A quick update on this adventure with #Guitarmy on the #99MileMarch

I found out about the march on my way up to the NatGat.  Wasn’t quite prepared for it at all but knew the moment I heard about it that I must go.  I’m on the third day now.  It’s 11:44 pm and I’m leaning up against the wall of a strange building in Trenton, NJ.  

The first day was hard.  It was 100+ degrees and we marched 15 miles.  I spent the last of my cash to keep my phone on and didn’t have much to eat.  Breakfast that morning consisted of a granola bar and green super food (you put it in water and drink it- like liquid veggies).  Later throughout the march, some wonderful ladies passed out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and that was all i had to eat for the day.  I chanted/sang my ass off and wore myself out a little more than I knew.  As soon as we landed at the farm I set up the tent and passed out- which meant I missed dinner.  The next morning I awoke and found breakfast to be oatmeal and fruit.  After marching 15 miles on peanut butter and jelly I needed protein- bad.  They ran out of eggs before i woke up- which was pretty early-  8:45… but not early enough.  Within about 2 hours I had a major breakdown.  I asked for more food and was told to be more self reliant.  

Yeah so I am broke.

It’s not fun to be broke and maybe I should not have come on this journey with no money but my heart led me here…  and i didn’t expect resources to be so low.  I wish I had done more fundraising for this.  I wish I could fundraise for myself…  I screwed that up a while ago.  Some of you may remember that…  My WikiLeaks campaign that went terribly wrong :\  Lost that wepay account…  I’ll talk about that again later, maybe.

So anyways, I actually slammed a door and ran off crying because I was so offended that I was being told to be self reliant when I was in such a state of exhaustion and hunger- especially after how much work I have done for this movement and how much I put INTO this march.  I go and hide in my tent and BAWL.  Next thing I know a few different people are at my tent, bringing me *more* peanut butter and jelly, lemonade and chips.  The lemonade and chips were heaven.  Another woman brings me a piece of cheese- what I originally asked for.  I eat it all and pass out for most of the day.  Needless to say I missed the march.  They went 18 miles.  And it was hot, hot hot out there.  

That night we all had a big concert/jam session but I was not really feeling well still.  I passed out and woke up this morning and ate eggs very happily.  We had a torturously long GA where we all mostly complained and got almost nothing done, regarding solutions.  And there is a very mentally ill woman causing a bit more trouble than we need right now…  It is quite hard to know how to deal with her in a loving way.  

To talk about something postiive- The farm- Snipes Farm, in Philadelphia, was amazing.  Beautiful.  Much gratitude and thanks to them for providing us with a place to rest for 2 nights.

Right now I am about to pass out.  I am going to have to find a way to get some cash in my pocket and hopefully raise some funds for this march.  We are getting SO much positive feedback from people on the road and I can tell what we are doing is GOOD and essential right now for this country.  We are planting seeds of courage and change.  As hard as this journey had been for me- physically, it is absolutely worth it.  I look forward to tomorrow.

Me laying on the front steps of Trinity Church in Princeton, NJ as we are being told we need to leave. While marching we made contact with them telling us we were able to stay the night. By the end of our escapades we were told we must vacate by 9pm or face “the law”. You think dealing with the #D17 action and the conviction of Mark Adams who received 45 days in Rikers; occupiers would have learned a lesson. STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM CHURCHES NAMED TRINITY! 

| #OccupyWallStreet #99MileMarch | on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
The National Occupy Guitarmy leads the #99MileMarch July 5-11 from Philadelphia to NYC, in honor of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday and the Occupy National Gathering.

I met up with them today camped in Morrisville, PA. They were just setting up lunch, painting some signs for the march ahead and belting out Woody Guthrie songs.

Spirits seem high and some of the marchers said that the reception from town to town has been well received. They said residents came out and offered water or a chance to run under the hose to cool off a little.

Using one of the shirt stencils to frame out a man playing some awesome Woodie Guthrie tunes.

National Occupy Guitarmy 99 Mile March, July 5-11 2012 

Posted on June 27, 2012, 6:44 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt 

A call for support from Occupiers, Friends, and Musicians from Philadelphia to New York City

The Occupy Guitarmy is spearheading #99MileMarch from Philadelphia to New York City from July 5 to July 11, 2012 in honor of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday (July 14, 2012) and in celebration of the National Gathering of Occupy movement.

