NEW YORK (AP) — Flanked by police scooters, about two dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters started a two-week walk from New York to Washington on Wednesday.
The activists left Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, marched past the World Trade Center site and boarded a ferry to New Jersey. The group planned to stay overnight at a private home in Elizabeth, N.J., and resume their walk on Thursday morning.
“Everything is going well so far, everyone is in good spirits” Kelley Brannon, the walk’s main organizer, said during a phone interview Wednesday night, shortly before they arrived in Elizabeth. “We’re doing well and looking forward to our travel.”
They plan to walk through Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland and arrive in Washington by Nov. 23 — the deadline for a congressional committee to decide whether to keep President Barack Obama’s extension of Bush-era tax cuts. Protesters say the cuts benefit only rich Americans.
Michael Glazer, a 26-year-old actor from Chicago, smiled as he boarded the ferry across the Hudson River, cheered by supporters shouting, “Thank you!” Walking in well-worn boots, he said: “I’ve had these for years and years, and they’ve served me well for many miles of marches.”
They hope to pick up other participants along their 240-mile march and have likened the effort to long-distance walks during the civil rights era. They say they’ll overnight by camping or at volunteered accommodations.
Among those seeing off the Occupy marchers was Rabbi Chaim Gruber, 42, the self-appointed “resident rabbi” of the New York protest.
“Anyone need a sleeping bag?” he asked the group, handing over two — along with a bag containing shampoo and extra socks.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)