Baltimore Activists Join 2,500 Protestors in the March On Wall Street South

Baltimore Activists Join 2,500 Protestors in the March On Wall Street South

Source: http://occupywallst.org/article/2500-march-wall-street-south-we-need-jobs-housing-/

Occupy Wall Street South organizers contributed to this article.

On Sept. 2, 2012, just one day before the opening of the Democratic National Convention, some 2,500 people from throughout the South and across the country came to Charlotte, North Carolina to participate in March on Wall Street South. Among them were ten activists from Occupy Baltimore and The People’s Assembly Against Police Brutality, Racism and Misconduct.

Cortly “CD” Witherspoon fired up the crowd at a rally shortly before the march.

 

Demonstrators marched to raise the issues of jobs and justice. They also confronted the banks and corporations headquartered in Charlotte that are wreaking havoc on communities throughout the country.

 

 

 

“I’m marching because the democrats need to see what the real problems are. They don’t get it. Bank of America and other predatory lending financial institutions are ruining lives. They need to be stopped by any means necessary. They bailed out the banksters instead of the people,” explained Dick Ochs of Occupy Baltimore.

Lee Patterson from the Baltimore People’s Assembly also attended. “I’m here because we have a national emergency. Poor people are being decimated by the 1%,” Patternson said.

“I’m a kidney disease patient fighting to preserve social security. They are using our social security and Medicaid benefits to gamble on Wall Street hoarding our money away. Seniors and children drop dead in the streets with no housing,” he went on to say.

 

 

During the march, Bonnie Lane (journalist), a member of Occupy Baltimore and the People’s Assembly, helped Patterson carry a banner more than three miles.

Participants came from cities throughout North Carolina. Many traveled hours from cities such as Atlanta, Greenville, DC, Tampa, Pittsburgh, New York, and elsewhere. A bus of more than 40 people, many of whom are being foreclosed on by Bank of America and who are currently unemployed, spent fifteen hours traveling from Detroit.

More than 40 undocumented immigrants arrived in Charlotte on “No Papers No Fear" bus, which left from Phoeniz on July 29. They joined the march as a spirited contingent against the deportations and criminalization of immigrant communities.

 

 

 

 

Also participating in the march were contingents representing unemployed workers, Southern labor, and anti-war, climate change, and LGBTQ activists.

 

 

“This was an historic demonstration that built an unprecedented level of unity between so many different groups and struggles on a grassroots level,” said Yen Alcala, an organizer with the Coalition to March on Wall Street South and Occupy Charlotte.

“The March on Wall Street South showed what is possible when we unite, and pointed the finger at those who are responsible for the injustices being experienced by the 99% - the banks and corporations, and a political system that is controlled by the 1%. Building people’s power from the bottom-up is the only solution to win jobs and justice for poor and working people.”

 

 

During the march, demonstrators stopped in front of the Bank of America’s world headquarters and Duke Energy’s headquarters. At each stop, people who have been directly impacted by the practices of these banks and corporations --whose homes are being foreclosed on, who have massive amounts of student loan debt, and whose communities are being devastated by coal mining and energy rate hikes -- spoke out and exposed these profit gauging institutions.

 

 

 

“The March on Wall Street South was a tremendous success,” said Elena Everett, another Coalition organizer.

“Our message for jobs and justice was heard loud and clear by the bankers and the politicians of both parties. But this is just the beginning. We know that the only way that real change has ever been won is when people come together, get organized, and build social movements to raise demands to the powers that be. And that’s exactly what we’re doing -- building a movement for jobs, education, healthcare, the environment, housing, and against wars, racism and bigotry, deportations, and jails.”

It was a peaceful protest. The borders of Frazier Park and the March route made Charlotte look and feel like a police state. Over 3,000 cops were on hand, many in full riot gear.

Bonnie Lane writes for  Baltimore's newest street paper, Word on the Street. She has an associate of arts degree in public relations/journalism. Lane is a full-time writer, advocate and activist for the homeless and the 99%.