BOSTON/Dewey Square - About 20 people from the Dewey Square #OccupyBoston encampment marched from South Station to Northeastern University this morning to demonstrate unity with the nationwide student walk-out that took place today at noon. The event was organized by the #OccupyBoston Direct Action working group in conjunction with student activists at Northeastern.
The Direct Action working group called the march to support and attract college students to the encampment in Dewey Square. The welcoming of students into the #OccupyBoston movement is a critical goal for organizers.
The procession departed from Dewey Square, marching through the Financial District towards the Boston Common and on to the Back Bay portion of Boylston Street. Participants urged supportive pedestrians to visit Dewey Square and to consider joining the occupation. Outreach to the concierge staff of restaurants and hotels on Boylston Street, as well as to construction workers along the route, took place.
The marchers later joined the student walk-out rally at Northeastern's Centennial Common. The crowd swelled to approximately 125 activists and students as an open mic took place to provide a forum for participants to air their grievances. Student loan debt, the lack of job prospects for college graduates and the inequity of wealth distribution in the United States were the main concerns for attendees. They also expressed outrage that the education industry mimics “the irresponsible, unaccountable, and unethical financial practices of Wall Street” by paying University presidents exorbitant salaries while “while campus workers are paid poverty wages.”
Daniela Gonzalez, a NEU sophomore, stated that she is "ambivalent about being in school" because she is discouraged that her friends are unable to find jobs six months after their graduation days.
"We're talking about shared sacrifice, not just sacrifice for us" proclaimed Xiaojie Liu, a NEU senior, to an enthusiastic crowd.
Speakers encouraged students to join forces with the #OccupyBoston movement - "to the victor goes the spoils and to the well organized goes the victory" said John Phoenix, a NEU senior.
At the conclusion of the rally, the general assembly agreed to march back to Dewey Square to join the rally called by the Massachusetts Nurses Association to support #OccupyBoston. Approximately 60 of the students marched back to Dewey Square to visit the encampment. While en route, they stopped briefly to obstruct traffic in front of the Federal Reserve Building on Atlantic Avenue.
The event was peaceful. No arrests were reported.
Text and photo by Christine O'Connell. Video by Annie Shreffler, Creative Commons BY-SA.