Tom Morello, lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, rocked Occupy Wall Street at Foley Square on September 16. Morello’s rendition of Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” transported the crowd into a cascading mass of spirit, cheering and dancing.
Washington Square Park and Foley Square were the sites of strategizing, networking and lots of creative activities leading up to S17. On September 15, the first day of scheduled activities, Occupiers gathered in Washington Square Park, where they met for direct action planning. They made signs, sang songs, ate together, participated in teach-ins, painted, chalked colorful drawings and had movement emblems silk-screened on t-shirts.
September 16 was a day of celebration and entertainment at Foley Square with a multitude of art collectives, teach-ins on social and economic justice. A cacophony of art projects mingled with voices of hope, diversity and music. A young woman held her LGBT partner’s hand, a tree of hope depicted photos of people with their written messages of a better tomorrow, a quilt was sewn, and typists wrote their Occupy stories. Retired Philadelphia police Captain Ray Lewis stood proudly in his crisp, immaculate uniform. A roving musical ensemble played long horns and drums while people trailed behind them dancing.
The afternoon climaxed with musicians performing protest songs on stage, concluding with much-anticipated Tom Morello and Occupy Guitarmy.