Ides of March walk 2013

Occupy Walk USA makes the news again in the Hi-Desert Star Newspaper

Cross-country Occupiers make stop in Joshua Tree

Occupy Ma RougeStacy Moore photo

Occupy Ma Rouge

Occupy Walk USA members take a break and pose for photos in Yucca Valley Thursday, March 8. Back row from left: Jason Brock, Adam Peck, Michael Oren, Eugene Leafty and Steven Kong. In front are Richard Finn, left, and Britten Dodds. Not pictured: Danny Johnson and William Terzin.

 Posted: Friday, March 9, 2012 11:28 pm


By Stacy Moore, Hi-Desert Star | 0 comments

MORONGO VALLEY — Shouldering heavy camping packs and fighting the wind, a group of businessmen, homeless men, veterans and one man who has made walking for peace his life’s work hiked into the Morongo Basin this week. Their ultimate destination: Wall Street. Their goal: to change the world.

“A lot of people think the Occupation is already over. We believe it’s just beginning,” Jason Brock said as seven of the Occupy Walk activists gave their feet a quick break at Ma Rouge in Yucca Valley Thursday afternoon, March 8.

Early into their 3,000-mile trek from San Diego to New York City, Brock and his companions are optimistic about what they can achieve in the adventure ahead. They’re missing their families and have postponed careers, but it’s not about what they’ve left behind, Britten Dodds said. “It’s what we’re walking toward, it’s contributing to a greater cause.”

At 20, Dodds is the youngest of the crew, and he admits he’s “not a walker” by nature. “My feet are already bleeding,” he said with a short laugh. He joined the cross-country walk to contribute the skills he learned as a member of the Occupy LA media team. He connects the “walkupiers” with a larger audience through Livecasts,Facebook and Twitter.

Connecting with people is a big part of the walkers’ mission. “It’s really about the social interaction. At the root of Occupation is solidarity,” Brock, who left his business to walk across the country, said.

They hope to build more connections at Joshua Tree Occupy, which began Friday and lasts through Sunday, March 11, at the corner of Twentynine Palms Highway and Park Boulevard, in front of Coyote Corner.

There will be live music featuring Accordion Apocalypse, Stephanie Tolle and Finn.

The walkers hope people who have questions about the Occupy movement will come and ask them questions.

“Everyone is invited!” declared Mike “Peacewalker” Oren, who has walked across the country twice already.

Cross-country Occupiers make stop in Joshua Tree

They hope to be able to dispel some myths about the Occupy movement.

“A lot of the press Occupy has received has been negative. We’re here to keep hope alive and shine light on why people across the country are occupying,” Brock said.

They especially invite people who are facing foreclosure or have lost their homes already to today’s event.

“It’s a great way to network and not feel so isolated,” Brock said. “People in these situations generally feel isolated, but there are networks and people who can help them.”

The walkers’ purpose isn’t just about Occupy, Eugene Leafty, an Air Force veteran who joined the Occupy movement, added: “We need to get more people involved in politics. Politicians know they can get away with more than they should because the voters don’t hold the reins on them as tight as they should.”

Leafty, who was in the process of forming a hiking-gear company when he joined the walk, has been pleased with the response so far. “We’ve had a warm reception,” he said. “The amount of support we’ve received has been enormous, much more than I expected.”

The walkers get thumbs up and honks from passers-by. “One family drove by, saw our signs, went home, looked us up and returned, bringing us sandwiches. The kids had drawn pictures for us,” Dodds said.

They also hope to show the diversity of the Occupy movement, and prove the members are hard workers with a goal.

“We’re obviously not doing this because we’re lazy; we’re walking across America,” Steven Kong said. “We love putting ourselves into our work and contributing to our community.”

He hopes the walk will show people the power of the individual. “It shows the power of someone who doesn’t buy a plane ticket or submit to a stationary culture. It shows you can be what you want to be.”

© 2012 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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March 10, 2012 - Posted by | Occupy Walk News

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