Economic & Social Justice

Author Archives: Occupy The Roads

Occupy Raleigh, NC

January 13th, 2012 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Occupy Camps | Raleigh - (0 Comments)

We arrived in Raleigh, NC last night and once again met with the sweetest people.

Occupy camps are filled with the BEST! We want to give a BIG shout out & thanks for all of you across the Country who are putting up with the weather and police to uphold the OCCUPY movement for those who cannot or choose not to be outside. Your commitment to the CAUSE is one of true dedication and we wouldn’t be here without you! You make us all proud and we love you.

Last night we were honored to have lots of Occupy Raleigh’s finest, who came and went as the night went on.  Just before winding down Jeremy Gilchrist broke out the guitar and played us his (now famous since playing on BBC) song called “we are the 99%”.  We will post a link to his site as well as post the video from last night.   Thanks for making us so welcome in this great (albeit Conservative) city!

Occupy Charlotte, NC

January 11th, 2012 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Charlotte | Occupy Camps - (0 Comments)

Feeling much better (from a nasty cold that took around the clock rest to finally feel human again) as we rolled into Charlotte. From the website we couldn’t tell what was happening. Was there an Occupy? Information was vague at best and some mention of dissension (this seems to be a trait since mid CA). We arrived thinking we’d find a coffee shop and find some people who might know more. Immediately we stepped out of the RV a Nice security guard asked if we were part of a group that marched there this morning? Ah…no, but why would this matter? He didn’t offer up info, we found out later. Went in for coffee and to update info/pictures all the while watching 4 (now) security guards taking pictures of the RV. There appeared to be much commotion going on. Then, a couple police officers showed up. I was legally parked and fully paid (2 stalls) as usual. I found myself quite amused at the whole thing as I sat watching them out the window. Heron came in to tell me our time was almost up on the meter and we shouldn’t give them any reason to ticket ….all the while he was being followed by a Bank of America guy. Who, once in the coffee shop (yes that’s right in the shop next door to BIG BA) proceeded to ask me “What my intentions were”? Dazed and truly amazed I asked who he was. Immediately and very proudly, he mentioned he represented (was employed by) Bank of America. He appeared most uncomfortable that Heron was taking his picture as I kept talking about the “Great Cause Occupy” that we are representing. I was now on the street mentioning to the cops that we were ALL the 99% and were fighting for them too. Mr. BA seemed irritated. Later that evening we found out …It appears the people they were referring to earlier were marching for 4 who were arrested on Saturday for looking into the Bank of America’s windows. They had been detained until today (Wed. morning). I watched the video of the arrest and couldn’t believe that they were arrested for trespassing. Did you know that BA owns half the sidewalk? Now that’s Corporate with a capital “C”. Yes, folks this is the home of Bank of America. Now I’m pretty sure that we’re all over the FBI site as Domestic Terrorists. I just want to make sure I don’t end up in a FEMA prison for life before I get to D.C.


Occupy Atlanta, GA

January 9th, 2012 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Atlanta | Occupy Camps - (Comments Off on Occupy Atlanta, GA)

Atlanta, Georgia
A community member named Patrick spoke to me about the forming of the town of Atlanta, and how it came to pass. He mentioned that western Rail Road wanted to create a “terminus” at Decatur, Georgia, seven miles east of downtown Atlanta. The town was moved to a very small settlement near peach tree ridge. What was an old Indian trail is now Peach Tree Street). This is an old practice, that was very common place throughout the united states at some time, where native foot paths were cleared, widened, and turned into primary roads, which broadened out to be corridors that cities where eventually built around the regions. Subsequently, the burial grounds of the indigenous and their culture where placed under cement and asphalt, which is rediscovered during excavation practices. At best, they are documented and moved, or kept for show. At worst, protocol is avoided, and the remains are desecrated, and plundered through, then forgotten about, post destruction.
The railroad surveyors dropped the mark at “zero mile post” located near Decatur st, Alabama St., and Peachtree St., up around what came to be 3RR town of “Terminous”, later renamed Marthasville after the current GA Governor (at the time), some later years the name was changed to Atlanta.

The community of Atlanta is quite vast, yet many overlapping civil rights groups come together for the common good. We attended rally — “to bring awareness to those on death row”. During this march, several speakers shared their concerns on ending the cycle of violence perpetuated against the people who are falsely accused, and requesting an appeal prior to their execution date. The battle for this event seemed to be, “everyone deserves a second chance.” With this, there is a movement to talk to the representatives in Georgia, while organizing and finding solutions to broaden the issue and discuss other obvious social concerns.
A reverend for the area spoke, “God attempted to put us back in the battle in small numbers, that have been whittled down and thinned out.” He spoke about himself being a faithful Gideon soldier, who would be exemplary, by hanging on til the end, through rally’s and numbers, holding strong to the ideology of “Know Justice, Know Peace”. He said, “none of it matters, unless it culminates, is honed, and turned into focus.” He said “the powers that seek to manipulate and divide the people hope we wont come back to the ballot box to vote”.
According to the Reverend, the police kill poor kids, with whatever excuse in mind, on behalf of mandates by the police chief, who take their orders from the mayor, and others who get back into office and do it again, because social change does not follow through to its end. We are the missing link in that facilitation process.
The Occupiers in Atlanta are holding strong and we admire their tenacity in the face of such oppression. We will be your voice around the world. (Heron, edited by Janet)

