Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My participation in a "tame" Wall Street protest

I participated in a Wall Street protest at a busy intersection in Sedona, Arizona last Thursday October 13. This is an account of that event.

I, and twenty to thirty other protesters, held up signs in opposition to the brazen economic injustice practiced by Wall Street and the banks. The idea was to attract attention to our cause and encourage others to get involved. 

I still don't know who organized the protest. I signed up to join it in response to an e-mail invitation from an "Ahmad F.", a member. I asked a fellow protester who he was, and she said she didn't know. Another protester told me that the Arizona Democratic Party told him when and where the protest would take place. Incidentally, the protest was announced as "Make Wall Street Pay - Jobs not Cuts Thursday in Sedona".

(Note: since posting this account, I learned who "Ahmad F." is. I called the AZ Democratic Party and they gave me the phone number of a Democratic Party member in Sedona named Angela. I called her cell phone and left a message. Ahmad F. called back the next day. He said he's with and it was he who organized the protest. A National Day of Action is planned for November 5, for which a planning meeting will be held next week. He invited me to the meeting. October 21.)

The protest was pretty tame by my standards. I've been involved in similar protests in Southern California. Cars honked at us and people waived or shouted encouragement. Hardly anybody driving or passing by came over to join us. Nearly all drivers and passersby simply drove by or went about their business. Most of the protesters didn't know each other. There was little sense of real solidarity, such as what Labor union strikers practice.
I heard one of the protesters brag about the people that shouted cusses at him or that made inappropriate gestures to him. He said it was on account of the sign he was carrying - it said something like "99% of Americans are fed up".

I heard that some have criticized the protests as being aimless. I did notice a certain timidity among the protesters. A couple of people asked if we had a permit to conduct the protest there. 

Another protester told me that the conservative states should secede from the Union, so that the rest of us who are more progressive have more influence over the Federal Government.

A couple of people representing local causes, i.e. local ownership of Hwy. 89A, and the Fire Dept. Board, came up to us to ask us to sign their petitions.

The protest was still fairly proactive considering that it took place in Sedona. The same protest effort will take place again at the Hwy. 89A and Coffee Pot Rd. location every Wednesday at 3 pm.

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