Takin' it back to 2011 with this little piece that I wrote for JUMP Philly when Philadelphia, well, just needed to be occupied.
We Are The World, We Are The People, We Will Be Heard
It is a gorgeous fall morning in Philadelphia, the type of morning that I take advantage of to walk around the city and photograph. However, today is different, there is a nervous pit in my stomach as I walk down South Broad Street. My destination today: City Hall for Occupy Philadelphia. I am a supporter of the movement but after watching video clips of police’s treatment of protesters in New York City, I don’t know what is going to happen or what I am getting myself into.
As I turn the corner I see the crowd gathering and realize this is where I am meant to be. People from different economic and social backgrounds form together in a group of unity, love, and determination. We all stand together, made up of our differences, but for this moment we are all the same, we are the 99% and we demand change. As I walk around City Hall amongst the 99%, I realize I have nothing to fear, this is the City of Brotherly Love at its finest. This isn’t the same city that is plagued with flash mobs and murders. Maybe Occupy Philly is a change the city needs. Couches are set up around the concourse with college students discussing politics. There are revolutionaries taking a break by doing yoga. I continue to walk around and spot a family with three children under the age of 9, all holding signs with catchy slogans. I see a young man give his leftover french-fries to a homeless woman. Drivers beep their horns as they circle past City Hall to show their support. I hear guitars and a tambourine, my ears lead me to the sound and I am standing in the center of a musical jam session dancing with strangers.
The day rolls on and the unity grows stronger. Sitting through the first general assembly of the day, shivers went down my spine with each speech. I started the day as a supporter from a distance, but as the day drew to a close, I proudly say I am the movement and you are the movement too. Get away from your televisions, back away from your laptops, leave your home, and head to City Hall, become the 99% with a voice. This is history and it’s happening right before your eyes, get educated, get involved.