Late Friday afternoon, a group of about 15 students met on Copley Lawn to discuss their involvement in the ongoing Occupy D.C. movement. Although the conversation was framed around how the group could galvanize interest at Georgetown for the march on McPherson Square this coming Friday, attendees also touched on the broader implications of the movement.
The facilitator of the discussion was Gina Bull (SFS ’12), who made it very clear that she was only serving to keep things organized because the Occupy movement is non-hierarchical. Attendees deferred to each other when they wanted to speak, and “sparkled” (picture spirit fingers) when they agreed with something.
The student march on Friday will start at 3:00 p.m. with a briefing on the route. A group of Georgetown students will be gathering earlier at Healy Gates and leaving for the rally at 2:00 p.m.
The Occupy movement has frequently been criticized for its lack of a clear message, but to the attendees of the meeting, this ambiguity needs to be maintained. To them, the 99% is a diverse population united by discontent.
“We don’t have a powerpoint,” one participant put it.
The participants may have been united by discontent, but were discontent about different things. To one, the massive debt that students were graduating with—only to then face unemployment or under-employment—is unacceptable. To another, it was the 2008 financial crisis and the policies that led up to it that brought her to Copley Lawn. Yet another identified as being born into the 1%, and she knew it was the privilege of her background that gave her a head start in life.
Moving forward, the group decided to have a board in Red Square this Wednesday for students write on, explaining why they are the 99%.
The full realease about the march is published after the break.
Friends, Allies, and Fellow Students:Our world has recently seen some big changes during our lifetimes. The explosion of tuition and fees at institutions of higher learning, the tightening of student aid, and the spectre of a life in debt are the mere beginning. We have got to do better by ourselves, our children, and our world. And we’re starting to fight back.Over the past few weeks, students from all over the country have been organizing themselves in alliance with local Occupy groups and we are no different here in Washington, D.C. Students from the University of Maryland at College Park, the George Washington University, Howard University, Georgetown University, American University, George Mason University, the University of the District of Columbia and the Community College of the District of Columbia have organized a JOINT ACTION for THIS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28th.We want to stand up against the enormous profit extracted from our labors as students and demand a change. We are planning a march against an organization that we all know can make the lives of millions of students and future workers better by adhering to justice. And Occupy DC has our backs: Sunday evening, they signed on to help us out with their wealth of resources and knowledge.And we want you to join us!Date: Friday, October 28thTime: 3pm-4:30pmExpected attendance: 150-200 students, plus allies from Occupy DCLocation: Rally will begin at McPhereson Square (15th and K Streets, NW DC); March will proceed to target on Pennsylvania Avenue and return to McPhereson Square.Action: We will be taking over the lobby of this corporation and holding a rally inside. WE NEITHER ANTICIPATE NOR DESIRE ANY ARRESTS, but we will have Legal Observers, Medics, and other logistical support from Occupy DC.Briefing: At 3pm we will convene as a group in McPhereson Square to announce the details for the march. We are concerned that if our target knows we are coming, we will be unable to get inside of their lobby for our rally. We will announce the target at this briefing, and if there anyone decides that they feel uncomfortable, we would love to have their support during the march and anyone can make their own choice to not enter the building. It doesn’t help our cause if we alienate our fellow students.Materials: Attached is a form flyer that you can use on your campus! Just print, add a meet-up time and location on campus that gives you enough time to get to McPhereson Square, copy, and post. Also attached is a sign-up sheet for you to use when students gather on your campus so that you can keep in contact with fellow activists.If you have any questions, concerns, comments, critiques, or jubilations, please feel free to send them to StudentsOccupyDC@gmail.com and PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL and invite your friends to join us!!In Solidarity,
Students Occupy DC