The rising tide of protest swept the world's cities on Saturday, October 15th, and Dallas did its part. The previous Wednesday, our Jobs with Justice group, meeting at occupation base camp, decided to call for a solidarity rally at 1 PM Saturday. We reasoned that there is a lot of sympathy for the downtown occupation unit, but that it had not manifested itself because we did not know where and when to show our support. We reasoned that the solidarity forces might have to act more or less independently of the agonizingly uncertain processes that the campers themselves were using.
So our call went out Wednesday night. On Thursday, the general assembly of the occupation decided on a march to begin at base camp at 12:30 and issued a call accordingly. But the slight time disparity between the two calls was no problem, because the movement is nearly always late. Five hundred people, both campers and supporters, stepped off for the march at 1:10 PM. We walked approximately 2.8 miles to the Goldman Sachs investors' office across town, where we held an exciting rally against the bankers and speculators who precipitated the current economic crisis, benefitted from it, and are trying to benefit even further with more tax cuts and deregulation.
"Banks got bailed out!" went the call, and "We got sold out" came the response as we marched happily together. I gathered petition signatures from several people on the Jobs with Justice petition against the Super Congress. I handed out those wonderful little two-toned plastic Jobs with Justice whistles that make such a gay noise. I found one of the loudest and most enthusiastic young women I've ever seen to carry half the Jobs with Justice banner as we hollered and whistled our way through the sidewalks of our city.
Everyone I talked to was extremely happy with the turnout, because the spontaneous actions that the campers had been carrying out were not nearly as large, but I had actually expected more. After all, Occupation Dallas had begun on October 6th with a similar march of similar size and diversity. I thought we would at least double. But then, two days notice is hardly adequate.
I would like to talk with other people who, like me, see a broad solidarity movement (not just a narrow encampment of devoted young people) as the key to the future success of the fight against Wall Street control. How do we continue to build support? Should we call another march for another weekend? Should we look for other ways to show support such as speaking tours, teach-ins at union halls and on campuses, fund drives, dinners, mailings, on-line meetings, or media efforts?