#OccupyWallStreet - Lessons of the first 10 days
During the first 12 days of the #OccupyWallStreet protests, my family had the flu.
My wife was laid out during the first week and got sidetracked during the second week. It was rough for me, as I was unable to go to to NYC to show support the way I had wanted too. So, instead, I did what the press was not doing, I reported on it. How? From my couch!
Yes, I went online and found dozens of pieces of relevant information and footage of the events, and I re-posted them. I started off only wanting to mirror some of this stuff, for my YouTube channel, but by day 7 I had finished this 80 minute film:
At that point I continued to collect all the videos I could, as the press was silently ignoring the occupation. At the end of day 12, I finished this, another 80 minute film:
On day 13, my patience finally paid off. I collected a full car trunk's worth of food and posted an offer on Facebook, mentioning my desire to take it up to Zucciti Park personally as an act of Solidarity from ZM Philly. A nice couple was kind enough to offer me and my 7 year old son a ride there and back for the day.
As soon as we got there, the sky opened up and for over an hour we stood there, in the rain, with green plastic ponchos on. After getting the food out of the car, we were given a tour of the encampment. I asked everyone around for information I could bring back to Occupy Philly, which had over 300 people scheduled to arrive at the planning meting that same night. By the time the rain ended, I was also done most of the networking I'd came there for. It was nice to see a guy eating out of can of ravioli from the stock I'd brought up already. I felt like I was already home, thanks to the welcoming and openness I'd received. 'Ketchup', a red-headed girl with glasses introduced me to the facilitators and gave me copies of "How to run a General Assembly", which she'd just had printed.
In one of the videos I'd seen online, which I left out of the edit, was a group of beautiful and free, young ladies who were at one point, dancing around topless, chanting "We can't afford a shirt! We can't afford a shirt! We can't afford a shirt!" My wife was very impressed by these women and their brazen acts of liberation, and I was given a big, warm, hug by one of them. I remembered her looking much thinner than on the video.... she'd gotten skinny, a week out in the rain and not eating right, left her feeling weaker, and so she was not as exuberant as she'd been on the internet. She had made an undeniable sacrifice of her health, for her ideas.
ZM NYC members were out on the closing bell march, so I never did get to meet them. However, when I asked about their participation they showed me videos of them giving speeches and information as well as even a bit of music. So, in further solidarity and in collaboration with ZM NYC & ZM Philly, I present to you, for the end of this blog entry, one last link, this time to a video edited for Zeitgeist Philadelphia, and made with ZM NYC's True Hip Hop style....
The Founder of ZM Philly Chapter and I went to #OccupyPhiladelphia the night before this was written. We found out, on Nov.15th, #OccupyPhilly is due to be removed to make way for a $55,000,000 ice-skating rink. So, we're reaching out in solidarity with Earthship Philly to offer a better use for these funds, considering that in Philadelphia there are over 4000 homeless who could benefit from learning how to build their own sustainable home, such as an Earthship. $55,000,000 could teach people a lot of many valuable skills they could pass on, which could get many of them off the streets, off the grid, and would never need a hand out again.