| Activists take part in a rally to demand that U.S. Congress to focus on jobs not cuts, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Oct. 5, 2011. U.S. private-sector employment continued its modest increase in September, reflecting the recent deceleration of economic activity, said the National Employment Report released Wednesday by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP). (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)|
By Xinhua Writer Wang Fengfeng
WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- As ranks of protesters grew in New York in the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration, protesters are also converging in U.S. capital Washington D.C. for a planned " Occupy D.C." rally on Thursday, which is to take place at Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Organizers told Xinhua that the rally is aimed at raising awareness of the American people in fixing the political system corrupted by corporate greed, and concentrating attention on people's needs.
Lisa Simeone, a spokesperson with the October 2011 movement, which is central in organizing the rally, said the protest has been in the making for about a year, and was scheduled to coincide with the start of the Afghanistan War. After the "Occupy Wall Street" movement in the U.S. city of New York took place, they decided to join the many occupations that's been going on around the country.
"Our main focus is that we are against corporatism and militarism," said Simeone in a telephone interview on Wednesday with Xinhua. She said that protesters want money out of politics, tax the rich and corporations, as well as cut military spending, end the wars and bring the troops home.
"People come to the rally for a lot of reasons," Jeremy Ryan, an activist participating in the rally told Xinhua in an earlier interview, noting many come because they are angry that big corporations are having too much influence on Washington politics.
"The over-arching theme" of the rally, said Simeone, is "human needs, jobs, homes, education, health care, not corporate greed."
Just like the New York demonstrations, which has been going on for weeks, the Washington rally is not likely to last only one day. Simeone said that they look at the rally as a beginning, not the end, and they will "occupy" Freedom Plaza, possibly for weeks to come.
"This isn't the be all and end-all resistance in this country," she said, noting that they want to create both philosophical and physical space for people to "realize they have to take this country back."
Simeone said that she doesn't know how long the occupation will go on or what the next steps will be.
"I do know whenever it ends, we are not going to stop acts of civil disobedience, and various acts of civil resistance and organization. That will be done in the myriad of ways around the country, and again, this is not the end, but only the beginning."