Yesterday afternoon it was sunny and warm. By this point, we almost knew the way to Zuccotti Park by heart. But the huge Megamarch planned for Wednesday didn’t start in the recently renamed Liberty Plaza: it began (for us at least) at Foley Square, right across from the steps where they filmed Law & Order. In the tiny park, union workers and students streamed in from either side of Worth Street and Broadway; history in the making. Their numbers were in the thousands. It was epic.
It was also exhausting. We may have sat down for a smoke break on the steps of 60 Centre Street, where we may have run into an ex from long ago, who may or may not currently be a city council member.
“I’m confused,” this hypothetical friend said, “I thought these were supposed to be all these young liberals, but I just saw a sign that said ‘Destroy the Federal Reserve.’ Are the Ron Paul Libertarians involved in this now?”
We wished we had an answer for him. Yesterday’s Megamarch contained a much more diverse group of people than our first portrait excursion last week. With the unions added, we spoke to men and women who were well past retirement age; With the student walk-outs, we also spoke to people young enough to be their grandkids. And while everyone seemed to have gotten Jesse LaGreca‘s memo on how to talk to journalists and staying on message with the 99 % line, the range in ages, lifestyles, and yes — socio-economic background — yesterday’s rally was ultimately a testament to the American melting pot of dissatisfaction. A reoccurring slogan we heard almost as much as “This is what democracy looks like!” was “This isn’t a real rally, you should have been there for the WTO/Vietnam/RNC demonstration.”
It wasn’t all bad though. At the very least, we got to experience what it was like to have an 80-year-old woman school us on proper police etiquette, should we ever be arrested. “Always carry your I.D. and $25 in your wallet for bail,” we were told, and assumed that our new friend wasn’t counting inflation.
Here then, are 50 portraits displaying the range of people we saw yesterday: students, union workers, lawyers, the unemployed, the disenfranchised, the media news hosts….all of them. Enjoy.
Photos courtesy of Marielle Solan