Still here, still defiant: Occupy DC celebrates anniversary with morning rush hour march

What better way for Occupy DC to celebrate its birthday than by taking to the streets? The first tents were pitched at McPherson Square on October 1, 2011. A year later, Occupy DC is still putting emphasis on the destructive influence that corporations have on our economy and society.

About 150 Occupy DC activists marched through downtown during morning rush hour, stopping at several “targets” along the way, including Cargill, Monsanto, British Petroleum (BP), J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, JBG (the largest developer in the District), and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

At one point, the march spontaneously joined a carpenter’s union picketing Anning-Johnson and sang “Solidarity Forever.”

Onlookers had various reactions to Occupy DC and its protest march. One man from suburban Maryland, who preferred not to give his name, supported Occupy’s goals, saying, “People need jobs,” but didn’t think anything came out of the Occupy camps, nor did he think the street protest was effective. While he felt that there were significant problems, he said they were “everybody’s problem,” yet admitted he didn’t have good solutions.

A woman visiting from Jamaica didn’t quite seem to know what to make of the activists, who at that point were mingling with the union workers. “What is it?” she asked. She said they didn’t have these kind of protests in Jamaica.

On the other hand, just-arrived tourist Luiz Lozer said that there were much larger protests in his home country of Brazil. “For what you’re up against, you’re too few,” he said. “There should be hundreds of thousands on the streets.” He had heard of Occupy Wall Street and its anti-corporate, anti-financial crisis mission. Lozer also described American society as being under “a right-wing anesthesia.” “You’ve got a presidential candidate who thinks he doesn’t need the poorest vote. It’s impressive,” he said.

More protests continued this afternoon at Pepco and the Chamber of Commerce, and an evening march is planned.

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