On the morning of October 15th, Omaha officially joined the Occupy Wall Street movement with a sweeping motion of peaceful demonstrations around Omaha downtown area. With 1000 attending, Occupy Omaha quickly shown its clout, easily dwarfing the politically waning and nationally unpopular Tea Party, whose protesters numbered maybe 10. Occupy Omaha demonstrators gathered at the City Hall building at 9am. Various types of people showed up; liberals, conservatives, libertarians, former Tea Partiers, racial minorities and queers; even candidates for office, like Sara Howard for the Unicameral-9 and Gwen Howard for NE Congressional District-2. The mother-daughter team were shown holding signs displaying their support. The demonstrators soon made their way to the Federal Building, gaining more people allow the way, forget the whopping 10 Tea Partiers who showed up to counter protest. From the Federal building, they made their way down Farnam to the Old Market, where they marched in a loop from Farnam to 10th to Jackson to 13th and finally the Gene Leahy Mall. Please visit the Occupy Omaha website for pictures and video available for Saturday’s demonstration.
The entire event went on without any type of incident, unlike other cities where violence, arrests, and outrageous police brutality have occurred. I think that shines an interesting light on Omaha.
One member, Hollie McClay, had this to say on the Occupy Omaha FaceBook page: “Big shout out to the Omaha Police Department. They were prepared for conflict, but they sure didn’t start any conflict. Big shout out to our Occupy Omaha people! We demonstrated peacefully, picked up a whole lot of trash off our city streets, acted as good citizens and our police force even told some of us it was a pleasure to work with us today. No need to create conflict in a world where the 1% thrives on self-created conflict. A people, United, will Never be Defeated. Good show Omaha! Proud to call you my community!”
Hopefully, other planned demonstrations will go just as well. There is a gathering at Memorial Park Oct 16 at 3pm, and for the following Occupy Omaha protesters will be at Turner Park in Midtown crossing demonstrating during park hours from 7am to 11pm at night. Hope to see you there!!!