Notes From Occupy Listening 3 (Pride weekend in San Francisco)
For Pride Weekend Occupy San Francisco invited me to do Occupy Listening (asking people their thoughts and taking notes) at their booth. I took them up on their offer. Here are the results:
Person 1) Like Occupy but don't care for violence, prefer the MLK approach. I care most about people losing homes and economic issues. I don't see how Pride fits in with Occupy. Telling people to take money out of banks and supporting prisoners is good.
Person 2) Saw a lot of people from Occupy on the news when I was in prison. Like the movement and wouldn't mind getting involved. Drugs need to be decriminalized. There needs to be a victim for there to be a crime. Instead of sending me to prison, you should be helping me if I am only hurting myself. We should have a march on Market Street against police terrorism in the black community and persecution of the homeless. We can't even feed the homeless and we are sending troops to fight all these wars. I am still struggling with addiction and not getting enough help. When I get clean I want to help children not to make the same mistakes I did. There should be field trips to the Tenderloin to show kids what drugs do. Read "Behold a Pale Horse". We need to make a push against the Illuminati. I have a lot of ideas on what we could do. The economy is based on BS. It is a form of control to keep the masses tamed.
Person 3 ) Really glad for Occupy movement. It is like an awakening with people getting power to change things. Would like to see every person feel good about themselves and feel empowered. Change starts at that level. By the time of High School, each individual has a story to tell. People need to feel that what they have to offer, other people need. I was very moved in Berlin when a local responded to my praise of the city with " Berlin is good, but how much better it would be if we hadn't gotten rid of our gays and Jews." I've seen situations of division and antogonism much worse than what we are facing get solved when no one thought it was possible. If we think of Occupy as being against banks etc. it is missing the point. We need to draw on people trained in banking and finance.
Person 4) Would like to be able to afford a home and not struggle. Would like to feel my hard work is rewarded. I want an even playing field. Occupy speaks for the people. It is not not just an idea or an ideal It is more tangible. It has the backing of and following of the people. I want to help by being part of the critical mass of supporters.
Person 5) Occupy is great, the most positive movement going on!
Person 6) Occupy is the only way for young people to have a voice. They have been shut out of the corporate press. The older generation has stolen your future. Chris Hedges and other people fighting to get a voice for the people have been very supportive. Haven't been involved myself out of fear of getting arrested.
Person 7) Want to see the income of the lower middle class go up because it keeps going down. I can't live on it. I am struggling.
Person 8) Care most about labor issues, unemployment, and the attack on unions. Unions provided the base for a middle class. We are the job creators because we are the ones that create the demand. Occupy plays an important role in 2 ways. It revived the idea of people getting together to fight back and it changed the national dialogue. When the crisis hit, we should have nationalized the banks and railroads. Nobody needs $100 billion. We should expropriate the wealth with a one time tax.
Person 9) People should have respect and love for each other.
Person 10) Occupy is a giant conversation. Before it, the younger generation never had a voice. It started on a good track. We need to decide points we are going to work on. It is difficult for an unorganized group to do anything. Not sure how we can bring people back now that some of the crazier elements are over. We can't protest in the same way as in the 60s since the police are different now.
Person 11) Need to get some of the things we are fighting for straighter so that the public can understand and back us up. We have lots of people on our side incuding government and police officers. Police officers are not the enemy. Remember that and don't harass every officer.
Person 12) The government shouldn't take money from non-profits that are trying to help people. They should support them instead. Banks should't get so much money. I like how Occupy is peaceful and stays peaceful. Oakland's blowout made Occupy look bad. Overall Occupy does a good job with the resources it has.
Person 13) Care most about how globalization is making the nation-state system disappear. The nation-state system shares wealth through taxation. I am from Japan. At present, the global economy is the biggest threat. The situation is very desperate. I am not optimistic. The Occupy movement is good enough but should have more communication with the mainstream. The struggle is necessary.
Person 14) They should give us jobs, every one of us. They take too many taxes from the poor. If you don't have insurance, it is very difficult. The rich could give more.
