Occupy Wall Street: 99 Percent Protesters March to City Hall for Occupy Houston

Categories: Spaced City

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Photo by Rachel Bohanan
See lots more pics of the protest in our slideshow.

Joining a movement of protests across the country, several hundred Houstonians gathered at Market Square Park this morning to march to Hermann Square in front of City Hall, which they plan to occupy indefinitely in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Occupy Wall Street demonstrations began two weeks ago, inspired in part by the revolution in Egypt. The protesters call themselves the 99 percent, a reference to the idea that the richest 1 percent of America has more money than the other 99 percent of the population combined. Among the protesters' many complaints are the deep ties between business and government, the ever-deepening recession, faults with corporate health care and the economic bail-outs.

Reports last night said more than 14,000 were gathered on Wall Street. Today, protests began in several Texas locations, including Dallas, San Antonio and McAllen. Chicago, Denver, Boston and other cities have also had protests.

Police were divided on how many people showed up for the initial march, which began at Market Square and stopped for about 30 minutes in front of the J. P. Morgan Chase building downtown. One cop was overheard saying into his radio that there were well over 500 people lining the corner in front of the Chase Tower. Another officer said he thought there were about 200, quipping, "They wish they had 500 people."

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Photo by Rachel Bohanan
Demonstrators carried signs with slogans like "What would Robin Hood do?" and "I got 99 problems but the rich have none." The crowd was diverse but skewed slightly towards the mid-20s. Members of the anarchic online group Anonymous were also in the crowd, wearing their trademark Guy Fawkes masks.

At least this morning, the demonstrators and police were working well together. Before the march began, organizers shouted some Dos and Don'ts in a call and response method so people at the back of the crowd could hear, reminding the demonstrators, "The police are on your side." During the march protesters stopped politely at every red light, stayed off the streets and obeyed police orders. One mounted officer was taking cell phone pics of the crowd with his partner.

Members of the National Lawyers Guild wore bright green hats and were working as legal observers in case any shit went down, as it has in New York.

Gary Roth, an attorney with the guild, said organizers didn't anticipate any problems "Until maybe tonight, when they try to kick them out of the park. We don't know. They haven't decided yet."

The City of Houston has an anti-camping ordinance, but Roth said city officials were unsure if they would try to enforce it this evening. There are some questions over whether sleeping in a public park is legal, but nonetheless, things could get dicey after the sun falls, and later this weekend, when the Bayou City Art Festival, which was already being set up, begins near City Hall.

At the Chase tower, employees stood outside the front doors, watching the demonstrators chant slogans for half an hour. Some employees could be seen peering through their tinted office windows several floors above, including one woman shaking her head no and giving a very enthusiastic thumbs down. Drivers occasionally honked their support and two news helicopters hovered overhead while a marching band played and a woman dressed like Uncle Sam danced on stilts.

At times the crowd would get totally silent and once they broke into genuine, spontaneous applause for a woman who crossed the line to walk into work at J.P. Morgan Chase.

Tara Peterson brought her 6-year-old son to the protest. "I thought it was important," she said. "I was explaining to him about the 99 percent." Her son, Andrew, is homeschooled. "Normally, we would do history today, so now we're being a part of history."

The march continued on to City Hall, where organizers proclaimed "We have now occupied Hermann Square!"

Picture after the jump slightly NSFW


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Nefertari Williams
Nefertari Williams

We the people have the right that if the government is not working for People then we the people can re-elect a new government!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lonnie Shults
Lonnie Shults

we are seniors on the farm saying for years we as the people need to set the ungodling thinking of ther 1%

golden whordes
golden whordes

 I have been following the protests in new york from almost the first day online, and was wondering when the MSM was ever going to start to cover it , my bad, let the games, and name calling begin, the media , I am convinced, is a detrement to the country.  When , and what, justifies a genuine protest ? according to all the parrots, -nothing, we just need to lay down and take it , no matter what ''it'' is.How bad does it have to get before something gains any kind of credence? rush and co., glen beck , the parrots on cnn etc, make me sick.So the protesters do not have all the answers, and no unified front, good,that is how it needs to be , but I have listened to glen beck,rush,keith olberman , and all the rest, whine like giant crybabies, over everything you can think of , and decry every move the government makes, and the masses, watching this country go down the drain ,do the only thing left availible to them -take to the streets.and try to effect some change, only to be beaten down by the police, and the media. sure there are some idiots in the ranks of protesters, but there are some real idiots in the government,the MSM will continue to spin, chide, slander, spin , and insult anyone, that takes to the streets, to try to change course , congratulations, if this doesn't prove the msm is , just a little slighted by big money , nothing will.No unbiased entity would be spewing the filth they are in a free country, about free citizens excersising their right to protest..

