Monday, November 28, 2011

Occupy Eugene Is in Solidarity with Occupy L.A. (And all the Other Occupations)

Hello Good Brothers and Good Sisters,

As I settled into my chair after I long day at work I got a text from a comrade in Occupy L.A.

Enough relaxing. The text alerted me that Occupy L.A. is facing pressure to close from the 'authorities'.

So I got on the world wide web and read a little about what was going on
(here's a few pretty non-biased and good links for background info:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/28/us-usa-protests-westcoast-idUSTRE7AQ0PM20111128

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/1128/Occupy-LA-eviction-deadline-passes-and-protesters-file-suit-to-stay-put)

It turned out that another Occupation is facing pressure to disband and stop, a pressure we at Occupy Eugene feel as our December 15th deadline circles over our head like a vulture. So in LA, After a long night of protesters and police standing chest-out in an all night face-off; a night in which Occupy Los Angeles responded to their eviction with a party. I am very glad to read that the police have not pursued violence in their attempt to remove our brothers and sisters. Likewise, I'm very glad that our Occupy brothers and sisters have also chosen the path of non-violence (By the way, our Police officers are our 99 percenter brothers and sisters as well, let us not forget).

I would like to contribute to this national dialogue. I do not speak for Occupy Eugene as I leader. Rather, I humbly speak as a member of Occupy Eugene. And as a member of Occupy Eugene I STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH OCCUPY LOS ANGELES AND ALL THE OCCUPATION'S ACROSS THIS GLOBE. AND MY HEART IS WARMED KNOWING THAT SO MANY OF OUR OCCUPY BROTHERS AND SISTERS ALSO STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH EVERY OCCUPATION MOVEMENT ACROSS THE GLOBE.

For those of you that do not participate or understand the Occupy Movement. Allow me to simply state: WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY. Occupy is a state of mind, an idea whose time has come. To all the cynics out there, please understand: WE ARE OCCUPYING FOR YOU.

WE ARE OCCUPYING FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE, ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY, FREEDOM AND LOVE. WE SIMPLY WANT TO CREATE A FAIR PLAYING FIELD FOR OUR CHILDREN TO GROW UP WITHIN AND TO REACH THIER FULL POTENTIAL. SO WE OCCUPY. THIS IS OUR MOVEMENT, WE MIGHT HAVE TO EVOLVE TO KEEP MOVING, BUT WE WILL KEEP MOVING. I BELIEVE IF DR. MLK JR WERE ALIVE HE WOULD OCCUPY WITH US AND CHANT "WE SHALL OVERCOME!"

Let us not forget that it is our first Amendment right to peaceably assembly. Therefore, we occupy public spaces to keep our protest visible, it is our way of making sure that we don't forget about the problems of our system. It is our way to find solutions to the problems of the system. By occupying public places across the globe our ideas have permeated the public consciousness. That is why we are in the news everyday, more and more dialogue is being focused on unreasonable and unnecessary Economic Inequality.

The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa has stated "It is time for Occupy LA to move from focusing their efforts to hold a particular patch of park land to spreading the message of economic justice and restoration of balance to American society."

To which I reply: We are focusing on Economic Justice. By Occupying Wall Street, parks, Malls, foreclosed houses and Banks, we are bringing attention to those who have grossly distorted our system and profited of our pain and profited of the over-consumption of natural resources. May the Mayor of Los Angeles, and those who think like-minded everywhere realize that to truly restore balance to American society we need to address Economic Inequality on both the top and the bottom of the Economic Ladder.

The Occupy Movement has been attacked because our physical locations are filled with homeless people. Let us not forget, these are our brothers and sisters in the human family. These are good people, with bad habits. Yes they are prone to drug use and violence. These are people who have fallen through the cracks of our current broken system. These are the warriors of our tribe. Whether they understand it or not, their presence has the potential of improving the situations of our brothers and sisters who are one injury or illness away from being homeless themselves and/or our brothers and sisters who lost their 401K and worry about old age. They are the casualties of the outsourcing of labor and the erosion of our public school system. They are veterans, burned fuel of the military industrial complex. Their presence is bringing awareness to Economic inequality. Their existence speaks to the injustices of our current society. They can heal, they have potential, and talent to give. They are our brothers and sisters, they are US.

As it says on the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless tempest to me. I lift my lamp beside thy golden door."

And if given the chance, we will work with the downtrodden and addicted, with our tents and buckets of water. We will work with this humble reality to realize a more just, compassionate, and sustainable system.

SO LET ME ONCE AGAIN CLEAR UP CONFUSION: THE OCCUPATION MOVEMENT IS NOT ENDING UNTIL THE SYSTEM IS FIXED. THE SOLUTIONS TO FIX THIS SYSTEM ARE ARISING ORGANICALLY AS WE HAVE NATIONAL DIALOGUES ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OF OUR CONTEMPORARY SYSTEM. BY OCCUPYING PHYSICAL LOCATIONS WE ARE EMBODYING THE BEST OF THE AMERICAN SPIRIT.

Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...
-Plaedo

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Message to Occupiers Everywhere- We will Endure

This was a speech I delivered to a stormy GA at Occupy Eugene recently. Most of my life I am a fool, but on occasion I am able to stir up some words of inspiration. This is one of those occasions, in which the movement moved me in a way that allowed God (or spirit, or nature, inspiration, whatever) to deliver some good words out of my mouth.

I got a call at work saying morale was extremely low. Fights had even broke out. On my way from work to the occupation some tears fell down my cheek and words started to come to my brain. At each red light I wrote down what I felt needed to be said.

At the site, We start each General Assembly with a Morale bit. I called everyone to come close and form a circle with their hand in the middle, and I began to read these words that were given to me.

(Mic Check)

We are individuals
Forming a family
married to a movement
The honeymoon is over
Morale has been low
That's okay
This is natural
we are being tested
because our challenge is great
greater yet, is the change
we are trying to make
Let us not forget
these problems have been around for a long time
It will take a long time to fix these problems
of economic and social injustice
of mistrust and disfunction
May we remember
that through strength and courage
faith and endurance
trust and love
their will be no challenge
we cannot overcome
may we remember
why we came
and that this movement
is bigger than you or I
It is bigger than occupy Eugene
It is a global movement
to change the world
and I'm not ready to quit
I believe we can change the world
I believe in you
Because if we can dream of a better world
and if we can believe in a better world
then we can achieve a better world

Never in my life had I felt so much energy flowing through me. There was a hard to describe current being built up in our hands as we read these words. Never in my life have I been so proud to be a part of something. Something so great, so admirable. I am so honored to contribute to a cause with a group of so many talented, focused, beautiful human beings. And through each of us doing our part, contributing our own flavor of genius, we will succeed.

Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...
-Plaedo

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