Some honked in support. Others waved. A few simply drove across the Singing Bridge as about 15 demonstrators held signs in support of Occupy Wall Street and the 99 percent movement.
Thursday marked the two-month anniversary of the protest in New York, where more than 200 were arrested after demonstrations in the financial district and on the Brooklyn Bridge, news reports say.
On Tuesday, police kicked protesters out of encampments in Zuccotti Park, the unofficial headquarters of the movement, citing sanitation concerns. Authorities allowed the throng of protesters back in the park but wouldn’t let them set up camp.
Mike Mansfield, a member of the group MoveOn.org who organized the small rally on the Singing Bridge, said he immediately thought of recent riots in Egypt while watching footage of the mass evacuation and arrests.
“Honestly, when I saw the video, that’s the first thing I thought of was Egypt,” Mansfield said. “We’re supposedly free over here, but I didn’t see that.”
Others, including Dawn Hale and Ruby Layson, said they were horrified after watching police in New York and other large cities crack down on Occupy Wall Street demonstrators.
“That’s part of why I’m here,” Hale said. “Because I watched the live streaming of them emptying Zuccotti Park the other night, and it was appalling that that would happen in this country.”
Mansfield picked the Singing Bridge, where protesters stood along the sidewalks holding signs protesting economic inequality, because it’s one of many of the nation’s aging bridges.
Their message is the same as in recent months – shift the balance of economic and political power from the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans toward the remaining 99 percent and ask Congress to focus on job creation by increasing spending rather than slashing the budget.
“I just think we need to change the direction of this country,” said Terry Olson, of Richmond. “Our economy can’t stand for 1 percent of the population to hold 96 percent of the wealth. Young people have to have the chance to have as good or better of life than I’ve had.”