Person 15) I'm a victim of Credit Card companies. Elizabeth Warren is doing good work. I was robbed by banks. I used to trust banks when I was younger. They make charges that put you under so that they can tack on fees. Need reform! The 1% should pay more. We all pay taxes. When Democrats say the 1% should pay higher taxes, it gets spun into sounding like they want everyone to pay higher taxes.
Person 16) The #1 thing to do is get corporate money out of finance and get the banks reregulated. When was the last time you got a decent interest rate? It is nice that they bailed out banks, but are banks lending to small businesses? We have a lot of social issues today because of organized religion. If people reached out to share Jesus's teachings, that would be good. But that is not what is happening. What did the Catholic church do when children were being molested except turn away? If we don't take care of the earth and each other, where will we go? We cannot ignore science. Bailing out corporations is not capitalism. The Occupy movement needs to be for the long term. Climate change will be the defining factor in all of this. The public cares, but the political will is not there. Some people who tried to capture the movement couldn't because you are too diverse.
Person 17) Top concerns: corporate money in politics and Citien's United. More focus on political goals and direction would be better. I was involved in marches earlier, but faded out. Would volunteer more if there was more activity in political campaigns and putting pressure on politicians.
Person 18) Love Occupy! Was part of Occupy Maine. Top concerns- Financial Situation, who is controlling the vast amount of wealth. My father ad a nice house, 3 kids and my mother didn't work. We could afford vacations every year. I have watched the ability to have this standard of living slowly erode. A few people are getting rich while the rest are struggling. I watched prices increase (particularly oil prices) while corporations made record profits. The rich are getting much greedier while the rest are suffering. People who work hard deserve to live and enjoy life, not just survive. They shouldn't have to work 2 o 3 jobs to get by. The rich have gotten used to taking things from us. It used to be gradual. Now it is like pulling the carpet out from under us. I come from a military family. In the history of this country, there were maybe 2 righteous wars. Now there is a lot of political wars, profiteering off of destroying countries and their cultures. The military industrial complex won't change until we stand together. We need to stand together and not get divided by race, class religion, etc. Our response to even Pearl Harbor was criminal and I had a relative who was hurt in Pearl Harbor. We need to stand by the Geneva Convention. After rebuilding Iraq, it will be filled with McDonalds. Why do people need 20 homes around the world? People should benefit from the fruits of their labor, but there should be limits to wealth. Occupy has little splinter groups. They could be made by infiltrators to make Occupy look bas, but Occupy needs to police itself. OakFoSho is good at calling people out. Incidents are used to stigmatize the movement and drain outside support, particularly when corporations control the news. Independent livestreaming is great. Occupy is a movement where people can get in where they fit in and d wat you can whenever you see an opportunity. When I couldn't be in Zucotti Park physically, I did a lot of online communication coordinating people to go there. Can't get away from using corporations (PayPal, cell phones. etc.) but try to minimize it. From 1000s of miles away I helped Zucotti to grow. Saw it grow from 100s to 1000s. Enjoyable to see little things help so much. Need to get back to the basics like i the Occupy Love video.
Person 19) Could be homeless soon. Live in San Pablo and am isolated. My manager claims when I move out that I will owe $30,000. It is the real estate broker who owes it, but he never paid the fees he should have. My manager is a fundamentalist Christian and knows I'm gay. People have beed coming into my home when I am out. I imagined how nice it would be to live in a smaller twon with a lower cost of living. A while back I was hit by a car. It put me in a terrible financial situation. Attorneys don't care and I didn't receive much compensation. Glad Occupy is protesting nonviolently. Should be careful of infiltrators. Saw men in black marching with OO carrying sticks like they would beat the cops. This really hurt the occupy movement. Interesting these guys call themselves men in black, like the aliens in the movie. Hard to tell if someone is infiltrating. They could just have Asberger's syndrome like I do. Try to encourage people to vote for Obama, even if there are issues with him. Want to reach out to the homeless, but it is hard because they use drugs. I keep trying to figure out how to help the homeless. Maybe they could help me too. I need help with things like picking up groceries that are physically difficult for me. Need to reach out to small towns. They are even more oppressive.
