Monday, October 10, 2011

This Is What Democracy Looks Like ...

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet on my side of the internet recently. I’ve been busy with stuff around here. Between work, family obligations, and my normal two nights out for clubbing and open mic night, I’m usually busy but still have enough time for other things. Last week my schedule for work suddenly was switched, however, and I’ve also been spending most of my extra time downtown for Occupy Norfolk.

Details under the cut...

Starting last Thursday, a group of us are occupying downtown Norfolk in solidarity with the protests/occupation up in New York City. We have a solid core group of people involved, and are gradually reaching out. Everything came together really quickly, so we’re still organizing everyone and assigning work parties for around camp, etc. Thursday was the first day, as I said, which was mostly just a planning day. We met up in the morning and all introduced ourselves, then began making signs and figuring out logistics for the weekend. I was unable to go out on Friday because I worked 730-530, but Saturday as soon as I got off work at 2 I rushed over.

Saturday was the first big day for us, with over 100 people in attendance. There was a rally at 11am and a march at 1pm, both of which I missed due to work. The second march at 5pm, however, was amazing. It’s hard to describe, but even though it was only about 130 people in attendance (very small number compared to the population of the city, obviously), it felt so powerful. Thrilling. Wonderful.

Today we marched at 1pm and then spent the remainder of the afternoon working through details for the camp in our working groups. I’m going to be assisting Peacekeeping in making sure that we stay a non-violent demonstration.

It’s all coming together very well, and we’re organizing everything to prepare for a long haul. We intend to keep this going as long as it takes. Literally. Our little area downtown is being treated as a mini village, and we’re all figuring out which donations are most needed and how everyone can best help things to run smoothly around camp.

I’m so excited to be a part of this. It’s big, and still spreading. Over 1000 cities worldwide are either in the middle of occupations of their own or somewhere in the planning stages and intending to begin one very soon. Something this big can not be ignored. We’re making history and changing the world, a little bit at a time. Seeing everyone come together for this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing to see everyone put aside any little differences they may have and work toward one common goal. People spend so much time being divided by petty things that don’t matter on a daily basis. We’re raised that way. The best way to keep people from rising up and actually changing things is to remind them of their differences.

At some point, none of those little differences are important, and people are fed up enough to ignore them.  This is that moment.

Here’s a video from a local news station that aired today about our march at 1pm. I’m in it quite a bit because I was very close to the front of the group.

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