Princeton, NJ–The National Occupy Guitarmy leads the #99MileMarch July 5-11 from Philadelphia to NYC, in honor of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday and the Occupy National Gathering.
I met up with them on July 7th camped in Morrisville, PA. They were just setting up lunch, painting some signs for the march ahead and belting out Woody Guthrie songs. Spirits seemed high and some of the marchers said that the reception from town to town has been well received. They said residents came out and offered water or a chance to run under the hose to cool off a little. Here are some photos I took during my visit:
The next day we marched 5 miles in close to 100 degree weather from Trenton to Princeton.
Guitarmy walking along Route 206 on their way to Princeton
Along Route 206 some Guitarmy marchers were hanging posters left over from the Occupy Caravan that crossed the country from San Francisco to attend the National Gathering:
Once we arrived in Princeton, NJ, Occupiers did a small banner drop on the Bristol-Myers sign outside the company’s headquarters:
Spirits were high especially when the march arrived at Trinity Episcopal Church (link goes to contact info for the church) in historic downtown Princeton. The church offered air conditioning and showers, the first for some marchers in weeks since leaving their hometowns for the national gathering and then heading north on their 99 mile march to NYC.
It didn’t take too long after everyone arrived at the church for police to show up supposedly on reports that there was a dead person lying just outside the grounds of the church. After confirming that there was not in fact a dead person but a very tired marcher the police left but the troubles didn’t end there. Soon after this incident the pastor of Trinity Church came out to tell the 60+ marchers that the church was receiving too many complaints from neighbors and the whole group would have to leave by 9:30 PM which at that point was about an hour away. The group tried negotiating with church executives because it would be near impossible to find housing for 60+ marchers in less than an hour but to no avail the church insisted the marchers leave. We were cleared out by 9:45 PM to numerous locations and decided to regroup in the morning.
One marcher decided to rest on the steps of Trinity Church in Princeton NJ after learning that the church had changed it’s mind about hosting the weary and tired marchers.
This story reminds me of another story about weary travelers showing up at a place they thought they were welcomed at only to be turned away into the night.