Person 20) Used to bring food to OSF. I'm all for the 99% movement. I would move money to a credit union, but cannot because it is difficult to keep the minimum balance. BofA is the worst bank. They used the bailout money for bonuses for top executives and charge a $5 fee to use ATMs. Every time I go by B of A they have body guards standing near. It makes me nervous. There are empty buildings that could be renovated for homeless to live. People could donate money to for the renovation and the people that live there could get together to make decisions like in a co-op. Poor people need to get involved. I'm living on the edge financially. I save all my pennies and need them, If I lose my job or something, I won't be able to pay my bills. I went to City Hall to complain about police harassment of homeless. Let people sleep on the streets. It is public property, but people have to clean up after themselves too. There should be more garbage cans.
Person 21) Everything Occupy stands for is right on!
Person 22) Occupy has been important for building a network of people who want to see change. Occupy doesn't need to stick to a rigid format though. I know people don't want to talk. They want action. But right now we need more conversation to break away from identity politics so that we can be truly cohesive. We need to come up with concrete examples of what is wrong. Getting into identity politics takes us away from economic issues. We need to build rapport and trust and not just be a bunch of diffuse loosely collected people shouting that they want change. We need praxis.
Person 23)Occupy doesn't understand reality. Two things Occupy should understand are free enterprise and incentives. I have stopped working because of lack of incentives. We have unemployment because American wages and jobs are shipped to China. The poorest person in America is wealthier than the poorest people around the world. There is unlimited potential for wealth. America has a culture of consumption that needs to change to a culture of production. The money I saved by giving up small things I have invested and mostly succeeded. People should give money to soup kitchens and homeless shelters to establish a floor on poverty, but it takes capital to do that. Read Karl Marx's Das Capital. He understood capital better than most. Moving money to credit unions is a good idea. It keeps money local where it will do more good for more people. Government can never do anything very efficiently. Socialism failed because socialism killed incentives. Regulation should be fine tuned to stop killing incentives. The question no one seems to be asking is why healthcare in America costs twice as much as everywhere else.
24) Worked with Occupy Sacramento. Occupy has gotten people to stop being complacent, think for themselves and confront disparities between rich and poor. I am concerned about public financing of elections. People need to live within their means.
25)Top concerns-fair trade, fair labor standards, Citizen's United, economic justice, a fair tax code (non-regressive), equality for all people, high unemployment. have not had a permanent full time job since January 2009. Corporations have all the rights, but not the responsibilities. The political corruption rating for the US has gone from one of the best to one of the worst. I'm concerned about free speech. The treatment of Occupy made free speech a lie.
26)[This is a place holder for a soft-spoken, elderly homeless man. He asked if he could email me his thoughts rather than say them because he forgets and wrote down his email address. The email bounced back, but I saw a FB account that might be his. Hope he is OK. Saw him lying asleep on the sidewalk with people walking around him when I left for the day.]
27) Support Occupy but don't see why 45 cars from the SF Gay Men's Chorus were vandalized on the eve of May 1. Some of them were old cars. We have to work with the 99%. I understand being offensive can be needed sometimes. Either you can abandon the 99% like I did with the Catholic church or fight from within. Many gay people were put off by the Mission Street violence, thought Occupy is just a bunch of hoodlums. It is not a good thing to have no structure. Gay people did not break windows in the White Night riot. Hangers on where there to feed off the anger and to do whatever they want do to, and ruin it. That is why this parade is so important. I have been active in the Gay Rights movement from the beginnings of this parade and the SF Gay Mens' Chorus. For the parade, we take a very proactive approach to preempting violence so that we don't have a repeat of the White Night riot. For 20 years, there hasn't been an incident. We have monitoring sessions for everyone. People surround the Christian Fundamentalists to protect them from any violence. I saw Harvey Milk killed, but what better way to protest injustice than through song. With the SF Gay Mens' Choir, we have even done masses. Reaching out is important, making little concessions to show that we are bigger people. The 1st cardinal rule is to do no harm.
