Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Richmond survives its first night

Despite cold weather and rumors that Mayor Dwight Jones was looking for ways to break up the demonstration, Occupy Richmond survived its first night Kanawha Plaza. There were about 60-70 hard core demonstrators there throughout the night. WTVR-6 previously underreported the number of people in Kanawha, claiming that there were only about 75 people at 11:00pm. I was there at 10:00pm last night and there were more like 200-250 at the demonstration's peak.

The question now is whether they can sustain the demonstration for any length of time. It will be beautiful again today. Can Occupy Richmond bring a large crowd out to protest in Kanawha Plaza?

As a benchmark, the Tea Party brought out about 1,200 to 1,500 for its 2010 Tax Day protest at the same site. That was a one time, heavily-hyped event, so to some extent it is comparing apples to oranges. But if Occupy RIchmond can't top that number during one of its peak periods, say from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, then the comparison is likely to be made and to the detriment of OR.

The Occupy Richmond demonstration continues its experiment in direct democracy and street theater today in Richmond's Kanawha Plaza.

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