November 6, 2011

Occupy Dayton-11/05/11

Wild eyed revolutionaries...

Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to attend my very first "Occupy" event. I wasn't sure what to expect after having watched television news coverage for weeks on everything from tents on Wall Street, riot police in Oakland, Occupy demonstrators linking arms to protect a grocery store from black hooded agitators, to Guy Fawkes masked demonstrators parading through the streets of New York. What I didn't expect was the gathering of everyday people taking the time out of their busy lives to give voice to their disappointment in the banking institutions and the policies instituted by them that are removing folks from their homes and destroying people's lives. Many of the people I met were single, professional women simply trying to keep a roof over their head and their children in schools they were used to attending and close to the friends they'd grown up since childhood. These women did not talk about entitlement nor were they welfare-mothers leeching off public assistance programs as so many of my conservative friends assured me anyone participating in the Occupy movement would prove to be. These women were well educated, articulate and well spoken. They were not wild-eyed revolutionaries Hell bent on destroying the American way and replacing it with a Draconian system of socialism. They were just every day people trying to keep their homes as winter begins to settle in upon our small Midwestern community. They were simply mothers who want their sons and daughters to spend Christmas in homes they feel secure in instead of sleeping in grandma and grandpa's basement. Much to my surprise I did not encounter the wild-eyed revolutionaries my conservative friends rant on and on about, I met my neighbors and the people of my community. It was a humbling experience.

Lazy unwashed pot smoking hippies?

Every time my conservative friends talk about the Occupy Movement they completely ignore the message of the movement and focus upon the character of the individuals participating in it. Again and again I've heard the dehumanizing phrases; Dirty, ignorant, unwashed, uneducated, pot-smoking hippies. Imagine my surprise when I encountered bright-eyed, clean cut and well informed young people speaking their minds with a drug free clarity. As an individual who attended the counter protest at Kent State University the day after the National Guard troops opened fire upon students exercising the right to assemble and protest, I'd like to issue a warning. Once the forces that oppose you begin the process of dehumanization, they will begin to fire upon you in an attempt to silence your voices and quell your movement. As I've watched the growing police actions taking place in Oakland, California I am reminded of three events from my youth, the Democratic convention of 1968, the shootings at Kent State and Jackson State Universities in 1970. First comes the dehumanization and then come the bullets. Let us hope this time that the lesson is not learned too late, these kids are our children, they are not enemy combatants.

To serve and protect the rich, from us...

Erich Fromm stated in his book, Man and a Sane Society, that anyone who believed police forces exist to protect and serve the general populace are mistaken. His belief (And mine as well.) is that the police forces exist solely to protect the rich from us, the general populace. The flag we carried was said to be a danger to pedestrians, the car horns honking in support of our cause were said to be against the law and the noise of our rally a disruption to commerce. The corporate entity is afraid of the uprising they are witnessing and are equally afraid of the truth contained in the message the Occupy Movement is making public around the entire world. They, the wealthy ruling aristocracy, are bringing the forces under their control into the battle of our dissent versus their greed. We must stand together and not be afraid. Rubber bullets, riot batons and tear gas have never defeated the will of the people and often times have proven the last refuge of the desperate just before inevitable social change occurs. Remember, these are the people who stand against us. They are not ignorant of our plight, they mock it. They have forgotten another truth spoken by Erich Fromm, "Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much."

I'd attend one of the Occupy Movements any time or any day. It was nice to hang out with my neighbors and discover they're feeling and thinking the same things I do.


Blogger Craig D said...

There's a meeting of the "Fayetteville, NC" chapter on Monday, 11/21.

I expect to be there.

My suggestion:

Reasonable Revenues + Responsible Regulations = Real Recovery

November 09, 2011 12:24 PM  

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