*Updated 10:15 pm Oct 14, 2011
I’ve heard murmurs in grocery lines, on friend’s couches and in the posts my acquaintances are plastering on Facebook. Much of the direct communication I’ve received about “Occupy Wall Street” has been supportive. Technology has made it easy for like-minded individuals to plan together and it has made it easier still for those opposing a nationwide opposition to make snide remarks about people they would never confront at the picket line.
At one time this nation embraced activism and protest. At least they shot tons of archival footage of Americans: women, men, black, white, and of all ages sitting in, walking out, protesting or forming a union strike. Somewhere in our history those people stopped “believing in democracy” and the “power of the people” and simply became “jobless, lazy, uninformed lackies of whichever political party the media chose to demonize that particular election cycle”.
In the sixties I’m sure loads of people just wanted to have sex in the mud. There is nothing wrong with that per say. It was a lifestyle appealing to those who didn’t particularly care for or embrace the kind of political awareness and social change the movement was founded on. Media hype almost never presents a clear picture, just try to find an unbiased news report!
It is easier to disregard them as conservative fundamentalist tea partiers or paid-to-protest Obama goons. These protests are built around ideas, not politicians and political parties. It only takes people exercising their Constitutional right to assemble peacefully. It doesn’t matter if they all swear allegiance to something or the same things, the important thing is that they are willing to start a conversation. Many Occupiers do show signs of embracing the honest ideas of Ron Paul but even he is not fully embraced by his own party.
There is simply no excuse for the hate I’ve seen being spewed at the protesters already. And they aren’t even there yet! Here are comments from the story posted on our local newspaper’s website: (Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier) Full story here.
Potato Feet said on: October 14, 2011, 2:43 pm: “Schwartz said they will need supplies and food at the campsite once the occupation is underway.” There’s the big problem. What, you want somebody else to DONATE labor to load up trucks and deliver MORE freebies? If you can’t take care of yourself, ask your parents for help.
TimXXX said on: October 14, 2011, 12:30 pm: Keep them out of overman park. Let them campout in jail.
avee said on: October 14, 2011, 1:17 pm: Pray for rain, sleet and snow. Who does this Swartze work for or does he?
GLW said on: October 14, 2011, 1:09 pm: We’ll see how dedicated they are to this goofy movement in about 4-6 weeks when it’s about 22 degrees above zero out there.
Nikon0245 said on: October 14, 2011, 1:06 pm: Nothing like good o’l Cedar Falls coming up with an original idea. I didnt think it was a party, it was a protest.
slipstream said on: October 14, 2011, 1:05 pm: Old gray hippies and young wannabees. Followers, not independent thinkers.
The story also made the front page of our local news station’s website: (KWWL)
View the whole story here or click the linked image above.
“Similar demonstrations have turned violent in the last few weeks, including dozens of arrests over the weekend in Des Moines. Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson said, he’s seen what has gone on in other cities — and watching as an officer, it’s disturbing.”
There are ground rules but it seems like we will be able to stay as long as we would like.*Police chief Jeff Olson has shared the ground rules on KWWL’s evening news and says as long as they don’t disturb the neighbors or drink there should be no problems. He adds: “I don’t think we’ll have much problem monitering them.” Yes, these demonstrators will be camping out in front of the Cedar Falls Police Department! It will be a short ride if anyone does get out of hand but the coverage was positive for the most part and everyone involved wants it to end well, they are just not sure when the end might come…?
Organizers of this local event have learned from the missteps of other protest groups. Several dozen activists were arrested for camping out at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, the very same place I toured and took photos of last month!
“The organizers of Occupy Cedar Valley said, they’re learning from the problems protesters are facing at the state capitol. Some of them were at the planning meeting of Occupy Des Moines, and had concerns that was being thrown together too quickly. So before they launched Occupy Cedar Valley, they wanted to reach out to police, get the okay, and then plan a place and time.”
Protesters will be walking from the University of Northern Iowa, the college I graduated from in December 2009, 2.5 miles to Overman Park in Cedar Falls Iowa where they plan to stay for as long as it takes. The Occupy Cedar Valley page has been around for just over a day and it already has over 200 members. (I sent a request to join that group in the middle of writing this entry! *And have been accepted!) The last planning meeting started about twenty minutes ago at the university and the demonstration is getting attention in local media outlets. Support and apprehension have been expressed, even some misguided and poorly informed hate has found its way in comments on these news stories and on the walls of groups and events about the occupation of Cedar Falls.
This blogger is preparing for the days ahead. Charging the camera batteries. Thinking of what provisions she can provide… People in the town she was born in are starting to wake up. Tomorrow they will all come together and see what can be done with this corrupt system we’ve inherited.
My hope is that through my words and snap shots I can express our frustrations, fears and ultimately our solutions and dreams for a better idea. It starts just like this, a few towns transforming into strong communities. We can do it, we can take care of one another and let our collective voice be heard!
We don’t need people calling us lazy, we will reconstruct a country we can all be proud to live in. As long as we agree to listen and to not let them divide and conquer.
Tomorrow, Cedar Falls joins the rest of Iowa, the nation, and the world in this great movement toward a system of government that does not include corporations or the Federal Reserve. Defend capitalism all you like but you can never put a price on freedom, not once you’ve given it away for the sake of false protection and security.
Please leave your comments, I am very interested in your take on the Occupy Wall Street Movement as a whole and what is happening where you live!