Almost two weeks ago, 21 Occupy Wall Street protesters decided to take the movement on the road, in a march from New York's Zuccotti Park to the White House.
Their goal: to spread the movement to the 12 cities and small towns they would pass through, and to protest the congressional supercommittee's likely decision to retain Bush tax cuts "for the rich," or the "1 percent."
The protesters -- accompanied by a Washington Post reporter -- embarked on the 231-mile trek with a $3,000 check from Occupy Wall Street. But the marchers soon found they didn't need the money, as they received donations of food and cash, cigarettes and deodorant from local residents and passers-by. Occupy movements also sprang up or grew larger in their wake in places such as New Brunswick and Trenton, N.J.
Although some of the 21 marchers dropped out because of missing toenails, shin splints or fevers, new marchers have joined. More than twice the original number of protesters arrived in Washington on Tuesday.
Today, the Occupiers intend to hold a "day of action" to shut down part of the city in protest of the failure by 12 lawmakers to reach a deal that would ease the tax burden on the "99 percent."
Dylan Bozlee, of Hilo, Hawaii, dropped out of the University of Hawaii to join Occupy, and said he'd rather travel across America than get a job.
"Do I want to work? Only if I wanted a home, wife, kids and a dog. If not, I think you're ruining your life," he said.
Before the march, Bozlee was a member of the Class Warfare camp at Zuccotti Park in New York, where he said he joined other anarchists in teaching passers-by about the concept of warfare of the lower classes against the upper class.
"When I saw the pepper spraying by Toni Baloney," or Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, whose spray hit penned-in female protesters.
Support along the way
The group took a detour off their route last week in Philadelphia to march by Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were debated and adopted.
"I'm a realist. I know you can't achieve everything," Michael Glazer, 26, of Chicago, said while holding a U.S. flag. "But I think we will always be fighting for something because people are always going to try to exploit how the government is run. It's our job to fight against that."
School-aged children put up peace signs and cheered from the Liberty Bell Center as the marchers walked by. The protesters were greeted in each state by dozens of supportive passers-by -- with cheers, a honk from a car, a hug and sometimes tears of gratitude.
In other towns, marchers were greeted with the often angry, shouted refrain, "Get a job!"
The marchers' response, "Why don't you get me one?"
At least half the original 21 marchers have full or part-time jobs.
Maxwell Citizen Kepler, of Washington, said he didn't believe in direct democracy until he joined the mobile occupation.
"After participating in the march's daily GAs (general assemblies), I realized that we may fight, and we may hate it, but we always come to a solution."