The 99% Occupy Wall St. Union Solidarity march today drew between 20,000 and 50,000 people by current estimates. The overall mood was lively and talkative. Protests of this sort are usually clique affairs to most folks, they come they hang out with their friends, they march and then they leave. Foley square was different. People gathered in groups, sometimes 15 or 20 people, to listen to a CUNY student explain how his public college was becoming so expensive that the public was struggling to make tuition. His audience ranged from women with college aged grandchildren to children in strollers, one with a sign reading, “How much will it cost me to send my kids to school?” Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir preached and sang a fierce service extolling the virtues of the 45 words that gave us 5 of our most important freedoms, the first article of the U.S. Constitution.
The crowd was diverse yet unified, happy yet angry, and most of all motivated to make change happen sooner rather than later. People still suggest that this movement is losing steam, but the testament of today’s pledges of solidarity between Unions, Occupiers and the 99% shows that this flame is only growing brighter by the day.