Spectrum of people turn out for general strike

Occupy Oakland protesters march through the Port of Oakland on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, in Oakland, Calif. Thousands of protesters took to Oakland's streets as part of a day-long series of events, called a citywide strike, aimed at asserting the movement's strength and shutting down commerce. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

November 2, 2011 8:47:54 PM PDT
The people who composed the general strike in Oakland come from all walks of life.

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.