So where does this leave the protest? When I drove up I saw many tents set up, but few people. By the time I got parked an made my way to Legislative Plaza, I saw a small group with signs posing for photos. One of the protesters who was not in the group informed me that they were on their way to picket bank offices and excitedly explained that yesterday they forced Bank of America to close down.
Rather than walk around a mostly empty camp I followed the group and caught up with them as they marched in front of the Regions Bank building chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, corporate greed has got to go." It's not every day you see a protest so I snapped some photos. I guess I just figured they would ignore me or possibly pose since protests thrive on attention, however I did not expect the stares of suspicion and one college age protester to stand in front of me with his camera phone taking my photo.
I had my photos and, as no police were showing up, I didn't expect anything to happen worth shooting so I put my camera away and followed them as they marched around the corner. One of the protestors had a laptop rigged in a harness with a webcam and cell phone. I can only assume he was broadcasting a live stream of the protest and he kept reminding everyone that they needed to stay on the sidewalk. While I stood by and watched the picketing he walked over and pointed the laptop rig in my direction. I thought this might be where he introduced himself, shared some information about the cause, or started asking me questions, but after a moment he turned and went back to the group.
In fact, during my entire time watching the protest nobody said a thing to me or gave me a second glance unless it was one of suspicion. Between this and the fact that many of the protesters were wearing bandannas over their faces I felt very little kinship or solidarity with a group I thought would share many of my views. I agree with most of the points made by the occupy Wall Street movement and would most likely be very sympathetic to the cause of occupy Nashville...if I were able to figure out exactly what that cause was. What is this group demanding? I heard a lot of complaints about corporate greed and bailouts, but what do they expect our local government do about it? I don't often agree with the mainstream media, but it does seem that the "occupy" movement lacks a coherent message when you can spend thirty minutes watching them and still don't know what they want.
Please, if you are involved in this movement, take this opportunity to comment and enlighten me. If you are afraid to reveal your identity to the public then send me a private email and I'll amend this post with your response. I certainly don't want to take away from your efforts and I applaud those who are willing to put themselves on the line for what they believe. We just need a bit more clarification or else all we'll see is a bunch of angsty college students wearing bandannas, carrying skateboards and flags, chanting rhymes about how unfair things are.