This is a moment for the history books. On Nov. 9, a small group of protesters quietly left Zuccotti Park and started a 231 mile march down the highways to Washington D.C. Arriving today, they will have traveled nearly all of the distance on foot, and tomorrow they will hold a day of action in protest of the failure of the congressional “super committee” to end Bush era tax cuts. At the time this is published, at 11:30 a.m., “Occupy the Highway” will be arriving at D.C.’s McPherson Square.
Occupy the Highway began as a response to the ineptitude of the super committee—the 12-member bipartisan trainwreck formed in August and was charged with finding ways reduce the national debt by $1.2 trillion. The deadline for the super committee’s negotiations was supposed to be this Wednesday, Nov. 23, but the process has been gridlocked from the start—Republicans have refused to entertain the idea of taxing the rich, and by now the committee’s Democrats have even offered up cuts to Medicare as a sacrificial lamb. If the committee cannot come to consensus, automatic cuts to national security budgets will go into effect, but only at the beginning of 2013.
Some of Occupy’s mobile unit work in healthcare (one protester, according her testimony in this video, took off two weeks from work in order to march), and cuts to Medicare would affect those they care for. Others represent a more general frustration with the blind maintenance of the policies that have guided the nation into wealth and inequality extremes. But now more than 40 members strong, Occupy the Highway has been documenting the whole march—you can even check up on them with their GPS tracker. At the beginning of the trek, Occupy the Highway received $3,000 from Occupy Wall Street for supplies, but found that they were met by Occupy movements and generous individuals willing to donate at each step of the way. That doesn’t mean it was easy. Some days, marches were more than 30 miles.
Now that they’ve reached their destination, the mobile protest isn’t over—in some ways, it’s just begun. To stay tuned to Occupy the Highway’s group action in D.C., you can follow them on Twitter here.
Photos courtesy of the Walking Occupation Twitter.