Occupy San Diego Activists On Road to “Occupy Congress”

by on January 14, 2012 · 15 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights, Economy, Organizing, Popular, San Diego

Preparations and Departure – Day 1 Update

Editor: Over a dozen activists from Occupy San Diego are going to Washington, DC, in response to a “call” to “Occupy DC” and Occupy Congress, which is to begin on January 17th, when Congress officially returns. About a dozen of these activists are traveling by Greyhound – and this is the first of many reports by our special OB Rag reporter for the trip, Eugene Davidovich – an OBcean.  Other OSD folks are also heading to DC but later this month.  Eugene will be sending us periodic reports on this historic 3000 mile journey and about what they find and do in the nation’s capital.

By Eugene Davidovich / Special to the OB Rag /  January 14, 2012

On a sunny San Diego Friday afternoon, January 13 2012, a group of eleven dedicated and passionate activists from Occupy San Diego (OSD) embarked on a historic journey by bus, from the West Coast to Washington D.C.

The purpose; to stand in solidarity with a call from the D.C. Occupation for a mass convergence on Congress January 17th. A convergence of all occupations from across the nation to stand in solidarity and speak loudly for social and economic justice.

The motley Occupy Grayhound crew from San Diego. All photos by Eugene Davidovich.

The group traveling by bus from San Diego includes; Kevin Rambo, Jr., myself, Johnny Nguyen, Michael Ponsler, Claudia Acevedo, Vivian McCardle, William Garrels, Mike Garcia, Michael Basillas, Alan Riner, Brett Thornhill, and Leslie Miller. In addition to the activists traveling bus, a number of others from San Diego are traveling by plane to D.C. and will be joining up with the rest of the group in Washington on the 17th.

Vivian and Claudia.

The call for the convergence came in mid-December and within days of the announcement, Chris McKay, Johnny Nguyen and several others jumped into action, collectively raising over $2600 which paid for the majority of the bus tickets including clothing and gear for those who did not have cold weather gear and clothing.

At approximately 11:00am in the afternoon on Friday myself, Vivian, and Claudia were brought to the Greyhound station at 12th and Imperial in San Diego by Paula, another dedicated supporter and activist. Closer to noon others began to arrive including at least ten occupiers who came to see the group off.

 “I am thrilled, excited and speechless”, Mike Garcia said a few minutes into the trip. “I hope this trip helps raise our collective consciousness in this country about the the Occupy Movement and that we bring attention to why people need to join the cause. Our country and government is broken and there is only one way to fix it. Participation.”

 The bus finally departed San Diego at 1:30pm and by 2:15 was already at the San Clemente Checkpoint, where it was boarded by two border patrol agents who walked through and verified all passengers’ immigration status.

With no arrests or detentions at the check point, protest signs, and video cameras in hand, as well as plenty of snacks and drinks for the road, the bus left on it’s way to the first official stop of the trip, Los Angeles (LA).

In light of heavy traffic on the 5 North, what was supposed to be a one hour layover turned into a fifteen minute scurry to change buses. The bus pulled into the Greyhound station in LA at approximately 4:20 in the afternoon and was already on its way to the next destination by 4:30.

The back of Laura Diamond's shirt.

In LA, we picked up a new member of the crew; Laura Diamond.

 “ When I heard about the Road to Congress, I had a strong and burning desire to attend.” Said Laura after boarding the bus and getting situated. “I raised over one thousand dollars for the trip by holding a raffle to sell the ‘This is Democracy’ drawing that’s on the back of my shirt as well as raise funds from my friends and family. I had people coming out of the wood works sending me money in support of the trip”.

 It is unclear what’s in store for the group in D.C., but what is clear is that the trip itself will be an adventure and a great opportunity to educate the public about the occupation and the movement’s goals.

More updates to come from seat 35 of the Greyhound bus on the Road to Congress.

More of the Occupy Grayhound crew.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Terrie Best January 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I’m am so happy for these folks. I hope their adventure will build life-long bonds, commitments and they take their place in history. The Occupation is happening.

