At Occupy Saint Paul's Black Friday action at the Rosedale Mall, we had the opportunity to do an informal poll of sorts: how would people respond when they saw the big banner saying “Occupy Saint Paul,” the smaller signs saying things like “corporations are not people,” “jail corrupt bankers,” and “we are the 99%”?
We were on the street from 4am to 11am, seven hours in total. Bear in mind that this was in the suburbs and that our sample was heavily skewed toward shoppers hunting for bargains at the mall- not exactly the stereotype of what an Occupy supporter might look like. These are the results.
In the seven hours we spent out there, about seven drivers gave us the finger, yelled at us to get jobs (all of us were either employed or self-employed) or shouted vitriolic obscenities at us. All of those drivers seemed angry, hateful and unhappy.
Hundreds and hundreds of drivers honked in support, gave us the thumbs-up signal, or raised their fists in solidarity. Many of them leaned out the window to thank us for what we were doing. All of those drivers seemed joyful, happy and easygoing.