Occupy Wall Street went underground Thursday afternoon, as a number of the movement's protesters took to the subway system to spread their message that the United States needs to do something about growing economic injustice.
About twenty marchers broke off from the International Day of Action's march up Broadway from Zuccotti Park to Union Square in Manhattan, and made their way to the Bleecker Street station of the New York City subway system.
Once there, they made sure all the protesters had money for fare, then went through the turnstile, blindsiding the evening commuters with their signs and conversation about the state of America.
They held a mic check reminiscent of the ones so often heard at Zuccotti the last two months, then discussed their plans to board the train, wait until it got underway, then introduce themselves as OWS members and tell their stories.
This will be the most interesting if we get on silently like we're not going to do anything, then stand up and tell our stories to everyone, Justin Wedes, an OWS protester from Brooklyn who was evicted by the NYPD from Zuccotti several days ago, told the crew of occupiers.
Activist: All Abord Occupy Wall Street
Shortly thereafter a half-full 6 train showed up and a protester who declined to provide his name told all the gathered movement adherents to get in the same car: All aboard Occupy Wall Street!
Once they had piled into the subway and disembarked from the station, Wedes called out mic check repeatedly in a call-and-response with the other protesters, then went into his tale of economic woe.
My name is Justin. I was a teacher before my school lost its budget and I was excessed, he told the straphangers surrounding him. This is the United States of America, the richest country in the world, and somehow we can't afford public high school teachers.
The comments drew some cheers and claps from the captive audience of train-riders, but one well-dressed woman was not amused.
Go tell the White House your problems, don't do this here, she said, sneering at Wedes as he stepped off the train at Astor Place, after a single stop.
They were only headed to Union Square, one more stop away, so the group decided to disembark, regroup, and get ready for the next short ride.
They got on another 6 train after waiting about eight minutes, and Brooklyn protester Troy Odendhal, 42, took the people's mic this time. He wore a blue construction helmet emblazoned with symbols of the movement and his face was weathered by hard times, and he spoke after another mic check was announced.
My name is Troy and I've been unemployed for 10 years. Both my sisters lost their homes, he yelled loudly to the gathered pasengers. I am here fighting for economic justice for everybody on this train ... I am united with you in your struggle to pay your bills.
Odendhal's performance elicited another mixed response, then they were off to Union Square to continue to protest the economic inequality that has brought the OWS movement to bear.