Saturday, December 10, 2011

Occupied Communique #5

December 05, 2011

Dear Unity,

Time. Nobody knows what the future will bring, but one thing is certain: we are not going home. We are home. The Occupation is home to many of us here. Home is a place where you know you belong. Home is a place you know you must protect. Home is a place where you are loved. OccupyWallStreet is my home, and I live with hundreds of other people who all feel the same way as I do. It was with great joy we welcomed the Farmers March yesterday. It was with great joy we watched Liberty Plaza fill up with happy people. It was with great joy that we saw dancing again in Liberty Square The farmers came to Liberty Square on Sunday, and we welcomed them and their message of sustainability, seed exchange, local food, and no more GMOs.

MOFGA was there. Jim Gerritson was there. Maine farmers were there. One sign made me smile widely. It said: "MAINE FARMERS OCCUPY!" Yeah, baby! That's how we roll! Whose land? Our land!

It was beautiful. The march was a long one through the east side of Manhattan. City folk were amazed to see more than a thousand farmers, some with cardboard pitchforks and torches, marching proudly and happily through the streets shouting slogans of independence and defiance. Whose food? Our food!

When we got to the park the Brookfield Properties security goons got out of the way and let us pass without trying to bully us. Bullies are cowards at heart, and the large number of people scared them. The police, however, are terrified of our drummers, and they intervened to block our drummers from getting into the park. Bringing a drum into the park is a capital offense nowadays. On Thanksgiving, during the feast we gave for everyone (including the 1%, the police and the politicians), 20 police entered the park and tried to arrest 1 drummer for criminal trespass. We all came to the aid of the drummer, preventing the police from arresting him by demanding they arrest all of us on the same charges. The police walked away empty-handed.

The drumming is the heart of the revolution. The drumming is the pulse of change. The drumming is our voice lifted on high, defiantly proclaiming "WE ARE HERE! WE ARE THE 99%! WE ARE NOT GOING HOME!"

They are terrified of our drummers.

I am always happy to see the drummers, and I am moved to action whenever I hear the drums.

We estimate we have 350 homeless people within the occupation of Wall Street. They have been staying at churches, in the subway, in alleys and doorways and rooftops, in shipwrecks and abandoned buildings, and everywhere there is shelter and a modicum of protection against the 1% and their hired guns (the police). The churches have not been as open as they could be -- trying to force their hierarchical system upon the people they have invited in - appointing bouncers and instituting curfews and lists of acceptable people. I was on housing duty as a medic at one church when I was faced with an ethical dilemma. Occupiers who were not on the list were being turned away. Occupiers who were on the list but were late arriving, were turned away. Women were told to go sleep in the subway. Women were turned away to walk the streets alone at night. People were turned away but there was plenty of room in the church for a couple hundred more people. This is not how the Occupation treats people. The Occupation welcomes everyone. The Occupation makes room for everyone. I could not hold my silence, and when one bouncer declared that the Occupiers coming late were disrespecting the church and the rules, I declared: "The church is disrespecting Jesus Christ, so the church can go fuck itself." Jesus preached a message of love, kindness and inclusion. He did not preach about lists and curfews and obeying rules. I walked out of that church because I could not be a part of turning people away when there was plenty of room for them.

Speaking of room . . . I lose my living space in less than a week. On the other hand . . . in two weeks another church will allow us to occupy an empty lot they have -- that is if the powers that be don't prevent them (political pressure was put on them immediately after they announced). In the meanwhile I will be wandering about with the poorest of the homeless. I will not take refuge in a church while my brothers and sisters are being turned away at the door. I will walk with my brothers and sisters. I will walk all night, sitting here and there and nodding for a few minutes at a time. I will stay at Liberty Square even though the security goons do not allow anyone to lie down or to sleep, and harass us all night long. I will not go home. I am home. Whose city? Our city!

We are working on several new occupations, including a farm (or two), a national forest, abandoned buildings, donated spaces and more. We are not going away, yo! We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Best Regards,

Ed Mortimer

"Only when the last tree has died
 and the last river been poisoned
   and the last fish been caught
             will we realize
      we cannot eat money."
            -Cree Wisdom-

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