Thanks to all who made this happen. xoxo


Wendy January 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Hope to see you there!


barbaramartin January 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

In 2007, we did a march for humanity with Cindy Sheehan to raise awareness and $$$ for Iraqi school kids who were in camps. True that these kinds of adventures build fellowship and lifelong friendships. Treasure this time together you OCCUPIERS. Safe travels.


Old Hermit Dave January 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Cindy is good people, shame the controlled MEDIA was 100% on the side of Chucklenuts and his rent a cow not a horse ranch, when she tried to call attention to the illegal invasion of Iraq by Cheney/Rummy.


Old Hermit Dave January 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm

So the most worthless bums in the universe return on January 17th. Good luck to anyone who thinks they are going to have the slightest effect on the Gravy Train gang. Stay tuned for the announcement that the Congress and Senate are going to VOTE themselves a RAISE and increase the amount of money they get to hire people to do any real work involved in their job.


smalls January 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm

So sorry to hear about what happened in Amarillo! I’m a native Texan & I follow Occupy closely; y’all are all in my thoughts every day. I was ‘checking in’ as I like to think, on twitter, about 15 mins after it happened, and I have to say, the response from the Occupy community was outstanding, and it gave me a lot of hope. I know these roadblocks come up, and I’m really really disappointed it happened in Texas. A ‘true Texan’ would never abandon paying customers just because of some personal grudge, at least none that I know, & I’ve been all over this state. It seems we can make it through anything simply because of this collective participation within us to reach out and help, in any way we can, for complete strangers just because we know what they are doing is RIGHT. And true. I felt the same way you feel right now when I went to the National Equality March, in DC. I’ve driven the road you’re about to go, I’ve rallied where you’re about you rally. You will never be the same after the trip. There’s just something about being right there. My thoughts & prayers go out to you over the rest of your journey, and believe me, I’ll be right there with you on #j17 :) -smalls


hank pfeffer January 15, 2012 at 12:24 am

San Diego Troublehealer Authorized Rumor:
Per numerous reports online and by text, something like this happened. No busted heads.

They were kicked off the Greyhound bus in Amarillo, Texas by an unsympathetic bus driver. Cop (almost apologetically per one report) escorted them off the bus. No busted heads.

One online post below.


“Report driver Donald Ainsworth at Greyhound driver complaint number 1-800-723-3287

we did not interfere with his job
they were going to occupy congress
they are now just stuck at the bus station in texas
it is not ok to deny customers service because of personal views”


Alan January 15, 2012 at 2:58 am

We got kicked off the bus at a few minutes after 8 PM local time in Amarillo TX. Occupy Amarillo made sure we had food and coffee and Occupied the Greyhound station with us through the night. I want to thank everyone for their support here on the ground here in Amarillo. We are scheduled to leave at 5:50 am on the BUS ? Yes and the next driver is from the mold as Donald Ainsworth ( the ALLEDGED driver ) who kicked us off the BUS?


Frank Gormlie January 15, 2012 at 8:15 am

Alan, thanks for the news. Please, keep it coming. Good luck with your next driver.


budakhan January 15, 2012 at 8:47 am

You can’t use a greyhound bus! They use fossil fuels! Better for them to stay in San Diego that kill the planet.


LOrion January 15, 2012 at 9:10 am

These kids were thrown off the bus in Amarillo, by driver Donald Ainsworth. Who told them that ‘Occupiers were not wanted in Washington DC’. Follow adventure on Ustream and twitter. Hope there is update to this blog soon.


tinysparrow333 January 15, 2012 at 11:14 am

Hello…. any new update to this story? Are they back on a bus now? Concerned in Maine !!!!!!!!!


hank pfeffer January 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm

all ok. they got another bus and are livestreaming from oklahoma or arkansas. greyhound bought them a McDonalds breakfast, i hear.


tinysparrow333 January 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Whew !!!! Please tell them to stay safe and make history !!!!!


Terrie Best January 16, 2012 at 7:57 am

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