It was a year ago today that well more than 1,000 people closed downtown streets with a huge march through the Providence and some of them capped the event by setting up a tent city. And with the band of income inequality activists known as Occupy Providence began its over 100-day stay in Burnside Park.
“It was like riding a wave,” said a post on the group’s Facebook page yesterday. “You think you see a swell like Egypt, the Tarsands or Wisconsin, then OWS rose us up so we paddled like crazy until tomorrow a year ago…We rode it for some months and it played out by rock and coral and such…we were lucky to have been in the water at that time I suppose.”
Those activists will mark the anniversary today with a gathering in Burnside Park today at 11 to remember the good old days.
“Something amazing happened tomorrow – a year ago in Providence,” said a Facebook event page inviting people the honor the anniversary. “We want to celebrate it with a gathering in Burnside aka The People’s Park…drum circles and just a reunion of folks who may have not seen each other in a long time.”
As it did around the country, the Occupy Wall Street movement captivated the attention of Rhode Island for the next several weeks. The local activists remained in the park until the end of January when they negotiated a homeless day center with the city in exchange for leaving the downtown park near Kennedy Plaza. Unlike some of the more high-profile Occupy encampments, the local group and the Capital City had a reputation for working well together.
Days before the local occupation began, the group of activists released this mission statement. Click here for a great story on the march that occurred in downtown Providence a year ago today.