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Occupy Human Dignity: My Story (Part 1)

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Admiral Loinpresser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:01 PM
Original message
Occupy Human Dignity: My Story (Part 1)
Occupy Human Dignity: My Story (Part 1)

When Occupy Wall Street started on September 17 (if memory serves), I became ecstatic. Since Reagan got elected I had had very few moments of political hope and had come this year to a point of utter hopelessness. Then people started taking to the streets. I remember the watching a stream from very early at OWS. Roseanne Barr got up there with a bullhorn (this was before the need for a human mic). She said something both challenging and inspiring. She talked about the big I and the little I. She explained that in the Viet Nam era, protests had been marred too much by the little I and that this time we needed to stay focused on the big I. In other words, that we acting collectively for the common good needed to subdue our individual egoistic needs for the power of collective, selfless action.

Spurred by her words and the physical sacrifice of those early occupiers who braved police brutality, I attempted to organize an occupy group in my hometown, a midwestern college town. The first week the reaction was very tepid but by the second week there was enough enthusiasm that my wife and I created a Facebook event page and in less than a week we had our first GA meeting in the park near downtown.

But in that first week I started to experience a personality conflict with someone who seemed to take an instant dislike to me. Mindful of the big I I tried to inject ideas on a limited basis and quickly began to participate less often and less vocally, even though I felt the decision making process was skewed because this person stepped up to be the GA facilitator at important GA meetings and seemed to advocate and inject his/her opinions while facilitating. Increasingly I felt the group was getting off to a bad start with ineffective planning and little thought for strategy. Things came to a head for me last Saturday night, when I arrived at our camp and was treated dismissively by this person for inquiring about the existence and organization of a videography team. My reason for making the inquiry was because the night before the police had arrived in the middle of the night and had ticketed several of us for failing to disperse from the park. No organized video team was in place, so the impact in the local media was greatly reduced the next day. Anyway, I had this unpleasant interaction on Saturday night and then at one point in the same evening had a confrontation with a drunk college student who approached our camp sign with the stated intention of peeing on it.

Bottom line is I brought all that home with me at about 3am (this is when the physical threat to the camp from drunk college students is greatly reduced, so I felt free to leave). Bringing those emotions home led indirectly to some serious family disharmony which is still completely unresolved as of this writing. The next day I decided I had had enough with the person who seemed to thwart my participation, so I disassociated with the group.

I'm happy to say that a series of events led to new people stepping up and my hometown occupy group seems headed in a much better direction. I have re-associated by writing an article supporting the group and have had many good exchanges with several people. I simply don't show up at meetings to avoid dissension.

But the family disharmony continues. I hope and expect it will be favorably resolved but don't know when or how. I have been on a roller coaster ride for the last four weeks. I have had very dark thoughts, anger depression etc. I have had to think about what it means to be poor in America and here is the conclusion I have come to:

I am poor but there is no shame in that, the only shame is to be rich in America. The ever-widening economic inequality leads us inexorably toward rebellion at least, if not revolution. We must collectively acknowledge and claim our human dignity. The only way to accomplish this fully is by creating a society with drastically less inequality of wealth.
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:35 PM
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1. Looking forward to Part II
Keep the faith, Admiral!
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Admiral Loinpresser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks, you evil bastard!
I went and met a friend tonight by kismet and I got a better perspective on all this. Everything Ok with you?
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Everything's OK.
I haven't been out to the KC Occupation yet. I fear what you went through. But the live streams from around the country, especially Oakland, are having their effect. I made a sign for the pug. She'll be OccuPug.
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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R! Hang in there, this is bigger than most think!
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