28)We have to do something to change things. I'm too old to come out in a mob. There are lots of good people in the movement. Don't like it when people break stuff. Police repression gets excessive, like the pepper spray at Davis. Occupy hasn't fully gotten through to the middle class yet. Need to get Obama back in. He is the only one doing anything for gays and poor people. People need to get out to vote. It is the only way to change things.
29) Feel ambiguous about Occupy. As a student of law, I hold the law in respect and don't believe in occupying as a tactic. But the message is one that needs to be spread. Goals shouldn't be sacrificed for a Democratic idea. When unions were involved with Occupy, there was positive attention and positive impact. When it was more strictly camping, there were more not so good fringe elements. It was moving to see union members clean up after Occupiers, but I wish their energy was channeled more productively, like teaching people how to get involved in campaigns. If we transcend petty disagreements, it should not be so hard to get to more universal goals with genuine substance.
30) Want to see equality, taxing the rich like Robin Hood, doing good for the community. It is good to help the homeless, but don't do foolish things. Saw fights at the encampment. If you see someone taking photos, it is probably harmless.
31) Top concerns- Education, health care especially of Americans In the 60s California was 2nd only to NY state in quality of education. Now only KY is below it. I like Obama's health care plan since it was first planned by Truman. It used to be a Republican plan, fought by Democrats. I am concerned about the deteriorating health of Americans and what it will do to the Medicare budget. Have been unemployed since 2005. Occupy provides a balance to the Tea Party but has lost the media coverage. Would like Occupy to organize enough to run local candidates that openly say "I represent the Occupy movement." Would like to see politicians talk to people from the other side of the aisle respectfully again. I registered as Republican to vote against the worst Republican candidates. I belonged to the Peace and Freedom Party for a while and also the Libertarian Party. I left the Libertarians when they started asking for money because one of the things I like about them was that they didn't ask for money. Would love to see the jobs sent overseas come back here. Not sure how to make that happen since its an issue of wage differentials and people here might not want those jobs. A guy who worked for GM used to be proud of his job. Now there has been so much union busting that GM workers have low wages. People need to get out of the me generation and into the us generation and think about consequences. Even in Occupy meetings, it is important to talk about consequences of actions. Here is a Shaw quote that makes a nice signature "My freedom ends at your nose."
32)Occupy is about all issues. When I was in jail with OO people, the other prisoners asked us why we are here. We all had different reasons. I care about economic and social issues, teaching youth not to just accept the status quo. The government should be more responsive to actual needs of people and redistribute wealth. Occupy is in the mainstream consciousness. It is a household name. Its language has gone into mainstream politics and conversation. It split off in one direction and we will have to see where it goes. We have to keep trying. Need a lot more outreach and networking. Need to keep up momentum and action. Hope 30 years from now it will be in the history books like the 60s protests. Occupy has been able to do a lot with little resources.
33) Occupy needs to clean up its act. I agreed with getting corporate money out of politics. The 101 camp did more harm than good.
34) 100% behind Occupy. there are so many issues from so many directions. For the last 20 years the working class has been on he losing side. Keep it simple. The voices of the people will eventually outweigh the money and power distribution.
35) Occupy doesn't have specific goals. Heard about the Occupy movement and never knew what it was trying to accomplish when they set up housing downtown. The changes I would like to see are things that would make my own life better. Need to live somewhere where housing is more affordable. Some financial firms have toll free numbers. You could overwhelm them with calls. Credit card companies charging 20% interest is obscene. CEOs are pulling in millions. They can't spend it all. So busy trying to clean up my own life that I don't have time to get involved in Occupy.
36)Some of the things Occupy does is good. Some of it goes over the edge.
37)Occupy is good. The challenge is to take it to the next level. How do you turn Occupy into something that can change the composition of elected officials.
