My apologies for not updating more regularly. The prospect of blogging everyday seems a little daunting at this point, but it still remains my ideal. Perhaps the only way around that dilemma is for you the reader to hold me to a higher standard.
Anyway, since my post last week, both the occupations in San Francisco and Oakland have grown substantially. People keep coming and going but there is a strong core of people that have been camped out night after night and these people seem to have the greatest sense of organization concerning camp logistics.
To accomodate all the additional people, Occupy Oakland has expanded their camp from Oscar Grant Plaza (in front of city hall) to the nearby Snow Park (with a nice view of Lake Merritt). Likewise, Occupy SF has expanded from the sidewalks in front of the federal reserve (101 Market) to Justin Herman Plaza. The growth of both occupations is encouraging – particularly because the additional locations mean there will be more people on more sidewalks with signs protesting inequality, greed, banks, the fed, the government, corporate personhood, and environmental injustice.
Of course, people on sidewalks with signs doesn’t get anything done, but it does allow for some much needed exercising of our first amendment rights. And in another sense, the expansions get more at the idea of “occupying everywhere.” But before we can occupy anywhere effectively, we must all first occupy our hearts with love…and if you think that’s cheesy then you really don’t understand the occupy movement yet.
I was standing out front of the fed yesterday playing my banjo for some folks when an elderly gentleman crossed the road and walked up to me and with the two handed peace sign. He began to speak encouraging words to me and then asked what it was that the movement needed. My response was simply “more people.” He agreed with me and we continued talking. He told me that he was a blogger for this site: http://dailykos.com/
He then went on to say that this was the defining young people’s movement and that many liberals of his generation of boomers were fully onboard with occupy. I tried to remind him that this was not a liberal/conservative struggle – this is the people’s struggle. It’s not even the 99% struggle, because without the 1% we’re all screwed.
My new liberal blogger acquaintance then went on to say “If you guys lose this battle, then we’re all fucked.”
He may be a little too doom and gloom for me, but at the same time if the “values” of greed, money, property, and soulless self-interest are all that really matter to the majority of people then I’m afraid to say that we’ve already lost. Of course, those “values” are not written in stone and we as individuals are free to change and reorient our priorities to fit our present context. This, to me, is the moral evolution.
It is my hope that in the near future we’ll have the numbers to begin doing some larger direct actions. The goal is to slow down the machine of business as usual so that we can begin turning in the direction of sustainability.
Finally, I’m finding that the amount of tweeting going on with movement is tremendous, and I think that it’s a great way to keep quick tabs on what’s happening with other cities’ occupations. So I’ve started a twitter specifically for this same purpose. Here I am: http://twitter.com/#!/petefeltman
I’d love to see you on the streets soon!