I went to an Occupy Wall Street protest last Friday. We occupied an overpass over Highway 92. The theory being that this overpass was one of 74 bridges have been found to be structurally deficient in San Mateo County. That is a pretty amazing figure; San Mateo is one of the richest counties in the United States and pretty consistently votes democratic and even we doesn’t take care of our infrastructure. There were 122 people signed up to be here and I talked to a couple of people who said that they hadn’t signed up so there were probably somewhere between 120 and 150 people spread out over the overpass.
They were just regular people, some of whom took off work early and some – like me – that didn’t have work to take off of. The crowd seemed completely middle class.
I especially liked the accidental juxtaposition to the sign in this picture.
It was mostly a late middle age group although there were people of all ages.
I am not sure how much of what I saw and felt was reality and how much is my projection, but – with that qualifier – everybody seemed more sad than enraged, disappointed with a deeping realization that it wasn’t going to get better. At least without a huge amount of work on our part. I talked to one woman who said that it was a typical San Mateo crowd, We are nice people who don’t make waves. These are people who believe in democracy, who haven’t given up or they wouldn’t be here. They are aware that America’s day in the sun is ending but are not happy with the government only helping the rich. I had the sense that they weren’t going away.