On November 21, 2011 Occupy Charlottesville members addressed our city council and tried to make a case for our physical presence in a public park. Despite an appearance of support from the council, we were soon after forcibly evicted and 18 people including myself were arrested for “trespassing” in a public park while peacefully protesting. That’s another story though. The link here shows my statement in defense of the occupation (you can see video of some of the other speakers as well on the same account). I heard so many inspiring words that night, and I could not be more proud and honored to be able to call these smart, lovely, kind people my friends.
Originally posted November 26, 2011:
“It isn’t working, look how many problems you have!”
This is what I hear every day all day. It would seem people have gotten the false impression that the occupy movement was intended to magically create utopias all over America over night and now they are gleefully jeering at our failure to solve the worlds social and economic problems in two months. I would like to have some of whatever these people are smoking. I would like a lifetime supply of it actually.
I don’t think anyone except perhaps a few VERY optimistic high school students thought that they would change the world right away, or create a perfect system. There are no perfect systems, only better and worse ones. What I did think would happen was that a lot more people would give a shit and show up, so I guess I’m a bit disappointed about that part, but I have a lot of hope for the things that have come to pass. I’ve met other people who believe in what I believe, and together we’ve empowered ourselves to act instead of just dreaming. I’ve made connections with people who might be able to help me help others. I’ve made friends that I can’t imagine not knowing and loving. I’ve given myself a future and a purpose, which is more than I ever dared hoped for. I’ve seen that it isn’t all or nothing. Small groups of activists might not be able to change the world, but we can change parts of it. We can make the lives of the people around us brighter and more hopeful, and we can support each other in our actions. Maybe people will see us and wonder if they could also be brave enough to do everything they can do not just what they are told they are allowed to do. Maybe every act has a ripple effect and some day we will be a tsunami that will take over the world. I plan on making some waves. Care to join me?