Occupy Birmingham, Alabama

January 8th, 2012 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Birmingham | Occupy Camps - (0 Comments)

Chosen for its strategic location, the occupy camp has been positioned outside the region center, and the wells Fargo bldg.. The structures here have been intelligently designed, for a minimal loss of group materials in the event of a raid. Between one and three tarps are pulled over a collection of pallets, forming a skeleton, which allows for a tight sheering surface to shed rain. This also provides a hard to brutalize rest chamber, which cannot easily be torn down, drug off, or compacted in a truck. In this way, very little is lost in the event of a police raid, relative to cost of goods for the movement. That being said it has been voiced unanimously, that the police in Birmingham have been quite cordial and respectful. We hope things stay that way and the Police and Occupy Birmingham continue to work together and be an example to other cities in the U.S.
The G.A. spoke primarily about interpersonal conflict with someone who was embezzling money from the movement, and who had made threats to several individuals in the past. Beyond these concerns, there were a multitude of exciting actions and points of community education that were coming out for the group. Notions of a community wide candle light vigil for the vacant homes within the community around where the GA’s are held (which also is intended to speak to the multitude of transient / home-free individuals, who want and need housing in the region) came up in conversation. They want to have an account with the credit union to make funds more transparent, for both occupiers and those funding the movement, was purposed. A 24/7 newsletter, which would allow all the members of the community to know of exactly what is happening with the movement, at a glance, without having to attend the GA’s. The need to form stronger ties with a medley of other organizations who could help stabilize and give strength to Occupy Birmingham. H.I.G.A. (Hispanic Immigration Coalition of Alabama) for one, which seeks to keep Hispanics from being harassed, detained, or wrongly imprisoned. These kinds of unifying forces are just the beginning of stronger grass roots movement building, for the good of the entire movement.

(written by Heron, edited by Janet)

Occupy Jackson, MS

January 7th, 2012 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Jackson | Occupy Camps - (0 Comments)

Our initial fear of driving through Mississippi with a 31ft “Occupy” billboard was quickly set aside when we arrived at the home of “Occupy Jackson”.  This Occupy Camp, like so many, had just recently been evicted from the park, but then (thanks to a generous lawyer) were given space in an office building at 121 N. State St. on the 3rd floor.  The exposed brick and wooden floors gave a warmth immediately upon arrival.  The Occupiers were busy organizing their new space and getting ready for the Blues Marathon that was to begin early morning.   Sandwiches were being made by Judy and Derenda.  Signs were being made, songs being played on guitar and everyone pitched in to help.     Immediately upon arrival we were offered sweet tea and Gumbo (excellent) as we settled in to hear the stories of Jackson, MS.  Each person arriving greeted us with open arms and admiration for what we are doing.

Awakened by blues music at 6:30 am we scrambled outside to find joggers and walkers of every age and nationality readying themselves for a 26 mile marathon, from 45 States.   As the runners lined up to receive their numbers and take place in the line up a few pictures were taken to capture the excitement.

Once the race was underway people in the crowd scattered, knowing that it would be 3 to 5 hours before the first runners would reappear  to cross the finish line.  During this time we used the office space to download, upload and update ourselves.  At 11 am Jackie arrived at the office and invited Janet to a luncheon with the “Bodacious Broads”, which consisted of a suburb bunch of ladies who met once a month to discuss their trials and tribulations.  Each and every one of these smart, well rounded ladies had a story to share and all agreed we needed to have a fairer, better government for the people.

The General Assembly was held at 2:30 that same afternoon where everyone came together in the board room to discuss items on the Agenda.  The meeting was cordial, fully participated in and organized. It was an honor to be part of this group for almost two days and to have our fears set aside once we realized Jackson was just like every town America!


Occupy Shreveport

January 5th, 2012 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Occupy Camps | Shreveport - (0 Comments)

Though the city is in a state of economic upheaval, and many of the buildings are neglected, there is an underlying feeling of need for social change. When different industries with money have come to town, like the movie industry, (the keys to the city are opened wide for these entities, provided that they pay handsomely for their use) it would seem they are providing revenue for the area. It is with some hesitation that funds provided by these groups are not allocated in ways that consider the wellbeing of the city as a whole.

