December 05, 2011
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?
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.
"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."