Just one of a thousand-plus protesters who occupied the University Bridge with impunity today.
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • Just one of 1000-plus protesters who occupied the University Bridge with impunity today.

It was raining so hard I was soaked to the bones, my fingers so numb with cold that I couldn't feel the shutter button on my camera, and yet a thousand-plus protesters braved the weather and marched through the streets from opposite sides to occupy the University Bridge and claim it for the 99 Percent.

Both lanes of traffic were blocked for at least an hour while helicopters buzzed overhead and the police stood idly by, as some occupiers held a general assembly in the middle of the bridge while others defiantly climbed the girders to wave their signs and stake their ground. About a dozen union volunteers, trained in nonviolent civil disobedience, had planned to seize the roadway and sacrifice themselves to arrest, but either unwilling to force their way through the peaceful yet boisterous crowds, and/or still smarting from the international scorn that comes from pepper spraying old ladies and clergy, the police never made their move. The occupiers eventually dispersed on their own.

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Hundreds gathered in the rain for jobs rally, before marching to the University Bridge
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • Hundreds gathered in the rain for jobs rally, before marching to the University Bridge

Before the march, hundreds of union members and progressive activists rallied across the street from Husky Stadium, huddling together beneath umbrellas and tents as part of a series of national protests aimed at promoting investment in repairing aging infrastructure, and the many thousands of jobs that would create. It was an impressive crowd despite the weather, and a carnival like atmosphere, replete with balloons, free hotdogs, and a man on stilts.

I know folks keep predicting/hoping that the Occupy movement will soon fade away, but I didn't see any fading this evening.

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