The down town sector has been newly refurbished into a high end consumer plaza. There are top of the line stores and eateries leading along the edge of the river. They provide good means and new opportunities for well-established corporate businesses, however local jobs are the only immediate outcome. The people that are hardest pressed here are those who were born and raised in the area.  People whose jobs have become obsolete with the closing of factories, and the changing of the means of production. Here, in Shreveport, Louisiana, it is all too often business as usual, which offers economic advantage to only a small percentage of the populous.

Though our RV was visited by several local people, who wanted to understand our message, the most curious and insightful one was Aria. This young woman had more worthwhile queries than have been presented in quite some time. She talked about growing up in the area, with mentalities that are slow to progress. “If you don’t like Shreveport, you might as well leave, cause it ain’t gonna change”, Aria said. With that kind of doubt placed in the minds of the people, areas like this one need the most assistance in aid in the simulation of new thoughts and ideas. We must remind one another that we are all capable of the transformation, and worthy of support. It is easy to become emotional, or feel repressed / undermined by the current social and economic circumstances, yet the ability to rage against the dying of the light.  by -Heron-

Occupy Dallas

January 4th, 2012 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Dallas | Occupy Camps - (0 Comments)

Dallas is very supportive community working itself through the perils of interpersonal conflict through resolution. Strong and insightful supporters who are passionate about their beliefs and the desire to make change. With the dismantling of our camps we have a stronger need to communicate and be strategic in our plans. Despite a recognition of dividing factors our strength as people in a movement comes from consistent solidarity and putting aside petty discrepancy to co-in power one another toward social change.

Occupy El Paso

January 2nd, 2012 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in El Paso | Occupy Camps - (0 Comments)

El Paso’s GA was attended by us on Monday night. It is the only Occupy GA so far that is predominately women. While we listened we heard a different kind of “wish list”. For these people just having clean water, in a drought State would be great. Sometimes we forget that the things we take for granted or have in abundance are lacking for others. The simple ability to have free time to choose ones own path has become a rarity for those working in American factories in boarder towns. These factories have given people piece meal labor, that segments the tasks necessary to complete a product, there for severely limiting the ability for any person to have a feeling of accomplishment in any given task completed. One such factory, after abandoned by an American company producing jeans, was transformed into a community space, with arts and meeting area present. They have a market to sell food they grow themselves. The have a daycare to ensure the children are being looked after. There is a food cooking area where they teach and a market for local goods made. It is a community inside a community and they want people to know that while the largest problems exist in the White House, their mission is to lead the change they want to see. .
The thing we most took away from El Paso was their commitment to their neighborhood, community and children. El Paso has a wonderful space that was obtained by way of grant (despite its massive ballooning payment they are required to pay back). But, now the funds are all used up and they are facing eviction like so many. This is a terrible thing, because what they’ve done in this building has given us hope, and can give us great further inspiration. The community, though far smaller than most cities, has strong, intelligent, and dedicated stewards of the common wealth. These activists, primarily young people, are doing their very best to strengthen their environment through dedication to all who are struggling in their region and beyond. Our hats go off to Occupy El Paso and we at Occupy the Roads hope that a person or business will step up to help you stay in your place. All of us enjoyed meeting you and sharing stories, helping to connect you to the thread that keeps us focused in WA DC. May you never forget, it it your accumulative efforts which give your people the ability to sustain the changes necessary for your future. We admire your tenacity.

Written by Janet and Heron~

Occupy Las Cruces

January 2nd, 2012 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Las Cruces | Occupy Camps - (Comments Off on Occupy Las Cruces)

Spent time with more great friends in Las Cruces.  We find ourselves in great discussions about solutions we see for this movement that will get us closer to the nation/world we see that better fits the needs of the people and less about corporations.   We’re amazed at the talent we find in each camp.  The passion, conviction and determination is astounding.   This very special day we met a “Special Ops” veteran who served 3 terms in Iraq, Afganistan and who is part of the Occupy Movement.   He’s going to be joining us on “Occupy the Roads” and we couldn’t be happier.   WE shall arrive in D.C. for the 17th!

Occupy Tucson-GA 12-30-11

December 30th, 2011 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Occupy Camps | Tucson - (0 Comments)

What a great welcome Tucson! Lots of yahoos, horays and thumbs up as the OccuMobile rolled up. Once again we’re surrounded with new friends and we learn new things.   We’re so very fortunate that we are able to unite the Occupy’s in a way that “on-line” cannot. We look forward to meeting at the library tomorrow where we’ll meet more Tucsonites!

Reconciliation meeting was illuminating, informative and like all GA’s filled with passion and somewhat exhausting conversation monopolized by a few who are relentless at monopolizing the floor.   But, this is what democracy is and then some.  Afterward the group had a little fun and came together for a great group photo.  We celebrated our differences with a wonderful meal provided by some nice people, movie in the park, some great solution based conversations and ringing in the New Year with whistles and chants.

Once again some new life long friends who will  keep the movement alive in Tucson as we head back on the roads.   Thanks to everyone who made us feel so welcome and for all the shared stories.