by Mike Murray
Minutes after a stimulating lecture by Professor Noam Chomsky, cheers and cries of protest broke out as an unnamed facilitator yelled “we’re marching!”, and a crowd of approximately 250 began down Summer St., beginning a spontaneous two hour march.
The march wound through the streets of downtown, passing the Federal Judiciary Building and the Bank of America headquarters, guarded judiciously by Boston Police officers in fluorescent yellow.
Chanting activists, students, and other protesters who had attended Chomsky’s speach gained vigor upon entering Liberty Square towards Quincy Market. The march weaved through Saturday evening crowds on State Street and Commercial Street, past packed bars and pubs. Spectators watched from murky windows and through open doors as the protesters chanted, “We are the 99%”, moving into the heart of Faneuil Hall.
The march paraded through Quincy Market, passing by the packed shops and vendors. Those watching looked on with mixed emotions, some joining in the chants and waving, while others looked on with discontented frowns. In the market, the march paused to chant “This is what democracy looks like”, voices echoing off the walls of the crowded eateries.
After leaving Quincy, the group headed toward the North End, where they stomped up Hanover and into Boston’s Little Italy. Hanover Street, lined with small, locally owned restaurants, cafes (and of course the renowned Mike’s Pastry), was flooded with marchers, winding around cars and down the narrow street, led by the white and black Veterans for Peace flag.
The protest came to a close, marching down Atlantic Avenue towards the Occupy camp. Before concluding, the group stopped at the Greenway, where two facilitators called for a moment of silence on behalf of those who “had their honor, dignity and bodies brutalized by the Boston Police Department.”
Directly following, a surge of fervor was injected into the marchers as another facilitator asked that Occupy expand its camp to include the park where one week ago 149 protesters were arrested. This request was voted on to take place at a later date. One thing was, however, made clear: “This is a public space. We have every right to be here…what happened last week was shameful. Shame on Mayor Menino.”