In Oakland, there is what might best be described as a melting pot of dissatisfaction with the status quo. Whatever you heard or thought about the "Occupy" movement before Wednesday's general strike molted in the morning from a few tents to a legion of reinforcements, many of them representing Middle America.
"There are a lot of people that have things that need to be spoken that haven't been spoken before," said Napa resident Danielle Alexander. "People need to make a living wage. They need to put their children in schools that are open. We need to keep libraries open so we have a literate populace. I could go on and on."
Alexander, a college history teacher, took the day off to be in Oakland with her husband for the benefit of her family.
This wasn't a million man march: More like one of a million messages. Some were old, and others were recycled.
Paul Bloom, a housepainter from San Francisco, is an experienced marcher from the anti-Vietnam war days. His sign read: "Consider a maximum wage."
"I have some tendencies toward fairness," Bloom said. "Socialist tendencies are about fairness."
And movements are about force of will -- even one like the general strike, with so many messages blending as one.