We call on Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York musicians, social justice activists, union members, and occupy supporters to help support our action. We actively seek: daily, overnight, and long haul marchers, daily location event organizers, street medics, guitar techs, kitchen staff, live-streamers, caravan vehicles, oral historians, and general volunteers. We ask that marchers, volunteers, and on-site supporters of our action visit our website (www.99milemarch.org) to engage with us in advance. Please contact us if you plan to march with us!

For more information and details on how to get involved, visit 99milemarch.org and @99MileMarch

The Occupy Guitarmy is calling for a National Guitarmy to convene in Philadelphia for a July 4 show of solidarity in performing “This Land Is Your Land” at Independence Mall. The next day, we will embark on a 99 mile journey of song and community as they march back to New York City singing songs from the Guthrie catalog, as well as social justice favorites such as “We Shall Not Be Moved,” “Which Side Are You On?” and “El Pueblo Unido.” All songs, chords, and lyrics can be found on our website (www.occupyguitarmy.tumblr/com and 99milemarch.com)

Along the seven day journey, the Occupy Guitarmy will stop in local communities to teach and learn songs, discuss issues facing local residents, and perform with local musicians. We welcome musicians, marchers, teachers, union members, community music groups, summer camps, marching bands, rock bands, hip hop crews, and any other musical or social justice groups to join us on our daily walks and our daily stops.

We ask that each town and city we walk through make us welcome with an event, protest action, discussion, pot luck, or other community event in which we can play, learn songs, and talk with local community members about the power of music for social justice and the crisis facing our pubic school arts education.

Along the way we hope to raise awareness of the importance of music as part of our civic culture, and discuss the negative impact of the erosion of public arts education funding in the last decades. Each mile that we march we ask to have sponsored by supporters through a walk-a-thon for the K-12 school instrument donation group Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

We will also be collecting stories of local musicians, teachers, students, parents, and everyday folks about the role of public school music programming in their lives, about current and past budget cuts to music programs, and about feasible local, regional, and national solutions for these problems.

The Occupy Guitarmy is a leaderless brigade of instrumentalists and singers who first organized for the New York City actions of May Day. Numbering in the hundreds, assembled with guitars, ukeleles, cellos, violins, basses, noisemakers, and voices, they marched to Union Square to play on stage with progressive activist-musician Tom Morello. The guitarmy maintains an online instructional guide of chords, lyrics MP3s, and videos so that everyone can learn their set list, and encourages progressive groups and local Occupies to start their own guitarmy by downloading a specially prepared “kit” that includes music, graphics, notes on organizing, and other resources.

Once the Occupy Guitarmy begins its journey, we will feature live streaming, daily blogging, and tweeting (@99MileMarch), and actively invite media and everyday folks to share and discuss our action. 

| #OccupyWallStreet #99MileMarch | on Flickr.

The National Occupy Guitarmy leads the #99MileMarch July 5-11 from Philadelphia to NYC, in honor of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday and the Occupy National Gathering.

They marched 5 miles today in close to 100 degree weather from Trenton to Princeton. Spirits were high especially when they arrived at Trinity Episcopal Church (link goes to contact info for the church) in historic downtown Princeton. The church offered air conditioning and showers, the first for some marchers in weeks since leaving their hometowns for the national gathering and then heading north on their 99 mile march to NYC.

It didn’t take too long after they arrived at the church for police to show up supposedly on reports that their was a dead person lying just outside the grounds of the church. After confirming that there was not in fact a dead person but a very tired marcher the police left but the troubles didn’t end there. Soon after this incident the pastor of Trinity Church came out to tell the 60+ marchers that the church was receiving too many complaints from neighbors and the whole group would have to leave by 9:30 PM which at that point was about an hour away. The group tried negotiating with church executives because it would be near impossible to find housing for 60+ marchers in less than an hour but to no avail the church insisted the marchers leave. The marchers were cleared out by 9:45 PM to numerous locations and will regroup in the morning.

This story reminds me of another story about weary travelers showing up at a place they thought they were welcomed at only to be turned away into the night.