Occupational Hazards

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  October 12, 2011



A huge anti-war, pro-jobs rally — Stop the Machine — has been planned for today since long before the Occupy movement erupted. So there are thousands of people in the streets, and somehow everybody ended up using the #OccupyDC hashtag. I walk along with them for hours, over several miles, but when the rally disperses and I finally find the real Occupy's home base in McPherson Square, it becomes clear that the residents are few and green.

A week behind their increasingly restless Boston counterparts, the capital gang's collective attitude is still more Bob Marley than Public Enemy. The baby-faced brigade is largely comprised of politically savvy college kids from area schools. And like most of its inhabitants, Occupy DC's camp is noticeably young — it doesn't even have tents yet.

Sporting starched bandanas fresh out of the package, some undergrads use the general assembly to show off their multicultural enlightenment. A well-spoken young person in a floppy knitted hat requests that people not address others as "brothers and sisters," on account of those words not being "gender-neutral."

While this same sort of guilty-liberal grandstanding was rampant at the start of Occupy Boston, in Dewey Square superfluous political correctness was sidelined days ago, as survival issues — like the question of where to house expanding forces — took precedent. But in DC, the general assembly still feels like a freshman-orientation powwow; jovial participants lounge cross-legged and listen carefully to updates without interrupting. I think about Occupy Boston's first meetings, before folks stopped being polite. Can it be that it was all so simple then?

To read more about Occupy DC, go here.

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Related: C.T. Butler is back on the front lines, Inside the Occupy Boston media struggle, Photos: Occupy Boston celebrates one-month anniversary at Dewey Square, More more >
  Topics: News Features , Occupy Boston, Occupy DC, Occupy Baltimore
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