The two major arms of the caravan will stop at 13 hub cities, each a starting point for groups from other cities nearby. Groups from Detroit and Cleveland will meet up with the caravan in Pittsburgh. The journey started on June 11; it ends in Philadelphia on June 30.
I spoke with Michael Levitin, lead organizer of Occupy Caravan, to get his perspective on the objectives of this tour. Levitin started out by saying that the Occupy movement is ”not about a park”. He is planning to bring the Occupy message of economic justice across America,one town at a time, because the mainstream media only covers Occupy news that involves conflicts between police and protesters.
Woody Guthrie‘s 100th birthday also inspired this tour. The Gathering will use folk music and maybe vaudeville-style presentations to deliver central messages in a fun, engaging way. Levitin hopes to revive Occupy ideas which he says were derailed for two reasons: Lack of media coverage, and anti-capitalist messaging that doesn’t represent the common ground of the popular movement.
Levitin doesn’t personally see Occupy as a political party movement, nor does he believe the movement needs to provide the Democratic party with a response to the Tea Party. But he does believe the Occupy movement is best served by protesting the Tea Party’s extreme right-wing agenda. Levitin believes instead that the Occupy Movement is a social movement which will educate voters, who in turn will solve political problems in the voting booth. Watch for updates as the Occupied Detroit Free Press tracks Michael’s journey all the way to Philadelphia.
– Terry Hall