Hours before the announcement this morning, Occupy Miami organized its second march on the city's Bank of America buildings. Riptide was there to check out the parade of dancing, whistle-blowing, and really enthusiastic chanting.
The hundred or so people who took to the streets walked (on the sidewalk, of course) from the Greater Bethel AME Church in Overtown to downtown Miami's BOA. In the end, a smaller group split off toward Brickell to stick it to the bankers there.
Eco-friendly cops on bikes held traffic so that protesters yelling things like "We are the 99 percent," "Up with the people, down with the banks," and "Banks got bailed out, people got sold out" could safely cross the street.
There weren't a ton of people, but those present were as loud as children at a birthday party. Once everyone made it to the first stop, the security guards locked the doors of the bank building.
That got everyone excited and set off some gyrating, drumming, and grooving to music blasting from portable speakers. What was playing? James Brown. People working at their desks looked on -- plainly horrified -- as protesters jammed out. One lady turned to us and said, "Having a little trouble with their PR?" Shame on you was understandably a big theme.
Occupy Miami received support in the march from other local groups, including SEIU 1199, OneMiamiNow.org, Miami Workers Center, and University of Miami Student Union. There were ACLU and Planned Parenthood signs also. The crowd mostly consisted of folks over 40, staunch activists, a couple of people of questionable sanity, regular joes, and occupiers.
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As they passed through downtown, there were plenty of smiles and waves, even some honks. Some of the marchers were a little obnoxious with their whistles and drums, and at one point, two demonstrators playfully opened the door to Burger King to incite some passion from within. No one came running out to join us.
Occupy Miami has a few other ideas still up its sleeve. On November 11, the group will hold a sort of crazy-sounding Take It to the One Percent event where 99-percenters will address 1-percenters directly. The name nicely references Miami's own Trick Daddy hit "Take It to Da House," a 305 favorite. They're not releasing names yet, but fingers crossed Gloria Estefan is on that list.
On November 12, they'll hold a Veterans and Family Day for Peace and Economic Justice, which has a long name but sounds wholesome, doesn't it? Military vets can go out and occupy without worrying about this happening.