Walking through the night carrying the poor people's campaign banner

Walking through the night carrying the poor people’s campaign banner

We signed up for the poor people’s march. A march from Baltimore to Washington DC. The poor people’s campaign started 45 years ago by Martin Luther King. 50 years ago he marched 50 miles from Selma to Birmingham from Baltimore to Washington DC ( I write these facts as I know them or remember them from others speeches and I’m not always so good at remembering so forgive me if I’m wrong). He walked for justice, for freedom, for equal rights during the civil rights movement. We would walk all along route 1 where during the civil rights movement took place the lunch counter sit ins by students walking there and back again for school. They would sit up at the counter and would not be moved would not stop though arrested and beaten, would not stop walking along that road for the only education available to them in the area and would not stop sitting at lunch counters demanding to stay there and be served, that’s why it ended up that for us, we would not stop walking until we reached DC, out of respect for our comrades struggle, inconvenience and hardship in their fight to be free and for Martin Luther King who shared his dream, organizing in an effort to unite people and create a new world which we are carrying on that vision and struggle, doing all we can, so we would keep on walking, keep on talking, marching down to freedom lane.

We stopped at 6pm at a subway, the first real stop of the day, walking from about 1130. A short break at a burger king which quickly locked their bathroom doors to us. Leaving Subway at 7pm most had decided to go on to college park in a support vehicle and attend the rally at the college and go to the church to sleep but a group of about 20 to 30 or so decided to keep walking even after finding out we still had 20 miles to walk having walked about 12, 14 miles so far, so we started out back down route 1 with a support vehicle and the police escorting us in front and behind, we walked. Prince up front leading the way riding a skateboard and flying a make shift Anarchy flag using a flag we took from the communists and took the red off and tied a black long sleeve shirt to the pole. The medics in the back watching going through the crowd of us offering water. We walked with the sun slowly setting we talked we sang one guitar and this time we literally had just one guitar. I’m a solider marching in the army got no gun to shoot but what I got is one guitar, I got one guitar. All day all week occupy all streets, all day all week occupy all streets.

It started raining but that didn't stop us from going on

It started raining but that didn’t stop us from going on

This is when we still had a police escort

This is when we still had a police escort

It started raining a few hours into it and we lost about half of the people to the sudden rain and once in the van they did not return but the rest of us walked on. Soon the police told us they would be leaving it was the end of their jurisdiction and the next city might not pick up escorting us and they didn’t, we still walked with the support vehicle following us.

My feet were wet, my socks, all the water sloshing in my shoes and my feet hurt, but I knew I would keep walking just as long as one of my comrades were still going for it I would still be there walking next to them

At about 1130 we stopped at Denny’s to use the bathroom and the van wanted to go back. The driver tired. Another van would not be coming to support us and if we wanted to keep walking we had to get our stuff out of the van and carry it since they didn’t know where we would end up. 13 of us got our bags out of the van, threw our packs on our backs and continued walking just us and about 15 miles left, just us and the road and one step at a time we walked. We sang without guitars, we talked, we even danced. Two of the 13 were the medics, Eli and Amy who stayed behind to watch our backs, put themselves at risk, they never left us, they kept walking as long as we did. Cory who was always at the front and when he got too far ahead would stop and wait for us to catch up and Prince on his skateboard until the road was too dark and narrow to skateboard through this we had to walk in a straight line as straight of a line as occupiers could make, but we all went over before we entered this dark stretch of road how important it was so no one would get killed, we watched the cars speed by and it was Saturday night. Lesley, Amy, Me, Durty, Jorge, Prince, Sweet, Jason, Appollo, Eli, Shangry, Cory, and Rocky. We were the 13. Me, Jorge, Shangry, and Jason had been on the 99 mile march together. We didn’t stop walking not at 1, not at 2, or 3, or 4, or 5, or 6. We didn’t stop until we reached the hotel, super 8 in college park.

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 We smoked a lot of cigarettes, as many as people had. Every time we stopped the last few hours I dropped my bag rested my head and body, closed my eyes and didn’t get up until we were on the move again. I fell asleep for seconds at a time for hours, I was so tired I was walking in my sleep. We all stuck with it seeing no other choice since stopping wasn’t an option in anyone’s mind.

As the sun was rising and the birds were singing we made it to the hotel and all fell upon the sidewalk, where we always seemed to be most comfortable, in a cluster and went to sleep, until one of the guys from the march staying at the hotel went to get his morning cup of coffee stepped out of the hotel and saw us sleeping there and did something about it right then offering us rest in two of the rooms they had. I took him up on the offer. Me and Lesley went to room 115 and fell asleep right on the floor but they told us to get on the bed and I did and it felt so good and I rested for an hour then took a shower went to get some coffee and in another hour we were all walking again 4 miles to the morning meeting spot. All 13 of us still walking one step at a time more of a struggle with everyone.

the group of us as we start out from the hotel to walk to the morning meet up spot

the group of us as we start out from the hotel to walk to the morning meet up spot

and we're still smiling

and we’re still smiling

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reaching the morning meet up spot

reaching the morning meet up spot

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We got to the morning meet up spot and chanted/singing walked up to people cheering us on knowing we had walked all night and were still walking.

We rallied there for about an hour and we got to rest a little for the last leg to Washington DC. Although many of us debated many times within ourselves about getting in a support vehicle no matter how much our feet and legs hurt with every step none of us gave up. I think it was for everyone else just as much as it was for me that I didn’t want to get into a support vehicle. I wanted to take every step. If one of us stopped maybe another would then another and we wouldn’t all make it together so we all walked on. The rain had stopped the sun came out and we walked and sang and danced at times and where the energy came from to go on I don’t know but again I think it came from the others just as much as it came from inside me and near the end we entered the park together and fell to the cement of freedom plaza together we had made it and it seemed impossible and we did the impossible and in that it seemed all things were possible. Our bodies and minds were strong in the struggle. No one thought we could do it even doubted at times within ourselves but we moved forward slowly but we got there all the same and I felt stronger and more powerful than I had the day before. We could do anything but for now we all laid collapsed and exhausted.

Everywhere we go

People want to know

Who we are

So we tell them

We are the 13

The mighty mighty 13

Marching for justice

Marching for freedom

From Baltimore to DC

42 miles

Walking every step

Doing it together

For the poor people’s campaign

Walking every mile

From Baltimore to DC

We are the 13

The mighty mighty 13

And none of us will forget what we did together, which seemed impossible but we succeeded

Once the 13 of us were put into the position of walking on our own not one of us stopped, we all knew we would finish together.05-12-2013-1466

some exhausted walkers

some exhausted walkers

alsleep before we even pulled away from freedom plaza

asleep before we even pulled away from freedom plaza

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