Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.
First they occupied Wall Street. Then they occupied D.C. Now a small cadre of protesters is planning to “Occupy the Highway” between the two power centers.
About a dozen people will embark at noon Wednesday on a 240-mile trek from New York’s Zuccotti Park to D.C.’s McPherson Square, organizers told the Associated Press. They expect fellow travelers will join in for smaller portions of the hike.
The plan is to march 20 miles a day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (“banker hours,” they explain), for two weeks, travelling on highway shoulders, where legal, and local roads. They’ll arrive in Washington the night before the Nov. 23 deadline for Congress’s supercommittee to agree on $1.2 trillion in federal budget cuts. The protesters are pushing for the committee to raise revenue by ending the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.
According to the protesters’ blog, they’ve been allocated $3,000 by Occupy Wall Street’s general assembly. The Village Voice’s blog Runnin’ Scared reports the money will go toward “medical expenses, warm clothes and supplies—and bus tickets for the trip back.” They’re aiming to hold meetings in towns each night along the way, though organizer Kelley Brannon is careful to note, “We do not plan on co-opting any existing occupation—we are not about imperialism folks.”
Meanwhile, their fellow activists in New York are kicking back and listening to protest songs. David Crosby and Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame) performed an acoustic set in Zuccotti Park on Tuesday afternoon, the New York Daily News reported. Crosby told the paper he sympathizes with the activists: “"People are pissed off and they have a reason to be pissed off. They just want jobs. They want to be part of society. I’m here to help. The system is against them.”
Though the New York weather was mild Tuesday, the protesters are starting to dig in for winter. They’re erecting military-grade tents the size of small cottages, the Washington Post reports. The Wall Street Journal points out that the higher-density structures are a response to a classic Manhattan problem: “lots of people, not a lot of space.”