Manhattan, NY, USA
When I first came to New York City, I told myself I wouldn’t get involved with activism in my first year. I was teaching full time, going to graduate school at night, and the teaching alone was all the activism I needed in my life.
Then I left teaching and graduate school. For the first weeks of my unemployment, I moped and was miserable and sat at my computer all day long looking and applying for jobs … any kind of job that seemed remotely related to my talents and would pay the bills. Over time, I became more and more involved with All Souls UU Church’s young adults, for fun, networking and plain old human contact. Last week, I realized that even that was not enough. I needed to get out more, to volunteer for something, to do more fun things with people. With lingering Socialist sympathies from all my years in Europe, and a life-long interest in civics, I asked around the church to see who was doing something for Occupy Wall Street’s General Strike on May Day.
That’s how I found myself on Union Square this afternoon with Occupy Faith. Their intention today was to bring a message of peaceful nonviolence and be witnesses to whatever might transpire. Several among them have previously been arrested and detained for their participation in a variety of Occupy-related demonstrations, while standing as examples of nonviolent civil disobedience. (I don’t believe any of us were today, but apparently one never knows….)
In our march down Broadway to Zuccotti Park and Wall Street, we saw a lot of signs for a lot of different campaigns and issues. We sang songs and chanted. When we passed people watching from balconys and windows, we chanted, “Don’t watch! Join us!” In the shopping district, we chanted, “Don’t shop! Join us!” When construction workers and other union sorts paused their work to come out on the sidewalk and salute us, we cheered them on. It was a lot of fun. Here are some of my favorite images, with more in the WebAlbum: