November 12, 2011

I'm so tired....

Bring the troops home...

As much as I support the Occupy Movement in Dayton Ohio it is my opinion that the toll the tent community is taking upon individuals in an effort to sustain the unsustainable is no longer worth the expenditure in resources required to keep the tents up and running as winter sets in. Field commanders, whether military or guerrilla in nature have long recognized the futility of attempting occupations under winter conditions. Such occupations violate the principle of, conservation of resources. Look at the picture above. The arrows clearly point out what my camera captured when I attended the GA on 11/12/11. The campers are clearly suffering from fatigue due to lack of sleep and improper nutrition. It isn't the resistance from the community that is killing the Occupy Dayton movement, it is the elements.

Occupy Dayton achieved a great victory when they were offered a table at the tree lighting event. They were offered recognition as a valid community organization and were extended an invitation to add their table to the greater table of this wonderful community event. It should have been a time to celebrate and it has instead been turned into an ill-conceived opportunity to confront and agitate. This would have been a wonderful opportunity to leave the city of Dayton with a positive image of Occupy Dayton and is instead souring the community towards us and our message. I'm sad the campers just don't see what they have offered to them.

The reality is that the camp is a danger...

All it takes is one child tripping over a cinder block or a tent rope and a confrontation is going break out. One that could easily turn violent. Is the risk worth it? As this picture illustrates, the tents are not properly secured to the ground nor can they be due to them being set up on concrete instead of on a dirt surface. This makes them a danger under windy conditions. Add in the fact that the tree lighting is a night time event and you simply increase the risk of something negative happening. Like it or not, the tents need to be removed. Yes, the message Occupy Dayton is trying to spread is important, but if spreading it comes at the expense of the goodwill of the community and the safety of individuals simply trying to enjoy the start of the holiday season with their families, then I can't support such a thing.

The tents are coming down across the entire country and it is time to take ours down too. The tents are the first fruits to come out of the fields of the first season of the Occupy movement, but they are not the only fruits. Look towards Spring 2012, the movement is looking forward and so must Occupy Dayton. Here is food for thought, Occupy the Mall.


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.

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