Handcuffs. I know it sounds extreme, but I love the first amendment, and true love means being willing to do the kinky stuff.

Otherwise titled "oops, we lied to you, get out!"Early in the day we were resigned to our fate and ready to accept other options. Later when we found we had no options, and we were told the free speech monument was even off limits for a protest space, a lot of people got angry and decided we would leave when they made us leave.

Originally posted November 30, 2011:

Heads up everyone, things are happening today at Lee Park. We are being kicked out of the park at 11 pm tonight, but our stuff needs to be out by 6. Some people may be staying in an act of civil disobedience, but there are many other things you can do without any risk to yourself. Be a ride for someone who needs to get out, be transportation for personal belongings so the police can’t claim “abandoned property” and take it, be a witness to everything that happens. Bring cameras, bring words of support, bring your kids so they can say they were there and be cool at school tomorrow. Share this message with anyone in the area who you know who might care about what happens. Show up, especially if you’ve been telling yourself that you would if only you weren’t so darn busy. I promise very few of you have better things to do tonight. I’ll see you guys in the park!

The aftermath was anger and frustration at the lack of anger from others. There were and continue to be so many rumors that our city council refuses to put to rest, and so many accusations that are unsupported but continue to circulate about how much we cost the city, or the wild destruction we caused (that miraculously disappeared in a matter of hours). I am still angry. I thought writing about what happened to us, at least in general terms would help. Maybe it did a little.

Originally posted December 2, 2011:

It has been suggested to me that writing about bad experiences helps you deal. I’m not convinced, but at this point my other options are setting things on fire or getting drunk, so here it goes.

For almost two months now I’ve been part of something amazing. I’ve met people that I will love for the rest of my life, I’ve had experiences I never could have imagined, and I’ve gotten to feel completely safe and supported for longer than I ever have before. I’ve also seen terrible things. Homelessness not just in the sense of lacking permanent housing, but in the complete absence of safety and community. Hopelessness, because not only are things bad now, maybe they have never been good before and probably never will be. Lack of respect for basic human rights and decency, perpetrated by higher powers and even ones peers. Need greater than I have ever experienced even in my hard times. Abuse, addiction, despair. The feeling of futility one finds sometimes being one small group fighting a mountain of apathy and ignorance, two enemies that seem to have endless reserves.

In the end the powers that be lived up to the names we’ve been calling them and we were lied to, betrayed, and evicted. Some of us were arrested. It was difficult to watch, and panic inducing to once again in my life experience that kind of arbitrary authoritative power being used against me, but getting arrested was the easy part. Right now the world is insane, and I think being in handcuffs in the back of a police wagon with my friends felt like a more realistic experience of it than walking down the street the next day and watching people going about their business, still somehow able to pretend like everything is OK. Things are not OK. I am not OK. The world is fucked up, and last night I couldn’t handle the crazy duality of the injustices all around us and drunk yuppies on the mall bitching about their hair or their phones while they blissfully ignore reality. I broke down.

At this point you’re probably thinking that I’m being melodramatic. After all, our arrests were fairly peaceful. Only a few of us had minor injuries and we were released fairly quickly. As people keep saying “This isn’t Oakland!” Yeah. I get it. We had it easy compared to the people beaten and tear gassed in other cities. I got off with a minor mark on an otherwise clean record and some bruises. I have the support of friends and lawyers. I’m still young and white and female in a system where those things are no small advantage sometimes. That isn’t the point. How crazy is it that I have people telling me I should be grateful for only being slightly violated by authority figures during an unlawful arrest? How batshit insane is it that people still think “compromise” means slowly giving ground while the other side refuses to consider negotiation? I’m tired of all this hippie bullshit about how we have to try and see things from the other side and have empathy for the people who hide behind a uniform or an institution and refuse to stand for what is right because they fear the consequences. Fuck that noise. Some things are just wrong, and it’s not only ok to say it, it’s our duty as caring human beings to fight against those wrongs. Stop lowering your standards to accommodate increasing abuses of power. Stop looking the other way when you see injustice. Stop saying “it isn’t that bad yet” because some day it will be, and won’t THAT be embarrassing. It’s time to decide if you’re ok with the state of the world, and if not, it’s time to grow a pair and fight back. This is a battle that has been going on for centuries, and it won’t ever be completely won, but I refuse to be complicit by my inaction. I’m pissed, I’m stubborn, and I have a lot of spare time on my hands. It’s not much, but it will have to do.

Kali

I am prone to both violently rejecting people taking me seriously, and insisting that I have serious things to talk about. I also enjoy silly hats, puppets, and protesting the evils of capitalism while drinking massive amounts of fair trade coffee.

A guest blogger position you say? PERFECT!