Occupy Cape Cod group marches in Hyannis as old media sleeps
200 arrested in New York, police fuel resentments, draw more supporters
By Walter Brooks
Supporters of Occupy Wall Street in more than three dozen US cities took to the streets yesterday during the movement's "Day of Action" which came two months to the day after protesters first occupied Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street area of New York City.
Just as the weather and winter blues were reducing both the numbers and enthusiasm of the protestors in NYC and elsewhere, the "establishment" unleashed the police in a dozen cities firing up the protestors and igniting main stream support as never before.
"They can arrest the people, and they can tear down the tents, they can throw away the camping equipment, it's not going to stop this initiative, it's not going to stop this movement, because people have really had enough," said Elizabeth Kushigian, Dennis, a member of the Orleans contingent of the Occupy Cape Cod movement standing in a cold rain in Barnstable Green before the group protested in front to the town offices.
Demonstrators on the West Coast began their day early, and here on Cape Cod protestors came from all over the county to protest in solidarity with their counterparts in New York where more than 200 people were arrested after intense shoving matches and scuffles with the police as many as 10,000 protestors gathered outside Mayor Bloomberg's office in Foley Square and other areas.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
Observers locally marveled at the commitment of the Cape Cod protestors as heavy rains fell on the Hyannis Green since many of the group were old, if not elderly, and one 96-year-old man came to the stage using his wheelchair. The protestors gathered at the band shell a little before 3 p.m., and by 3:30 p.m. when they began the march, there was still no sign of any media coverage beyond CapeCodTODAY and photographer David Curran.
The Cape Cod Times newsroom is a half block away from the demonstration but again did not cover a protest event. When asked why, one protestor said, "The newspaper is owned by the 1 percent we are protesting against, and they think that if they ignore us, we'll go away... but we won't."
During a quite similar period of America's history in 1932 three years after the start of the Great Depression, a group of protestors called the Bonus Army made up of 43,000 marchers, 17,000 of whom were World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups, gathered in Washington, D.C., to demand cash-payment redemption of their service certificates.
On July 28 that summer, U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property, and when police were met with resistance, shots were fired and two veterans were killed. President Herbert Hoover then ordered the army to clear the veterans' campsite. Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur commanded the infantry and cavalry supported by six tanks. The Bonus Army marchers with their wives and children were driven out, and their shelters and belongings burned.
If that sounds faintly familiar to you, it was George Santayana who said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
"They can arrest the people, and they can tear down the tents, they can throw away the camping equipment, it's not going to stop this initiative, it's not going to stop this movement, because people have really had enough." Elizabeth Kushigian, Dennis.