#OccupyBoston Protesters march to the State House and Fox News, talk

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“What time you gonna throw em out?” asked a plump grey-haired business man in a blue button-down dress shirt, clutching a black brief case and walking past Dewey Square.


“We’re not,” responded a police officer. “The park is theirs until they decide to leave or until they get fresh.”


This was my first IRL impression of Occupy Boston -- a movement I had only experienced via TwitPics and hashtags until 8:05 this morning. Down the block, over at the Occupy Boston HQ, protesters were prepping to march towards the Massachusetts State House and Fox News.


“It’s still rush hour, a lot of people are coming by,” said a skinny dude in a tie with a megaphone who appeared to be ‘running shit’ to rows of mostly 20-somethings holding cardboard signs. “Visibility here matters too,” dude-in-tie added. “We’re walking up Summer Street, to Downtown Crossing, to the State House.”


As the group made their way past the CVS, RadioShack, Bank of America, Sprint store, Starbucks, and other big-box names in Downtown Crossing, police officers followed on motorcycles, in cars, and by foot.


“This is what democracy looks!” shouted some of the protesters in unison, while other protesters dressed in black with bandanas across their faces held big black banners reading “The State is not the Solution” and “Capitalism is the Crisis.”


While the former group shouted “We are the 99%! You are the 99%!” the latter group’s chant of choice was: “What solution? Rev-o-lution!”


At the State House, dude-in-a-tie delivered the following via the ‘human mic’ system:


“We are here today to introduce Occupy Boston. We set up our tents in Dewey Square on Friday night. We intend to remain there and have a conversation about what we can do to improve our country. Today we have sent a small delegation to the state house to present this letter to the wealthiest one percent that controls 50 percent of this country’s wealth.”


“80!” corrected a 20-something male in a red plaid shirt.


“And uses that wealth to undermine the democratic process. Our letter reads: Get out of our government, we want our country back. - the 99%.”


“We are all the 99%,” shouts followed.


“We urge you to join us in Dewey Square and join the conversation. We have no party affiliations, we are left right and center. Join us.”


After some deliberation, the group re-addressed whether or not they wanted to hit up Fox News.


Dude in tie: “Do we wanna qualify why maybe?” asked the dude in a tie.


Someone else: “Well we were talking about it in the G.A last night. We’ve been talking about it since 5 AM.”


Dude in tie: “Yeah, well, I just don’t want it to send the wrong message.”


Someone else: “I thought there was a message we were handing them.”


Someone else no. 2: “Fox News hasn’t been to camp yet to talk to media or to talk to us. We want to politely demonstrate that we have arrived in Dewey Square.”


Dude in red plaid shirt: “Stop telling people to be polite. If people don’t want to be polite, then let them be however they want.”


Dude in tie: “OK so, the proposal we are considering then is inviting Fox News to come speak with us because they have yet to come speak with us. can I get a temperature check on that? can I get a vote on that proposal?”


Here is what followed:


After the protesters made their way back towards camp, a long discussion ensued via ‘human mic’ regarding hierarchies, and whether or not to be ‘thanking the police.’ The following opinions were voiced:


“I think we should use the people’s mic as much as possible to prevent any one person from acting like your boss and telling you what to do. And also to maintain the collective decision making process.”


“I feel that we should encourage autonomous action. If you want to go march, go march, but remember that your actions can have repercussions to the group as a whole. But still if you wanna do it, fuckin’ do it. In addition, we should tell Com if we’re gonna do something, just so we have legal support if anything happens. Not to ask permission.”


“I want to see how people feel about thanking the Boston police for escorting us instead of macing us.”


“I’m blocking that.”


“The Boston police are part of the 99%.”


“Right now, we are trying to grow the movement. The police might be nice people but we’re not working together right now. It’s nice that you want to be nice. But tactics and niceness are two different things. If you go thanking the police, you undermine and dis-empower your own democratic voice. So if you want to get down on your knees, do it, but I’m not doing it with you.”


“I believe that we did work together. This is about voicing our opinions. I want to thank the Boston police.” (Many echo: “I want to thank the Boston police,” before a group eventually shouts “THANK YOU” together.)


“I feel that we should thank the police as fellow human beings and not a part of the system. So for the police, who have kept us safe on our journey, I want thank them.”


“I would like to point out that the face that a police officer did not crack your skull or mace you is not a reason to thank them. The police should not be hurting people to begin with. Unfortunately this is a very real reality of the majority of police work. therefore, I don’t think we should applaud the police for doing their job which is to make sure we stay safe.”


“There have been no women speaking.”


“I have found that revolutionaries think in a counter-intuitive matter.”


“I’d like to point out that the reason this movement has grown as fast as it has is because people have been attracted to us because of the warmth of our invitation. because people feel welcome with us. because they recognize that what we’re doing here is the most positive thing they’ve seen in a very long time. so I want for that positivity to continue and for us to continue to be warm and inviting to all of the 99%. that means getting out of thinking in the same old categories. that means expecting the best from people until they prove otherwise. Thank you.”


“When the police do their jobs, it looks a lot like this. It’s the police who evict people forcibly from their homes. It’s the police doing their jobs that keeps us all where we are.”


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