Give Presence

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.  I spent part of my day with the Oakland crew that is occupying/de-colonizing.  A speaker from the Ohlone Tribe reminded us all that white people have been occupying the native land for well over 500 years now.  To shift from “occupying” to “de-colonizing” is necessary for us to move towards sustainability.

I was also batoned by OPD officer Hewison yesterday.  The short story is this:  A truck with porta-potties pulled up at about 3:30pm so that the t-day feasters might have a place to do their other business.  Unfortunately the cops wouldn’t let the porta-potties come down off the truck and so a mini-riot ensued.  One of our comrades was arrested and we all followed him down to the police car which he was being forcefully shoved into.  I was standing in about three feet from the curb and all the occupiers were making a big fuss and so the cops started making a bigger fuss.  Officer Hewison approached me with his baton extended and demanded that I step onto the sidewalk.  Before having time to comply, he hit me in my upper left bicep.  There wasn’t really any pain, but I’ve decided that any force used on me is inappropriate so I went down to the station to file a complaint.

I hope more people are filing police brutality complaints (remember that the cops are required to receive and investigate them).  It’s a great way to jam up their system even more.

Anyway, today is Black Friday.  There are a number of theories about why today has such a name.  I’ve had the hunch that it’s called Black Friday because the most pure form of consumerism has a soul-less dark void at the heart of it.  I’ve also heard that it’s called Black Friday because it is the one day that the corporations can be assured that their financial spread sheets will be “in the black.”

Regardless of it’s title, it is a day for all of us to resist capitalism and the constant stream of waste that it produces.

Buying nothing today is a good start to slowing the machine down, but an even better activity would be to start giving presence.  Make yourself the gift to give this season.  Your own loving kindness is so much more valuable than a pair of jeans or piece of molded plastic.

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