Celebrating their one year of occupation, Occupy DC is still sticking it to authorities and making their presence known. A Facebook event page describes the one year anniversary event as:
"Freedom Plaza was occupied one year ago on Oct.6th and is still occupied to this day by our fellow Veterans. Show your support and come help us celebrate the one year anniversary. Details will be posted as this develops. The party begins Oct. 1st to Oct. 6th. If you would like to help with this event please contact us. We would love to see everyone that was here one year ago again. On the First we will rename Freedom Plaza and it will be called the Bradley Manning Freedom Plaza."
While visiting Freedom Plaza, where they are camping out, Tuesday October 2nd a few individuals spoke out despite the inclement weather. Although there are much fewer people there currently than there were a year ago, the men and women down at Occupy DC are as passionate as ever. Most of the occupiers now there are Military Veterans, many disabled Vietnam Vets, whose major sticking points are ending the wars and the freedom of Bradley Manning (as mentioned above in the description). Their support of the accused war crime whistle-blower is so strong that there is even a painted sign draped across the side of the lone tent in the vicinity advertising the plaza's "new name" Bradley Manning Freedom Plaza.
William "Bill" Miniutti, a former permit holder at Occupy DC, talked about their stay at Freedom Plaza. He conversed about mutual friends, weather, and even the occupiers' ties with Concepcion Picciotto. When asked about how long they were planning to stay there Bill responded, "Well Concepcion's been there for 32 years, we won't be here that long," he laughed and smiled with genuine warmth. "Maybe another year? I don't know."
What the occupiers do know for sure, however, is that they don't plan on stopping any time soon. A march on the Veterans Administration will take place on Thursday followed by a dance party that is scheduled for Friday night in the plaza at 6:00 p.m. The Veterans March was originally scheduled to occur Tuesday; however, due to rain it was postponed. Before leaving the encampment a bag of food was dropped off with Bill and Frosty (a man named Forrest Bibbee who they have all aptly named Frosty the Garden Gnome) and everyone there showed their gratitude with cheerful smiles. One thing is for certain, there is certainly no lack of love to go around at Occupy. In that cigarette smoke filled base one cannot help but to feel like they have just become part of a warm, peace loving family.
Photo Credit: Emma Burge