More than three hundred people gathered to hear Cindy Sheehan, the famous anti-war protester speak, as she came to support the “Occupy Sacramento” protest movement in Cesar Chavez Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. The activists were showing their support for the ongoing demonstration in New York City where the “Occupy” movement had started on Sept. 17, 2011.
Many had come to hear Sheehan and to march with her to the state capital. Her message: a mixture of anti-government, anti-big business and anti-war slogans and sentiments was delivered via a bull horn from a scripted speech.
While Sheehan roused the crowd with her message, she did not give any solutions nor did she provide options to help change the situation. She ended her speech with her promise of solidary to the people of “Occupy Sacramento”. She assured the crowd, “When this park closes tonight I am making a commitment to sit down and say I am not moving.” Sheehan did keep her word as she and 18 others were arrested for defying that police order to vacate the park that night.
Sheehan also told the crowd that “President Obama has proven to be the President of the one percent.”
The participants, a blend of men and women both young and old, wandered the grounds of the park some carrying signs others just wearing shirts with their protest message. Small groups listened to different speakers while others participated in yoga classes. Signs lay on the ground surrounding the fountain touting different messages and slogans. Most of the crowd, when asked what and why they were protesting, had a variety of answers: big business, the wars, foreclosures, no jobs and the government.
As the time to march drew closer, close to 600 people joined ranks for the march to the Capital.
The march’s organizers and their helpers kept a watchful eye and communicated with two way radio to keep the marchers going. As they marched, they echoed the “Occupy” movement’s chants as the organizers with bull horns shouted them as they were spaced throughout the march.
The march ended at the steps of the Capital, a peaceful demonstration for the “Occupy” movement, unlike many other demonstrations around the world.