I want to explore still why I am so attracted to the Occupy movement, like I take to it like a Mermaid to water. But the influx of information, opinions and happenings are overwhelming. On top I feel like I ought to present a masterly dissertation in favor of the Occupy movement. But I am conflicted like with most anything and things keep on changing. Even while I was writing my post 11.11.11 describing the progress of our local encampment, the fire department had been checking out the site and had ordered the disuse of propane, leaving the kitchen stranded for the weekend, well kinda. Charcoal grills that are part of the park are o.k. to use and of course the community came to assistance.
On my way home from the encampment through the Farmers Market on Saturday, I managed to score a whole chicken and proceeded to cook my very first chicken soup from a whole bird. I was scared to reach inside and deal with the innards, but my fear was unfounded, all was wrapped in plastic and much appreciated by my pups, but not our Pretty Kitty, he is a finicky eater for sure. I was ready to deliver the goods, a pot of steaming hot soup with vegetables from the community garden across the encampment, on my bike at night, but got a response from my post on-line and got a ride, appreciated in frigid winter temperatures. The feedback next day was glowing "the best soup ever" despite little salt and spice since some of the campers can not tolerate such and our "Chef" had suffered a stroke. Tough to camp out in winter temperatures after a stroke, but he insists it to be his choice. There would be beds and warm meals at the shelter, but he prefers to be an essential part at our occupation site.
The very next day one crotchety, senior part time camper told me that he wished I would do something on my visits to camp. We seem to have a lot of those senior, sinewy, seemingly uptight guys in our local occupation movement. I have been walking my pups to the occupation site and through the park twice daily most days now since the site at my nearby park got occupied. It is a good way to get a feel for things, relay some information and offer a helping hand where needed.
I want to state that I did not vote for establishing an encampment, I abstained, because I knew I would not be an occupier and because I am not convinced that the freedom to assembly includes the freedom to create tent cities in public places.
There are those that abhor the mere mention of such doubts and want those voices to shut up and go someplace else. I find that offensive and unacceptable. Americans really seem to be unable to tolerate dissent. One dear senior expressed a wish for those homeless occupiers to get pocket money for cigarettes and time off, maybe to hang out in a warm coffee shop. While his desire no doubt came from his heart and his experience spending nights at the site, I find it wholly unacceptable to pay protesters. I always object to providing anyone with their drug of choice, be that cigarettes, alcohol, dope or donuts. My senior buddy stomped off upon hearing my remark, somewhat flippant I admit, and we have not communicated since.
At such times it is good to go back to basics, do what's in front, take the next step. Despite having caught a cold during our last General Assembly and despite my doubts about the legitimacy of a tent city in an urban environment, I took to the street with my erasable bulletin board the morning after the unnecessarily forceful clearing of the People's Park, the Occupy Wall Street encampment. I was mostly standing alone! Campers did not feel like it! There were never as many as even a dozen protesters in the main intersection where our protest were to be held, announced on line while the destruction of OWS still was in full progress! A movement that can not mobilize at a moment's notice seems to me is not a movement! Movement or not, I believe we are the 99%, maybe 99.99%! I might take to the streets, or rather side walks alone, because it is time!
I object to police brutality, to the devious secrecy of the military style police action, and to the thrashing of personal property including the public library, all hauled off in dump trucks (60 out of 5000 books do not restore what must have been an outstanding library donated in part by Pattie Smith.) If you have not done so yet, feel free to place your objections with Major Bloomberg by calling 1 212 639 9675.
We can not eradicate an idea whose time has come!