Monday, December 19, 2011

Occupied Communique #8

December 19, 2011

Dear Unity,

The Day of Re-Occupation started off joyous and celebratory, but ended unfulfilled. Above is an Associated Press photo of myself and my buddy (the hands grasping my backpack behind me -- so we don't get separated in the crowd) heading up the ladder (previously disguised as a protest banner) to get into vacant lot that used to be Duarte Park. You can see the eager, happy child-within shining forth on my "gnarly and stalwart*" face, and my full backpack and one of three med kits of supplies. I had planned to be there for a long time, but 10 minutes was all I would get before being ordered to my knees and zip-cuffed with 3 other medics and about 46 other Occupiers. Included within our ranks that day was Bishop Stephen Chinlund, Bishop George Packard and four other christian clerics of note, as well as our brave and courageous Hunger Strikers, Diego and Mallory.

Let me frame this event in its historic, religious, political and civil aspects.

Juan Pablo Duarte Square and Juan Pablo Duarte Park was more than the focus of Occupy Wall Street's Day of Re-Occupation, much more. Juan Pablo Duarte is one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic. The highest peak in the Caribbean is named after him, and he is usually labeled as a visionary liberal thinker. He also was one of the founding members of La Trinitaria, a secret nationalist society dedicated to Dominican independence from Haiti.

Trinity Wall Street Episcopalian Church owns Duarte Square, including the vacant, fenced-off "park" slated for skyscraper development. Occupy Wall Street has asked for permission to use the lot but Trinity Church has denied the request. Trinity Church owns the land upon which the Stock Exchange is built, and owns enough property and wealth to be the second richest christian church in the world. Only The Vatican is wealthier. Make no mistake, Trinity Wall Street Church is a card-carrying member of the 1%.

Diego, Mallory and the other OWS Hunger Strikers decided to follow in the nonviolent footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi, while the christian clerics were following in the neighborly footsteps of Christ Jesus, and the Occupiers were following in the civil disobedient footsteps of Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.. All were aligned against the duplicity of the corporatist Trinity Wall Street Church. It was a legendary and epic confrontation.

The deciding factor was Trinity Church's denial of the "love thy neighbor as thyself" doctrine**, and the resultant use of the New York City Police Department to violently deny the public access to the vacant lot.

Trinity Wall Street won that battle, but the revolution continues unabated. We are still here. They may be able to keep us from occupying public space in the full exercise of our rights, but they cannot keep us out of the city. We are everywhere, and if we choose we are anonymous -- we are the 99%.

The NYPD handled us with kid gloves that day, perhaps because of the presence of the clerics and hunger strikers. Even still, there were serious injuries among the Occupiers that were suffered during the police action. Injuries included head, neck, face and torso injuries from baton strikes and foot, knee & fist attacks. Some Occupiers were thrown to the pavement and kneed in the head, back, arms and legs. The zip-cuffs were often tightened too tight causing acute pain and possible chronic nerve damage. The health needs of the Hunger Strikers were ignored, and all of us were demonized as criminals and crazy people.

My zip-cuffs were too tight and my requests for loosening them went ignored. My demand that the hunger strikers receive medical attention during the arrests was not ignored -- I was told they would be sent to the hospital instead of the jail, but they lied; Diego & Mallory went to the same place and received the same non-existent medical care that the rest of us did. That is why some Street Medics choose to be arrested with the Occupiers -- so that they can provide emergency first aid while in the holding cell, and so that they can liaison with the police on the victim's behalf. All four of us medics provided medical services during the incarceration, and the police provided none.

Upon being released I was met by our Jail Support Team outside the Police property, and they tended to all our needs. Jail Support includes legal, medical and comfort services. My medic buddy and I joined the Jail Support Team after being tended to, intending to wait for the most seriously injured of the Occupiers to be released and then transport him directly to the hospital -- which we did. We stayed with that victim through that hospital's tests, and then rode with him in the ambulance to a better equipped hospital for further tests. We stayed with him until we were relieved by other street medics. My buddy and I had to then navigate bus and subway routes, with all our medical and Occupier equipment, to a temporary place of shelter in order to sleep and get ready to hit the streets again. Our 36 hour shift was finally over.

I did not get to participate in the Immigrants Occupy rally, march & GA on December 18, as I was still working on December 17 when the rally started. I was finally asleep sometime about the start of their General Assembly.

It is now the 19th, and I have to go figure out where I am going to stay tonight, and whether or not I will be working the night (and day).

All of this did not go on in isolation. The same day, the 17th, in Cairo, our sisters and brothers in the 99% were viciously attacked, beaten and senselessly brutalized. That same fate is in our future. With the National Defense Authorization Act the power and desires of the 1% are blatantly obvious. Now we know exactly who the FEMA camps are for . . . us. You. My child-within wants to hide, but there is no sanctuary.

This video below is of Cairo, December 17, 2011. It is a portend of Occupy Wall Street's future. Watch it and wake up! Only you can save us. Occupy Everything!

* "Mortimer is a trained street medic, one of many gnarly and stalwart veterans of the protest scene who form an underground collaborative of more or less medically savvy people who get their qualifications more from experience than from classrooms.The FixDoes Occupy Wall Street Have a Drug Problem?

** Leviticus 19:18 & 19:34, Matthew 7:12, 19:16-19, 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 06:31, 10:25-28, Romans 13:08-10, Galatians 05:14, James 02:08

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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