ORLANDO, Fla. — On October 15th, over 2,000 people took the streets of downtown Orlando in solidarity with the international day of action for the Occupy Movement. The resounding mantra of “We are the 99%” drew a widely diverse crowd to the first day of Occupy Orlando ranging from students to small business owners, small children to retired union members, and individuals from every cultural background.
Occupiers converged on Senator Beth Johnson Park, adjacent to the Regional Chamber of Commerce 2011 labor april 26, early that morning to plan the “Walk of Shame,” a march through the heart of Orlando’s downtown financial district with stops at the corporate offices of Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo.
Chanting “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” occupiers made the message of the protests clear: the major financial institutions have hijacked the politics of this nation, taken from the pockets of taxpayers, and the 99% demand change.
A sight rarely seen in Orlando, spectators watched the occupiers engulf the steps of city hall and some even joined. “I just wanted to see what all these people were doing and after hearing what they had to say, we decided to join the march,” said Rey Morales who was in downtown Orlando with his partner and five children.
At the conclusion the crowd voiced their opinions and troubles about the current global economic crisis. “I am crushed by student’s loans,” said one local hospitality student, “it’s hard to be expected to live on scraps.” For an overwhelming many, Occupy Orlando was their first step into political activism a strong sign that the occupy movement in Orlando is here to stay.
Photo: Sign on porch as marchers pass by. Genuine Revolt