Occupy the Highway: On the road with the protesters

(See the main Occupy the Highway blog for the latest news on the march.)

For the next two weeks, Elizabeth Flock will be reporting from the sides of East Coast roads as she makes her way from Elizabeth, N.J. to Washington, D.C. with a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters. Here’s the view from the highway:

At 10:19 a.m. on Thursday, the band of about 20 protesters started their second day of a planned two-week trek from New York to Washington, D.C. It was almost two hours after they had planned to hit the road.

“The revolution will be fashionably late” marcher Cologino Rivera joked.


(Elizabeth Flock)

The medic, Eric Carter, was sick. Another marcher offered him echinacea. Marcher Owen Johnson was shoeless and planned to be that way the whole trip. He wore a coat made of patches and wove a dreamcatcher as he walked. “I just haven’t good shoes yet. I want to make my own shoes,” he said. He made his own jacket.

A police officer followed them along their route from New York to Elizabeth, N.J., switching to another officer at the state line. Two patrol cars parked out front of the house they stayed at all night.When the protesters started heading the wrong way Thursday, the cop pointed them in the right direction.

The leader of the group, Michael Glazer, 26, from Chicago held an American flag as he marcher.

“Of course they’re dumping their dirty water in Elizabeth,” Glazer said, pointing to running water along the road. Owen shook his head. “Oil slick.”


(Elizabeth Flock)

When the marchers reach New Brunswick, the camping location for the night, they will have massages waiting for them. A New Jersey woman offered her services to support their march.

One Elizabeth woman came out of her house and offered them a box of ginger ale. “Thank you!,” the protesters yelled in unison. “No, thank you!,” she said.

A guy named Mike carries a Latin cricket, a wooden instrument with metal balls that clang, because someone stole his cowbell.


Two little girls hold signs for the protesters in a park in Rahway, New Jersey. Their parents provided lunch for the protesters. (Elizabeth Flock)

Sarah Handyside, a pigtailed girl in Doc Marten style boots, and her boyfriend have been on the road for years. They don’t work, usually, or use money. Sarah met her boyfriend on the beach in Santa Barbara. “I have a tent,” he told her. They’ve been dating ever since. They have a Web site called pursuingnothing.com.

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