38) Want citizenship for people who have lived here their whole life. My sister is not legal. Why does everyone have to work so hard for nothing? Raising the retirement age is BS. People that old should be home with their grandchildren.
39) Everyone should have education and health care. Stop the greedy mentality. Globalize justice and human rights. If a carpenter in the US makes $20 an hour, a carpenter in China should too. We are all the same people. We all want a good life for our family and friends. Greedy people in power control the institutions, but there is enough wealth for everyone to have a nice life. I travel a lot and see that all human beings are essentially the same. Not against globalization, but there has been a separation of feelings and power. People in power have lost their humanity. "Think global, act local" is a good sentiment. Translate the respect you have for family and friends to encompass the whole world. There is too much emphasis on money and success. In Spain 80% of the people I know don't have a normal job. 20 years ago it was completely different. I am so old that it doesn't matter that much for me, but for young people it is ruining their future. There are 6 million people unemployed and 6 million more with miserable jobs where they have no rights and no security and they are still insisting that workers have too much power. Even if someone has $100,000 in the bank, they still worry if it will be enough if something happens like a medical emergency. If someone has a problem with one tooth, they don't know if it will cost $1000 or $10,000. In Spain, when property values went up, tripling some places, they touted the virtues of neoliberalism. Now property values are back down to where they were, but unemployment is widespread. We are much worse off than we started 10 years ago. In the last 30 years, people let go of their social responsibilities. They left spirituality to religion, but the religious institutions hurt us. Power was given to politicians and bankers and then they used it to ruin our lives. For young people, life is off track and they don't understand anything. In America companies are controlling the economic situation in the world, but their meaning of life is completely different. Their meaning of life has changed to greed. Before Occupy, I was feeling bad that not much was being done. People in Spain were blaming themselves, internalizing the situation and not talking about it. At the Occupy demonstration, the anger started pouring out of my gut and I found myself shouting. It felt good to get it out. Went many times to OSF. Tried to collaborate, but one problem (drug use, mental illness, and ego people) took over the focus. OSF should be more global and more for everyone. Growth based economics is crazy. We are finishing the resources of the planet. We need to decrease instead of grow. We don't need to keep working and consuming more and more. The economy needs to shrink. We throw away to many things, so much food and plastic, etc. We already have enough material things. Everyone will have to be involved to change things. OSF tried to be inclusive. but some people kept hogging the stage. Occupy cannot solve the lives of individual people. In the 80s San Francisco was vibrant with many world movements, but the city has mostly changed.
40) Supported Occupy 100% but now am against it. Now people from Occupy interrupt day to day people trying to go to work. It got the wrong crown-winos, drug addicts, and people who were never going to contribute anything to society. There is nothing wrong with the banks. Smashing an ATM was BS. Now I would like to join an anti-Occupy protest and I'm a Democrat with a union pension. After Occupy got taken over by the wrong people, the movement should have been dropped and started over.
41) The education system is what I care about the most. Education should connect children to nature because that is where we really learn. Take half of what we spend on prisons and give it to for education- art, music, physical education. Make kids feel like they can create something. Restorative Justice believes that if crime is a wound then justice should be healing
42) Live in Oakland. OO has made some mis-steps. They are out of touch with what the rest of the country desires. Police etc. are part of the 99%. OO is inclusive in some ways, but not others. The national Occupy movement is better that way. The bottom line needs to be economic justice and violent revolution might not be the best way to achieve that.
43) Stop war! Almost got drafted in 1970 (very scary). Wish everyone could get along.
44) Redo the whole prison and political system. Health care and housing should be a right for everyone, but it's not going to be easy..
45) Really want Occupy to work. The movement lacks leadership and organization. Love the fact that people are taking to the streets and having their voices heard. Before Occupy I was wondering why all the hippies were watching TV again. The most important thing is the environment. If there are no trees, who cares about the economy? Need to hold banks accountable. They are funding coal-fired plants. We are pulling the trigger on ourselves slowly, but it doesn't have to be like that. If we protect old forests, slow down carbon emissions, etc we might have a chance of still being OK in the next hundred years.
