They’re out of work. They’re from out of town. And they’re fed up.
Many of those who “occupied” Freedom Plaza on Thursday said they had never been to a protest before but were inspired to come to downtown Washington by the Occupy Wall Street movement that began last month in New York and has spread to cities across the country.
“This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this,” said Tina Strobel, an unemployed medical transcriptionist from Kansas who had driven 1,100 miles with her husband and teenage son for Thursday’s event. She sat in the grass, clutching a sign that read, “Lost my job, found an occupation.”
Strobel said she had lost faith in the country’s political system during the past two years, but “when I read about this, I thought, well maybe this will be a beginning.”
Hundreds opened sleeping bags and raised tents in the public plaza near the White House, vowing to stay indefinitely — or until their voices were heard. (They only have National Park Service permits through Sunday.)