I arrived at Freedom Plaza (Occupy DC) this morning in Washington. My cousin Bob drove me from his house in Maryland where I had been over the last few days for a family reunion.
There are an impressive number of tents on the mostly concrete surface of the plaza that sits between the White House and Congress. It's raining today so things seem slow. I went across the street to a coffee shop where I could check my emails and discovered I had an email from Russia Today TV wanting to interview me about Obama's new deal with Romania to put "missile defense" systems in their country. When they realized I was in Washington they told me to come right over to their TV studio which was just blocks away. I went and did a short interview which I should be able to upload onto the blog soon.
The occupy movement, which I've now experienced in Portland and here in DC, reminds me of the old Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton movie "Reds". There was one scene from the streets of Moscow where people stood around fires to keep warm and debated the need for revolution against the corruption of the czar.
Today at Freedom Plaza I sat and listened to several occupiers debating what was the best way to get out from behind the corporate capitalist black ball that blocks real democracy. This public ferment is now happening around the nation and while no one knows what will come next I think it won't be possible to put this restiveness back into a bottle.
While much of Washington appears on the surface to be humming along normally, I noticed one young activist at Freedom Plaza engaging a group of nearly 20 well-dressed young people about this new movement. I saw many people stopping by the information table on the plaza - asking questions, taking literature, dropping money into a donation jar, and taking photos. Clearly there are many mainstream people who are very interested in all this ferment.
Tonight at 6:00 pm the General Assembly will be held on Freedom Plaza. In the meantime I am trying hard to stay caught up with emails and phone calls.