Big Government has learned that a new Occupy strategy emerging across the country is to mobilize cross-country marches through mid-size cities where the movement has been absent, and reach out to sympathetic Americans by occupying their homes.
These protests are scheduled to end up in their destination cities on Mayday, May 1–the International Workers’ Day, which was officially celebrated as a holiday in the former Soviet Union.
In an exclusive interview with Bo Han, an Occupy Wall Street activist and Atlanta native, Big Government uncovered the strategy during a demonstration being held in front of the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Change this past weekend.
Han explained that the new Occupy strategy is to mobilize demonstrators in systematic, planned cross-country marches to build new chapters in new cities while converting sympathizers on the way by staying in their homes. Hahn had just arrived in Atlanta after an 880-mile march from Wall Street that cut through Washington, D.C. and other Southern cities such as Richmond, Chapel Hill and Durham.
Han, who came off as an articulate, educated and very knowledgable about the Occupy movement’s strategies said that he left his full time job at an Atlanta based restaurant “to join the movement and make a difference.” He was apparently arrested in Raleigh, N.C. while marching on the Capitol there before arriving in Atlanta this past weekend.
In a comprehensive interview in front of the King center in Atlanta, he told the story of his experience during the recent New York to Atlanta march while simultaneously explaining the new cross-country Occupy marching strategy for Mayday:
We hit several occupations coming down to Atlanta… when we left New York we were protesting the Bush tax cuts… and the one percent that benefitted from the tax cuts. We left with 24 people and at one point after Baltimore we had 55 marchers, and the whole thing was inviting to people and attractive… people who would march just one mile, it was like a disease that was contagious… 750 miles is a long distance, so when we did that people were like that’s cool, people take notice to that… we marched through Washington, Richmond, VA, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, Duke, UNC State, Greensboro, Winston, Charlotte, Greenville, Athens, Atlanta… every occupation we went to we were overwhelmed by the support of the occupation.
It solidified something in our minds that this wasn’t a moment–this was a movement. The most beautiful thing I’ve seen is people coming together when they put the in fighting aside and they stand together in solidarity. The magical thing that happens is that they stand together united. I’ve seen it in all these places–even when we were arrested. We have to grasp on to the future the present we have right now, what we have right now is the time to occupy places we haven’t–to push the envelope.
Another march is being planned right now for Mayday. Ad-busters put out a call to Occupy Chicago. In solidarity, there are going to be occupations in Chattanooga, Knoxville Lexington, Louisville, Indianapolis, Dayton, and eventually leading up to Chicago on Mayday–that’s May 1, 2012–we’re gonna reoccupy Chicago and set up camp for a month, and we’re looking for numbers up to 50,000. We’ve got people coming from British Columbia for May 1st to Ottawa, Canada–that’s right above the New York area. That’s all happening May 1. There’s other marches starting in San Diego in 10 days from now that will go to Zucotti Park.
When asked why May 1st was the official target date for so many occupy marches, a date that also happens to be the Russian holiday Mayday, Han responded, “I don’t know why that day, I really don’t, but a lot is happening that day.”
Han further explained the Occupy movement’s reasoning for the marches and why occupying people’s homes who may be sympathetic is so important. According to Han, there are Americans who are sympathetic, but once they bond with actual occupiers they become more involved:
Some of these towns don’t have occupation, but it’s an automatic response of hope when we walk into every occupation and they see us marching, and they get us inspired, and they get inspired too, not by the message but by the actions we’re taking. They see people standing up for people. They don’t have the time to be involved, but they can be involved by housing us and feeding us and know they benefitted the movement just as much as someone who camped out of in front of city hall.
Their voice is in unison–everyone is saying the same thing–everyone has their voice and has their purpose if there’s a similarity. This march is not just people marching–it’s people, an arm and leg of the movement. We’re’ going to look back at these marches–we’re putting our bodies through turmoil and stress and it hurts and we understand were standing up for all the stories we’ve heard up to this point. It’s going to be amazing. If there was ever a part of history this was it–we’ve always read history books about movements that change the course of history of the world and meeting all the people that have supported us and housed us, strangers, Republicans and Democrats and whatever, this is something, this is something big.
When Han was asked what he thought about President Obama’s job performance so far in the White House he declined to answer, noticing that the group’s planned press conference was beginning and simply responded, “I think something’s happening, I have to go now.”
That press conference however did not occur because the King family asked their private security force and US Park Police to ask the Occupy protestors not to hold an official press conference on their property as to avoid any affiliation with the group.