Hundreds of people, young and old, black and white, marched with signs held high and slogans spewing. It was a disjointed group: upbeat, angry, courteous, displeased, but united in unhappiness with the current economic and political climate. If there was a singular message shared among the masses, it centered on a simple idea: The status quo has got to go.The marchers at Lafayette Square
The "Occupy NOLA" protest and march was one of dozens of social actions held recently across the country, offshoots of a larger ongoing demonstration on Wall Street in New York City.
Images from Occupy NOLA on Facebook.
Looks great doesn't it? I wish we had been there. Grandpère and I went to New Orleans yesterday, but we did not arrive at Lafayette Square until 3:00PM. By then the gathering at Lafayette Square in front of the Federal Building was over, and the group had moved on to Duncan Plaza in front of City Hall...the story of my life. The rally at Lafayette Square was tentatively scheduled to begin between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon when the marchers arrived. Alas, the march went faster than was expected, and the marchers arrived at the square at around 1:00PM.
Once we left home, we had no further access to the internet, what with being technologically old-timey and all. The details of the march were, no doubt, Tweeted and Facebooked, but we had no connection.
At Lafayette Square, we ran into a couple of stray marchers, and we decided to share a cab to Duncan Plaza, which was only about a mile away, but still.... When we arrived at Duncan Plaza, there were around 150 people left of the crowd, mostly spread out on the grass around the plaza.
A General Assembly of Occupy NOLA was held in Duncan Plaza later yesterday evening, and occupiers who were camping out spent the night in the plaza.
Below you see the signs which are homemade, not professional signs paid for by the Koch Brothers.
This nice guy in the red shirt was one of our taxi partners.
When GP saw TV cameras, he became antsy and wanted to leave. He did NOT want me on TV. I didn't particularly want to be on TV, but if the camera captured me, I would not have cared.
The visit to the scene of the protest was my thing, not his thing, and he was kind enough to accompany me. Being a democracy of two we had to negotiate our way through the process, as we each had our say, and then we arrived at consensus. I prevailed upon him to let me stay a while longer to talk to a few more people.
Below are some of the folks with whom I chatted as long as Grandpère would permit.
Some of the responses to my question, 'Why are you here?'
I've been waiting to do this for 10 years! There is so much that is wrong in this country, and no one is watching out for the 99%.The police accompanied the protestors during the march, and relations between the two groups were cordial. A few policemen were across the street from the plaza, but they apparently saw nothing to police. Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu paid an impromptu visit to the people in the plaza and chatted with them. It was not a photo op. You can follow the latest updates on the Occupy NOLA Facebook page.
We want the 1% to pay their fair share of taxes.
One man wanted the police chief in New Orleans fired. He wanted me to know why there were so many criminals in NO. He said, 'Too many black people have no hope.'
We are the majority in the country, and no one is listening to us.
The big banks and the corporations run the country, and their executives get richer as the middle class and the poor get poorer.
Photo update from Occupy Wall Street/Foley Square/NYC: