Protesters wrapped their way around the block-long hotel, chanting about the candidate’s record on job creation and weaved their way through bemused tourists, tour-bus promoters and a large mass of police. The meeting was generally peaceful as police directed the demonstrators and the protesters kept moving. Among the chanters, Margaret Passley, a member of labor-affiliated United NY, was one of the loudest in the crowd. Passley, 48, told Capital New York that in 1996 she underpaid New York State 75 cents in taxes and then needed to buy a 99-cent money order to pay the bill. She asked why the government singled her out, but let Romney exploit loopholes: “For three months, they kept bothering me. They don’t go after Mitt Romney. Why?”
Drivers honked their horns in support of students and locals waving signs vying for legislative change outside the Coconino County Courthouse in Flagstaff, Arizona. Bekka Christ (pictured) hooped up her support for the 28th Amendment. Citizens Against Citizens United (FCACU), a group pushing to reverse the 2010 Supreme Court case that ruled corporations are people and money is protected speech under the Constitution, coordinated a rally to raise awareness and collect signatures. More than 80 events were held at local courthouses around the United States to rally support of the amendment. Photo courtesy of Northern Arizona News.
Walkupy, a mobile occupation movement, whose aim is to unite everyone in an effort to envision and create a new kind of society in which the needs of all human beings are put first, make their way through Anderson, South Carolina, and the hooper is still spinning. On December 1st the group started at the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington, D.C., marching approximately 17 miles per day. Their final destination is Atlanta, Georgia. A Hooping.org Photo of the Day.
Whatever your political views and personal opinions on the values or strategies of the Occupy movement, it appears as though the action has made an impression on the public imagination, for better or for worse. It is 1:54 am, EST, and I am sitting at home in Florida, watching live streaming video of Occupy L.A. as the Los Angeles police department line up in the streets under the overhead chatter of helicopters. I have been watching the Occupy Movement grow from the seed of an idea sent from Adbusters magazine to my email inbox many months ago, and have been variably aghast and amazed at the tenacity of occupiers, around the world, to gather in committed action to voice their personal, political, economic and environmental concerns – and hula hoop.
Hang around long enough to snap a photo of any occupation and you’ll likely catch a hoop in motion. Occupiers have hoops and they are neither afraid nor ashamed to spin them in the streets, on the sidewalks, atop vehicles, in parks, around parks, and pretty much EVERYWHERE. As the weeks turn into months, and as fall lurches into winter, I have been wondering about the hoops and occupation connection. What is the function that hooping fulfills in this exceedingly strange ongoing global event?
First, let me slap my own head. There are hoops-a-plenty these days and in ANY arena where a large group of young people gathers, publicly or privately, amidst drumming, chanting, singing and dancing, we are bound to see a hoop or two. Or twelve. Be it a music festival, a house party or, perhaps, a large-scale public protest styled as an urban encampment. Having said that, what relationship exists between personal expression in hoop dance and the spectacle, power or experience of protest? What passion for transformation, personal or political, is driving people to Occupy The Hoop?
The Busking Project’s “Object Manipulation Video Competition” asked buskers, aka street performers, to make the space around them more beautiful and show that through video. Revolva answered the call noting that the beauty of throwing and spinning objects in public isn’t just about visual spectacle. It’s about public interaction. While the world may be looking at public space a little differently thanks to recent protests, Revolva gives us a supporting example of using public space to express one’s self and connect with people. She told Hooping.org, “It sure makes a walk through the city a more beautiful experience.” We couldn’t agree more. You can view more submissions and cast your vote here. Revolva lives in Oakland, California, USA.