So, We Went to Occupy San Diego…

…and at first it was exciting.

As we rounded the corner heading toward the downtown park, we could hear the light rumble of protesting voices, maybe a drum or two, and a few whistles and hoots. With camera in hand we entered the park, just beginning to bustle with the young and old; the professing; the raving; the protesting. Signs abounded: “This is the face of democracy” one sign read with a shimmery mirrored section to reflect onlooker’s gaze; “We’re here for our money, bitch!” read another. A man stood on a ‘soap box’ and yelled, spitting-mad, about how he had the signature of the chief of police on a crumpled piece of poster board. He said he knew what was up, and that we all should follow him in exposing the conspiracies. Many views were represented.

People lit candles and sang a peace song. A retired soldier took a stage and told us that he was in support of the movement. People cheered.

A few people were chatting, many were watching, and some were setting up tents.

There was a food table with free bagels and coffee and snacks. Donated I suspect. There were people with “Security” written on duct tape on their chest, and they were perusing the crowds with a pseudo-authoritative eye.

There were police, and they were shaking peoples hands making small talk – But not many police. Only the motorcycle kind. For some reason this seemed less threatening to me, and maybe that was their goal.

It was all very organized for having launched 2 and half hours earlier.  It surprised me. I felt detached, for I had planned nothing; I merely showed up.  This made me think about Boston, and New Hampshire… my home turf.

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The Occupy Boston website (how 21st century, our social change movements have websites!), had information about the general disappointment with the financial system, corporations, and the economy. It had information about donating via your credit card, ordering pizza for the protesters, and how your band can play at the protest.

Free food, music, posters, camping on the grass…..  Upset about ‘The System’ but driving corporate-made cars, with corporate-fuel, eating corporate-funded and produced food, and enjoying their corporate-made tents.

I’ve been told you vote with your dollar. I’ve been told to ‘be the change you wish to see.’ I don’t understand how setting up a protest music festival equates to social and economic change on a large, practical scale….

The change I wish to see includes educated, free people making informed choices about how to live and what to consume. I’m for freedom of speech, and I support the Right of people to protest whatever they want, wherever they want, as long as it does not detract heavily on the freedom of others.

I’ll not be camping with the protesters in San Diego or in Boston, but I will continue to try to be conscious of what I buy, where I buy it, and who and what my buying (or not buying) effects. I’ll continue to explore with a ‘migrant state of mind,’ questioning, adjusting, and dialoguing my way through the inequities of life.

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Comments
2 Responses to “So, We Went to Occupy San Diego…”
  1. Alan says:

    As you say , ” educated, free people making informed choices ” , but” informed” requires true and accurate disclosure of information. The frustration for all of us is derives from the complexities of our economic system. I’m afraid that these demonstrations are little but vented frustration. As we search for the “answer” , keep in mind that the answer is only as good as the question. The focus , the work at hand, lies in the question that needs to be well defined, which requires education and true knowledge.

  2. Ann Ives says:

    and that my son is how we raised you…….so glad you get it. It is always a struggle to step away from the corporate machine of our society and many times quick impossible. But…..as long as you stay educated and aware, you can make changes and more importantly choose to try to step away as much as you can….and always, always continue to work to live simply and honestly and be true to who you are and want to be.

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