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Occupation Station

Tonight’s occupy Cleveland General Assembly meeting – foto Smith

Just stood in the cold for an hour for tonight’s Occupy Cleveland General Assembly so Lady could offer a proposal to help slow down a bank evicting a woman with cancer. It was 29 degrees Fahrenheit but felt like 16 according to It’s going down to 20 tonight – what’s that going to feel like . . . 7 degrees?

Tonight’s hour out in the freeze and blow hurt my feet, hands, neck, and ears. How do these young adults stay out there 24 hours a day 7 days a week manning the open Occupy Cleveland info tent without heat, without tents, without sleeping bags, without electricity, without gas to cook hot food?

I know their youth makes them stronger, sturdier, able to acclimate and endure more. And I know their protesting our country’s rigged money game is going to be one of the moral highlights of their lives, perhaps one of the most important things they’ll ever do for themselves, and us. But still, it’s so cold, bitter.

Lady tries to make it a wee bit better every morning by taking down 4 hot egg and cheese sandwiches for them (or a quiche and fried potatoes, or this morning it was a Spanish omelet) plus a large thermos of coffee one day, cocoa the next (all of which is seriously damaging our low income budget and is forcing us to shop at the Great Satan Wal-Mart so we can afford supplies),

The 8-14 constant info tent occupiers (who refer to themselves as the Troglodytes) wanted December 24th off to rest and shower and drink and party and get warm so Lady decided she would start her 39th birthday off by having us take the 5am to 10am shift.

We started off comfortable and warm in the 29 degree cold, but as the hours pass, the heat seeps from your body and cold creeps in. We spent most the time huddling on the heated sidewalk around the steam grate trying to keep various body parts warm — something I’ve seen the homeless do for years.

By 10am when our relief shift was to arrive I was cold, miserable and more than ready to go home, so of course our relief didn’t show up. Three hours later at 1pm a couple of the regulars returned and we took off. But that 8 hour shift in the cold on the concrete gave me a whole new appreciation for what these occupiers are doing.

And they needn’t have to. Cleveland’s Mayor Frank Jackson is just being petty, pissy, shitty in denying them electricity, heat, tents, sleeping bags, sleep, cooking while hoping that the elements will defeat us where his police mercenaries can’t.

This is especially galling because Cleveland lets Christmas shoppers set up tents in parking lots so they can camp out over night to be first in line for the Big Box Store sales, and they let the Cleveland Brown fans have grills and fire barrels for their illegal tailgate parties, so Mayor Jackson is selectively enforcing city laws — if breaking them benefits his Corporate masters, he looks the other way; but if breaking them involves free speech and the use of our civil rights which embarrass his Corporate owners, he has his SWAT team arrest us.

According to the recent U.S. census, one of every two Americans is slipping into poverty, while less than 1% of the rich own 90% of this country’s wealth Рin fact 6 of the Wal-Mart descendants own more wealth then 50 million Americans combined.

This is sick. Just plain wrong. And very shortsighted.

Occupy Wall Street has changed the conversation in this country. Before OWS, this gargantuan disparity in wealth was seldom mentioned in the news; now it is talked about everywhere.

And if the rich and corporations and politicians listen and heed and actually do something about this grotesquely unfair rigged con-game that brings such disparity, we can turm America into a nation we can finally be proud of. If they don’t, then blood will run from boardrooms and mansions into the streets, as it morally should.

Making things fairer might also turn out to be financially more rewarding and definitely physically safer for the elite.

The rich need to realize there are repercussions to their theft and lawlessness. It is in their best interest to start paying their taxes, start paying their employees decent wages, establish universal free healthcare and education, and to stop raping the Earth.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I will remember Mayor Frank Jackson’s corporate ass kissing actions when I walk into the voting booth next election and vote for anyone but Frank Jackson. And that includes any other politician I get to vote on who is not actively supporting Occupy Wall Street.

People and politicians forget that protesters changed the racist segregation laws in this country, forced Nixon to get out of Viet Nam, forced men to give women the vote, forced slave owners to free their slaves. Principles and protest and persevering actions and dedication can and has changed things for the better.

It’s all up to us.

Occupy Cleveland 2012 – foto Smith

One Response to “Occupation Station”

  1. chris says:

    thanks for this blog.. and thank you to the young hearty souls in the Occupy movement for what they are doing for all of us.

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