As Occupy Wall Street protesters crossed the Brooklyn Bridge last night, their message to the world was being flashed overhead.
Here's what it said:
- First there was a 99% symbol.
- Then "Mic Check!" flashed 3x
- "Look around, you are a part of a global uprising."
- "We are a cry from the heart of the world."
- "We are unstoppable, another world is possible."
- "Happy Birthday #Occupy Movement"
- Then the Occupation cities flashed across the building faster and faster.
- "We are winning."
- "It is the beginning of the beginning."
- "Do not be afraid."
Of course, we wondered how he did it. Thankfully, Boing Boing did an interview with Mark Read, the mind behind the signal.
Basically, the protesters came up with the concept at a meeting where they were discussing what to do on their two month anniversary. They knew the morning march might be violent, so they wanted to do something that would reflect the generally positive nature of the movement and celebrate the 2 month benchmark.
"And a guy named Hero, who has been central to a lot of facets of the occupation since the beginning, turns to me and says, "We need a bat signal. The 99%.""
Read used to throw roving parties, and the occupation had an expensive projector on loan for free, so he knew that he could assemble a team that could figure out the technical aspect of the project. He liked the idea of using the Verizon building- it was near the Brooklyn Bridge and very recognizable. The question was: where would they put the projector? So he went to subsidized housing near the building, put up some fliers offering to pay to rent an apartment for a few hours, and waited.
A single mother of three named Denise Vega responded. When she found out what the apartment was going to be used for, she insisted that the occupiers not pay her at all. "This is for the people," she said.
While the lights were up, the NYPD was on the ground near the Verizon building looking for the source.
"If they want to come up they're gonna need a warrant!,"Vega's family was saying. "If they ask us, well, we don't know what they are talking about!"