46) If things don't go well at my job, I might call Occupy to help. Concerned about the VA. A friend in Sacramento was treated like cattle at the VA hospital. Occupy Stockton was too narrow in scope. It should focus more on going after Wall Street and banks and fixing things most important to US citizens right now. Get big rig drivers to surround the capital. It could get attention and get people to look around at what's going on. Are elected officials really acting on behalf of their constituents?
47) My top concern is being lesbian and not getting criticized for it. There should be more gay education in the classroom. Occupy should be less judgmental. Listen to the heart and don't judge by looks.
48) Like peaceful protests. Agree with the issues Occupy raises, but wish there was more organization. Want to see how it progresses. Most concerned about debt- student loans and credit card debt. It all falls under the umbrella of income inequality. Occupy is good at raising awareness, putting a face on issues. It could be a political movement to challenge the Tea Party. Haven't gotten involved because of fear (police crackdowns etc.) Want to see Occupy have a voice in politics like the Green Party. Don't like the system, but this seems like the only way to change things.
49) Occupy is making progress toward getting the govt run by people, the way it should be.
50) Nontransparent incarceration like Bradley Manning is scary. People shouldn't fall asleep and be silent about issues. Bringing the conversation into the public has been good. Liked not having a cohesive issue because it allows people to say what they care about. Beautiful to see people serving each other without asking what they can get for themselves, people getting resourceful, overcoming barriers to becoming good. Occupy gave other social movements strength. People need to keep connecting so they don't feel alone. Occupy made space for everyone to join and be useful. They were willing to listen to how other movements can fit into Occupy. Very welcoming. What I would like to see more of is children from all backgrounds talking together. Need more events for people who can't break from work, Beautiful to see a safe place for houseless people. There should have been better enforcement of a substance free area. AA meetings at Occupy would have been good.
51) Should be occupying in wealthy neighborhoods. Heard a bunch of money was recently given to develop an upscale neighborhood. Need to put pressure on all politicians. Depressing seeing UC students $30,000 in debt after the first year. The cost of living is difficult in the Bay Area. There are so many issues, but education is not even on the table. Students are leaving due to costs. The #1 thing on a students mind is getting a job to pay off all the debt. People are criticizing a lack of a clear goal, but Occupy gave people a way not to be alone in the struggle. Really excited to see this movement target education. Already concerned about how much debt I have. Just passed a trillion dollar farm bill to keep subsidizing corn. A bill for more funds for campus security easily passed, but it is difficult to get anything for students. In the 60s different groups inspired each other. After Occupy elite intellectuals and Harvard professors have had a platform to speak, but where were they before? Good intellectuals are talking, but the real thing is for people in the street to have a platform to speak. Occupy Santa Rosa died out from lack of communication. A very involved friend stopped going because there was no agreement on goals. At some point, need to draft a petition of demands (e.g. decrease the Pentagon's budget). Need an elected group of people to present those demands.
52) The Prop 29 campaign for increased tobacco taxes is a all about protecting the 99% against the greed of the 1%. The tobacco companies spent $50 million, the first million of which went to focus groups to learn how to confuse people. The tax money would go to research on tobacco related diseases. Years ago the tobacco industry used to say that if tobacco was a problem, they would take it off the market. Would like to see Occupy linked to all such attempts, not just Prop 29. We should have public debates instead of popularity contests that go to whomever has the most money. Would like to see Occupy endorse Prop 29 and get more involved in such initiatives.
53) Things are not right. Occupy is a valuable vehicle for change.
54) They are taking things away from us as we sleep. The rich won't let go. They should stop taking everything they can. It is all going to perish eventually anyway. But let's not wait until everything perishes. Let's come together to help each other now.
55) I'm a socialist. Would like to see equality of everyone. There is no need for there to be rich people.
