The Coalition of Eastern Shore Progressives, in conjunction with MoveOn.org and hundreds of other protest sites across the country, staged a rally in Salisbury. The purpose was trifold: 1) To show our support for the workers at the stimulus-money-funded bridge repair at Rt. 13 & Broad Street; 2) To demand that Congress tax the top 1% in order to fund additional infrastructure repair and rebuilding; and 3) To stand in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement that has swept the country, and indeed, the world.
Even though it was cold and rainy, CESP was able to muster a small contingent of members to stand out there and chant, hold up signs and make their voices heard, loud and clear. At the start, it was a little slow, with more media than protesters present. But, by 12:30pm, more people showed up, enough to have the media want to cover what the protest rally was all about.
I have to say that the coverage of this event was excellent! The media has caught on that we are not going away and that we have something important to contribute to the national movement and discourse. Here are a few of the videos and articles that were generated by yesterday’s action.
This is the story put together by Cleo Greene, reporter at WBOC-TV:
This is the story put together by Ryan Hughes, reporter at WMDT-TV
Here is the website story put together by WMDT reporter, Ryan Hughes, in addition to the above video:
Salisbury Residents Join The “We Are The 99%” Rally
Posted: Nov 17, 2011 6:42 PM ESTUpdated: Nov 17, 2011 6:42 PM EST
WMDT 47 NEWS – The Occupy Movement started on Wall Street two months ago Thursday. Protests are still being held across the country and here on the Shore.”Jobs Not Cuts. Jobs Not Cuts,” said a small group of protesters in Salisbury.Mother nature may have dampened the groups turnout, but their message is still the same. The American Dream Movement and the Coalition of Eastern Shore Progressives are calling on Congress to allocate money for infrastructure to create jobs, and make Wall Street pay their fair share. “Our infrastructure is crumbling. We’ve already had bridges across the country collapse – people have been injured – people have died,” said Ron Pagano, the Coordinator of the group.
They are joining a nationwide day of action called, “We Are The 99%.” It’s in conjunction with the Occupy Wall Street protests happening across the country. People are coming out in the masses fueled by what they say are right-wing attacks on the middle class and the poor. “Through a unified voice – individually there’s not much we can do because we can’t be heard,” said Jon Hurst, who was protesting Thursday.
Now, they’re asking Congress to stand up for the 99 percent – instead of continuing an assault on the American Dream.
“They are more interested in bringing down a presidency than they are in helping the people in this country,” said Pagano. “This is not to be looked at as a PR stunt – this is something that is serious, that is going to make or break our country.”
Here is the story written by Jennifer Shutt, reporter for the Daily Times:
‘Occupy’ comes to Salisbury
Written by Jennifer Shutt Staff Writer
SALISBURY — Two months after Occupy organizers began pitching tents in Zuccotti Park, New York, members of the Lower Shore rallied together Thursday to speak out against big business.
At about noon, roughly 10 people gathered at the intersection of Broad Street and Route 13 to show support for Occupy protesters as well as urging Maryland lawmakers to bolster job creation through infrastructure improvements.
“We are out here, as few as we are, because we are dedicated to the idea that we should be protesting and demonstrating and rallying in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement,” said Ron Pagano, founding member of the Coalition of Eastern Shore Progressives. “Our group is growing, believe it or not; we have doubled in membership in the past three months.”
Pagano says he and other protest organizers throughout the country selected their protest locations to highlight the need for infrastructure improvements. The protesters held signs in the pouring rain just feet from the Route 13 bridge.
While there were not many members of the organization out Thursday, Pagano says many of his supporters work and thus cannot attend protests in the middle of the day. He also said he receives emails and phone calls of support from individuals who don’t go to protests because they are concerned for their job safety.
While this was the first time area citizens rallied for and with the Occupy movement, it was not the first time members of the Lower Shore Progressive Alliance came together. During the last few months its members have protested in front of Rep. Andy Harris’ office, requesting he promote jobs, not cuts.
During Thursday’s protests, Pagano said polls show an increasing amount of people agree with the message of Occupy protesters that big business and not necessarily big government caused the financial crisis.
“The middle class has been decimated by this financial meltdown, which was not created by big government, but created by big, greedy banks and corporations,” Pagano said. “We are here to let people know we care.”
While Pagano agrees with the overall message of the Occupy movement, he does not agree with everything that has been said or the violence surrounding many of the Occupy camp sites.
The Salisbury protesters that stood in the rain were not alone. In addition to marches outside of Wall Street in Manhattan, demonstrators marched in downtown Los Angeles between the Bank of America tower and Wells Fargo Plaza, police in Portland, Ore., closed a bridge ahead of marches by Occupy sympathizers and protesters in Las Vegas pitched tents in front of the federal building.
Jon Hurst says the cold, rainy weather did not dampen his motivation to support the 99 percent.
“I’m out today because I think it’s important that we use tax dollars to create jobs and the way we are focusing on that today is through rebuilding infrastructure,” said Hurst. “If we can divert the money coming into the government and use that to put people back to work we can use it to start a cycle of job creation and income.”