WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Performers play a show at McPherson Square supporting the protests in Washington on Nov 19. AFP photo
Weary but determined Occupy Wall Street protesters entered Washington in the rain Tuesday at the end of a 13-day march from New York that they hoped would inspire others to hit the road.
Carrying a U.S. flag, they strolled in the Occupy DC camp in McPherson Square to the beat of drums, before going on to the Capitol building for an evening “super general assembly.”
“This symbolizes that we are a strong movement, very dedicated to our beliefs,” Cologino Rivera, 21, told reporters.
Stopovers in Philadelphia, Baltimore and smaller cities along the 370-kilometer route lifted the final number of participants in “Occupy the Highway” closer to 50.
“This (march) was a sort of experiment, a kind of spearhead of something that I hope will be much longer marches,” said Mike Glazer, 26, an actor from Chicago. “We want people to spring up marches right now in Toledo, Ohio or Fargo, North Dakota.”
Occupy the Highway reached Washington on the same day that a Congressional “supercommittee” acknowledged its failure to agree on a blueprint to bring the runaway U.S. deficit to heel.
“Maybe they are realizing there is this lack of support (among American voters) and they’re worried about re-election,” said Danielle Longchamps, 24, who joined the march in Baltimore, Maryland. “We need to work on making the focus about representing the people.”
Washington is the scene of two open-ended occupations that began in early October - one in McPherson Square comprising about 100 tents, and a slightly smaller one in nearby Freedom Plaza that grew out of an anti-war protest