Occupy Didn't Change Me, and I Couldn't Change Them
August 4, 2014
Meow! Greetings, humans! This is Rocky! Today's blog entry will not have much in the way of links and statistics. It is a personal story about my human's experience at the Occupy Wall Street (in his case, Occupy San Diego) protests of Fall 2011.
The human is actually quite critical of the Occupies, despite giving them his time and support during its early stages. His official statement is:
"I admire Occupy Wall Street's courage. I stand by the belief that corruption in government is something that every American should be aware of and put more effort into fighting against. Occupy believes in equality, which is lacking even in our society. However, I realize that Occupy is a global movement. Some of its views are not my own, and never will be. Occupy also refused to oppose the War on Drugs in its mission statement nearly three years ago, which I view as rather cowardly. Even though I have my criticisms, at least I was there. If you weren't there, don't judge and stereotype those who were."
Ok human, that's enough. He'd take seventeen hours to write his story. I'll write it for him!
Occupy San Diego's version of Occupy Wall Street started on Friday, October 7, 2011 with a bang! The first day was amazing! Humans of all walks of life had assembled together with a similar message: We're mad at the bailouts, we're mad at the Supreme Court Jesters for their "Citizens United" decision, and we're mad at the overall mismanagement of our taxpayer dollars! Young humans were concerned at the massive national and personal debt that their generation will be inheriting. Human parents who had been laid off from their jobs were openly crying. Older humans were there in force. Even wives of cops were there showing support.
My human was busy making signs for folks to hold aloft. He talked to a lot of like-minded individuals. He had a dream to work with a group to create political comics and films, and this seemed to be the purr-fect place to find creative souls! A lot of people stayed the night in the park! My human always went home to feed us. Back then, my older sister Pandora was alive. I miss her. Anyways, he was back in downtown San Diego the next day.
October 8 was the height of Occupy San Diego. Almost two thousand people packed the Civic Center's plaza that night. Maybe it was even more than that! My human remembers everyone standing in line waiting to speak out. Many sad stories were told. One disabled older human became a "ward of the state" for two years after a respiratory attack, just because he needed 20 minutes to call his sister. One human slightly younger than Dad had developed severe back problems just because his employers wouldn't give him a chance to recover from a work-related injury. He now has chronic back pain and couldn't stand up for long periods of time. A veteran who lost his leg in the Middle East provided an always upbeat, hopeful, encouraging message. But, there was one young lady who really told it like it is!
She appeared to be in her early twenties, blond, dressed in black, and irritated. She said, "Stop this folk music! You (older generation) had your turn and it didn't work! We're angry and we need to do something about it besides sing folk songs!" By next Saturday, there was people singing folk music all day. It was on that day where my human servant realized, as much as he wanted to help them, he couldn't. He went to a few more protests after that, but it certainly wasn't the same humans leading it.
Let's summarize the events of that week leading up to "Folk Music Saturday".
By Monday, the Occupies had formed working committees. They seemed to have the beginnings of a self-sufficient community, with food, water, public restrooms, laptops, a big stereo system, tents, and blankets. Also, they began to organize large meetings that were designed to shape Occupy into a political force.
Fast forward to Tuesday: the police had begun forcing humans out of the Civic Center Plaza. Maybe back in 1776 there was plenty of public land to assemble, but good luck finding that in a populated location of San Diego. I won't go much into the police presence, because I have more important things to discuss.
These evening meetings were absolutely useless. People couldn't 100% agree on anything important, so nothing would get done. Some wanted to form a coherent political position, while others wanted to spend days and days worrying about minute details of how a meeting is supposed to be run.
Despite police presence, the Occupies were allowed to assemble in the plaza, march through the streets, and have these useless evening meetings. By that Friday, the number of Occupies reduced to mere hundreds. Camping night after night took its toll on some humans, and they went home. The police presence most certainly drove others away.
And, on that fateful "Folk Music" Saturday, my human sat there and realized that there wasn't much more he could do. He felt he wasn't the type of person Occupy was looking for.
As the human mentioned, he disagreed with some of their positions. My human religiously read the Occupy website and its message boards, studying what was going on in other cities. He began to understand that the Occupies were too much like the Donkeys. As Dad said, he was extremely disappointed that the Occupies wouldn't stand against the War on Drugs. They were too afraid of their image! How Donkey-esque! They wouldn't openly stand up for medical catnip, even though virtually everyone at the protests supported it. They believe in open borders, which I simply cannot support at this time. I will still defend them on the basis of their willingness to be heard. Occupies have a lot more courage than what the "Silent Majority" has ever shown! I think those who weren't there have no right to say nasty things about them!.
Occupy is still around, and has indeed evolved from what it was in the beginning. I enjoy some of their material, but I'm very, very disappointed in a certain Donkey they support.
We'll save that for tomorrow, though. I hope you all have a great day!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!