56)My top concern is people spending their lives not doing what is best for themselves or others. My other smaller, but still large concerns are - a large percentage of government spending goes to the military. There is much less for housing and health care. -money in politics, foreclosures, student loans, climate change -not getting overwhelmed by how much there is Occupy is good at making people aware of the power of the 1% over everything. Effecting change is a lot harder and slower. Occupy is less than a year old. I came to support 101 1st Street and the expected Justin Herman raid. I also helped serve at Thanksgiving. Less focused since November or December. Occupy Bernal is doing good work on foreclosure auctions, but haven't been aware of much else other than a few big actions.
57) Every organization has bureaucracies and hierarchies. Have to have faith that something can get done without them. Occupy has taken a very laissez faire approach to organizing. People had an "It's not right" instinct. Occupy has given an outlet for people to have a voice. It is an organic synthesis of everyone's voice. The 60s generation got disappointed because they didn't accomplish everything. But they laid a foundation. It only takes 10% of a population to adopt a mean for it to spread. There are enough people out there that feel something is not right. If corporations were aliens, we would declare that we are being occupied. If resources were being sucked up and polluted by aliens the way that corporations do, we would declare war.
58) My parents hear 1% and wonder why they are being targeted. It should really be the 99.9% instead of the 99%. Occupy attracts too many hobos and anarchists. The idea that everyone's voice is equal doesn't work because some people's opinions suck. Some people are capable of being captain of the ship and others are better at helping out.
59) Care about health care, immigration reform, and rights for everyone. Obama may not be perfect, but Romney is so bad we don't have the luxury of criticizing Obama.
60) Top concerns-not living in a self-sustaining way, corporations having too much control, too much money in politics. Occupy needs a mission statement. [Jane of Occupy Bay Area United hears this and points to the mission statement on the OBAU flier] Agree totally with the mission statement! Glad nonviolence commitment is there. Really pleased to see it. It gives credibility to the movement. People look at you funny if you can't explain why something is important. I'd like to take a few extra fliers to share with my coworkers, but not so much that it overwhelms them. Work in a bank where most people are very disconnected from politics.
61) Care about broader LGBT rights. Am a big fan of Occupy.
62) The greatest success of Occupy is legitimizing the anti-capitalist perspective. Before Occupy, Michael Moore had started to do this. One weakness of Occupy is that it is primarily a white-led movement. Another is that it has stayed away from electoral politics. Revolution in the sense of the Paris Commune is not possible since those in power could just kill us all. They have infinitely more power and money and will stop at nothing to stop any threat to their power. Occupy thinks if we all just come together and work hard we can change things. Love Occupy for continuing to raise awareness. It is possible for it to move forward in a positive direction. Occupy made the distinction between the filthy rich and everyone else. Needs to be more inclusive to people of color, immigrants, and disabled. It is perceived as a white movement to many. It suffers from the problem of too much democracy. The changing the world by consensus idea is BS. Need people to come up with a strategy. Would give money, but not going to give up a Sunday evening to be with people who are hangers on with nothing better to do. There are thousands of people like me who haven't been to a GA. We are an untapped resource. Don't want to go to a meeting without an agenda and with rules I don't understand. It is a mistake to characterize this movement as just about economic justice without mentioning the racial injustice component. People in public housing don't care about corporate personhood. They care about food stamps.
63) You need petitions on schools. You need signatures to get heard. Then you need to get elected officials who support you.
64) I support Occupy fully. You have such good points out. Your facebook page is so inspiring. Appreciate all the work you are doing.
65) Would like to see banks responsible for foreclosing. I'm a foreclosure victim. It all happened so fast.
66) What makes me really angry- Recently went unemployment for the first time in 20 years. Was told they don't give out checks any more. Instead we get a BofA debit card from which BofA takes a cut as a service fee.
Limerick by Richard Ivanhoe
A woman from Visitation Valley
Went to her bank and did not dilly-dally
But her home was foreclosed
The banker looked down his nose
And said she could sleep in an alley
She said "This just isn't right
I can't take it without putting up a fight"
She met with Occupy and with ACCE
For some help with her place
And was home by the following night
Could be kids working on a class project.
Do what you love and what feels right.