oh , and let's not forget about the 4.6 million dollar donation to NYPD from J.P. MORGAN..

Al
Al

I walked over and watched for a bit. Quite a swarthy group of folks.

Craigley
Craigley

Demanding free cheese and demanding they get it free.

Jamie
Jamie

Good luck in accomplishing nothing.

Kevin
Kevin

I counted 720 in the march, from a flow point between Chase and City Hall. Count may have been a bit conservative.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

My guess was at least 500, but I'm not super great at eyballin'.

Tbazan007
Tbazan007

Over the past couple of weeks, we have observed a growing number of seemingly affluent young, white, college students skipping classes to protest Capitalism.  And, expecting those who are pulling the overloaded entitlement wagon to donate food and camping supplies so that they can be comfortable while they occupy Wall Street and likely Houston City Hall. The media is careful not to show the Communist Party signs or the anarchist ones calling for violence and the collapse of our economic system. I was tempted to set up a table near City Hall and sell grape Kool-aid to those Stalin would have called “useful idiots,” but since they are offended by capitalism, they can just drink out of the Buffalo Bayou. Had the billions upon billions of tax money we have spent not been for politically correct malarkey, but rather had been used to actually teach these young citizens to think for themselves, they might recognize the ruse. One can only blame the Marxist-influenced education system for allowing our youth to think the mass murderers of the 20th century were great leaders that should be admired. Now, we have a carefully orchestrated nation-wide insurrection underway, designed to disrupt our economy, and complete the transformation of our nation into a non-constitutional run government. We need to find the truth, even when it is a truth we do not like. Is it too late to refer the young protestors to research the Bolsheviks Red October ?

Zenjinx
Zenjinx

What is it you think happened to cause the first 700 billion dollar bailout of the financial industry called the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that was signed by then president Bush? It was caused by the derivative market. The derivaive market was caused by the unbridled irresponsible greed of Wall Street. Please see "Inside Job".

Automotron9000
Automotron9000

the protesters have no say in the economy, your government has seen to the destruction of the monetary system, when they turned over the reigns to the ''federal reserve'' way back when, the marxists as you say, are powerless , and this is a last act , one of many so to say , to possibly sway public opinion , but the opinion is in - '''stay the course'' and when the euro debt bomb explodes, and the shockwave is racing to our shores, right before the dollar is worth more as toilet paper, and realize your government has lied you into multiple wars, and all the jobs left, yes , it will be the unwashed marxist masses, that caused it all .. how could I not see it ?

GWEST
GWEST

YOUR MOMMA is a useful idiot. Reeeeeeee-a-al useful!{thrusts hips lasciviously} "~bom~chikka~bombom!~"

H_e_x
H_e_x

You really need to cut down on the bourbon in the am.

KING
KING

I don't think you have to worry about a nation-wide insurrection since half the people protesting aren't entirely sure what they're protesting about.

Zenjinx
Zenjinx

Sure they do. In short they are protesting what Wall Street has done to this nation thru the unregulated derivative markets. Wall Street is responsible for this recession and they get bailouts. It's wrong. It should be protested. It continues to this day. Both republicans and democrats are used to perpetuate it by corporate campaign "donations". Please see "Inside Job".

Craigley
Craigley

Hell some congress woman called it "our Arab Spring".

Think about that.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Eh, better than sucking on the cock of corporate America.

Craigley
Craigley

And here is where you have it all wrong.  Quit being the one on your knees and start being SOMEBODY!

H_e_x
H_e_x

A robber baron?

Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler

Huh, I guess the lines were pretty short at Labor Ready this morning.

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