"Occupy the Highway" march travels from Zucotti Park to the nation’s capital.
Using technology and social media, the Occupy Movement has already been effective in spreading its message to nearly all corners of the globe and, now, a group of demonstrators from Occupy Wall Street in New York are spreading the word the old-fashioned way — on foot.
Two weeks ago, nearly a dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters left Zucotti Park and headed south toward Washington, D.C., with the hopes of making their voices heard in time for the Nov. 23 Congressional super committee deficit reduction deadline. They arrived Tuesday.
The 240-mile march has been dubbed “Occupy the Highway” and, on their journey, the group has traveled through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, picking up supporters on the way.
Although lawmakers failed to reach an agreement, protesters see the committee failure as an opportunity to drive home the sentiment that Congress is not addressing the concerns of middle and lower-income Americans.
Occupy Wall Street gave the marchers $3000 for the duration of the march, but participants say they haven’t had to use a dime because of the outpouring of donations they have received along the way.
Though Occupy Wall Street was the first, highly symbolic expression of a wider political movement, other Occupy gatherings have also made news in recent days.
Jennifer Fox, a 19-year-old woman who was pepper-sprayed during an Occupy march in Seattle last week, charged Tuesday that police had hit her twice in the stomach, causing a miscarriage five days later.
Pepper-spraying has become a common tool of crowd control by police. The chancellor of the University of California, Davis, Linda Katehi, apologized at a student rally Tuesday for the use of pepper spray to disperse students at an Occupy event on campus last week. The university police chief and two officers were suspended after the incident. "I feel horrible for what happened,” Katehi told the crowd.
In the U.K. on Friday, Occupy London demonstrators took over an abandoned office block in central London belonging to investment bank UBS in what The Guardian termed “an escalation of their protests against the banking sector and the government's response to the financial crisis.” The newspaper has documented some 750 Occupy events worldwide so far, in places as far-flung as Hong Kong, Madrid and Capetown, South Africa.
(Photo: The Jersey Journal/Landov)