees and the same can be said for the right. So my opinion stands. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be something done about the wealth gap that is only getting worse, but we need to be realistic abut the fact that we in the “99%” are pretty slit down the middle.


Frank Gormlie October 8, 2021 at 9:43 am

Here’s a remembrance from Avery Wear, Occupy San Diego, published elsewhere.

One thing that was different about Occupy Wall Street compared to other movements (and Occupy San Diego, in which my local branch of the International Socialist Organization participated) was its popularity. I remember polls at the time talking about something like two thirds public support for the movement. Occupiers were viewed as heroes in liberal circles. Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Ron Paul tried (and failed) to jump on the bandwagon. I remember leading boos at a mass rally at the San Diego Civic Center as a Tea Party representative took the stage. There was hysterical opposition to Occupy as well, but what shook out was a class-based polarization of society with a big majority aligning with the working class.

Occupy San Diego, as elsewhere, opened the door between organized labor and the left. We started the Occupy San Diego Labor Solidarity Committee. This brought union support into some actions. And it brought together Occupy union and labor-oriented members who were active together for several years. It began to create a labor Left. SEIU (Service Employees International Union) dreamed up the Fight for 15 in response. The memory of Occupy and the issue of $15/hour minimum wage made Kshama Sawant’s campaigns possible. A couple of years later, Sanders caught fire.



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