My soggy, frustrating, inspiring week Occupying Wall Street – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com

3 Nov

Livin’ the Occupation, paying your dues, a new rite of passage? Instead of touring The Continent, like the rich did back in the day, you go ‘on occupation’ for a few months when you get out of school.

. . . This last group includes a lot of slightly crazy, slightly sketchy, slightly “I hope he doesn’t stab me in the neck when I’m sleeping” people in camp who, seeking a free meal and a place to stay, have little to no interest in the movement. It was these sorts of occupiers — the wackos, the drunks — who were treated like celebrities on the red carpet by the media.

On the other hand, regular everyday visitors would go out of their way to engage with occupiers who came for idealistic reasons. Even though I’d merely be sitting on my pack, several passersby would thank me for “doing what you’re doing.” One middle-aged male offered me ponchos, scarves and gloves, telling me, “This should have happened years ago. Thank you so much for believing.” I overheard a well-to-do lady lean over to her friend and say, “They need to storm the White House. They need to storm the Capitol. Seriously.”

Late one night, in conversation

A girl with dreads chimed in, noting how incredible it was that the General Assembly just sent 100 tents and $20,000 of our raised money to the injured and incarcerated occupiers from Oakland (who’d just been violently evicted from their encampment), before going on a thrilling march up Broadway as a symbol of solidarity with people we’d never met, 3,000 miles away.

In this little circle, three ethnicities, two genders and two generations were represented. These occupiers didn’t fit Derrick’s depiction of the movement: They were neither slackers nor stoners, neither shiftless hipsters nor food-stamped freeloaders. They were smart, informed, articulate and passionate.

via My soggy, frustrating, inspiring week Occupying Wall Street – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com.

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