Late Tuesday I got a call from members of Occupy Wall Street NYC along with some San Antonio occupiers. After some drama within their ranks, many of the most effective organizers in San Antonio have regrouped and become Occupy Bexar. They invited Comrade, a fellow occupier, and I to join them in San Antonio today (Thursday) to greet Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Much like the notorious Governor Scott Walker, activists have ensured that Romney is ‘greeted’ by protesters everywhere he goes. For OWS, this means staging Mr 1% rallies.
The rally was well attended by a diverse group from all races, ages, and backgrounds. There were occupiers in attendance from Austin, San Antonio and even Houston. In addition, members of MoveOn, the Democratic Party, and a group called the Dreamers attended in large numbers.
The Dreamers are the Dream Activist Undocumented Students Action Network, which seeks to pass the DREAM Act which would give those who grew up as undocumented immigrants a better chance to gain education and citizenship. Many of them are people who never made the choice to enter this country without papers, but simply followed their parents in doing so and now seek to keep the life they’ve created.
There was some friction between Occupiers and other activists. One woman became upset when a San Antonio occupier wanted to approach the police to ask a question while wearing a face bandanna, an act she feared would incite them. Though I was very much in journalist mode, in retrospect I wish I’d done something to mediate this particular conflict.
After the big-ticket private fundraiser in San Antonio, Mitt Romney flew to Houston for an evening event where he would be endorsed by President George H.W. Bush. Occupiers & others were expected to greet him there too.
Below you’ll find a recording I made of a press conference during the rally, and a short photo gallery. All photos by Kit O’Connell or Texasoccupymovement.org.
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