Category Archives: Occupy

Looking forward

Goodness. I feel kind of like a bastard because 2016 has had some serious high points for me. It’s been a dumpster fire of a year, don’t get me wrong… but I had more good than many. I feel pretty good about where 2016 is ending on a variety of levels.

I would say that my marriage needed the strain it experienced this year. I think we both learned a number of things we weren’t really on our way to learning. We decided to have more kids. We decided to stop waiting on M/s stuff. (That’s going. And going pretty well so far… we are going slow.)

Things with the kids are…. well… I’d say that I couldn’t expect better. In pretty much every way I feel like things are going better as a parent than I expected they would. I thought we would have way more problems. Our relationships are pretty good and improving. We are getting better with every year at talking to one another about what we need. They are really excited about the prospect of more kids.

The house remodel… is absolutely driving me bonkers. But every person who walks into my bathroom gasps. It is worth it. Just keep plugging along. Art. Moar Art. I guess at this moment that I have somewhere between 100 and 200 hours of painting ahead of me between now and the finish line. Fuck.

I’m a painter. It’s a thing I do. I do a lot of it. I’m an artist. How will this play into my future?

No clue yet.

We watched Rogue One today. It… it’s a heavy movie. I feel kinda stunned. I think this is the only Star Wars movie I’ve ever really liked. Of course I like the hit-you-in-the-head one.

I’ve said for a long time that I suspect I will live to see some kind of revolution. Then we elected Trump. You know what?

The next four years need to be full of active resistance. The next four years need to involve making concrete actions in the direction of living in the kind of world I want to live in.

It’s kind of funny that I started out vehemently hating the idea of the American Dream. When I studied it in college and grad school I felt so much anger. I did not think it was attainable for me or anyone like me.

Then I arrived.

Holy shit. How do I share this shit.

How can more people have this kind of safety and security? What can I do to help other people have more access to education and choices and medical care?

Revolutions are made by the people who show up. What does showing up mean? It means different things to every person because you can’t make a revolution out of people who are exactly the same. That’s how you create an empire. By wanting people to be all the same so you can use them interchangeably as spokes on a wheel.

I don’t want a well mechanized empire.

I know what that means.

Even if I would be considered one of the “winners”… no. No. No. No. No.

Fuck that. No. But when and where are different levels of aggression worth countering with other levels of aggression?

How do you have a revolution without having a war? How many people have to die to call it a war?

How do we even know what a war means anymore?

There were 10,000 casualties of the war with Kuwait. In the last one hundred years, how many black people has the US government killed when they weren’t doing a damn thing wrong?

What is a war?

I spent my childhood reading books about the Resistance in WWII.

I need to spend a lot more time thinking about what I’m going to do with my life. I know what i want to do with my life in the very long-term. But what am I going to do while I’m growing up? What will I do to shape the person I need to be someday?

Fuck. This will be a lot of work.

Lots of people do lots of things to shape history. Where do I want to stand?

Not good enough.

I don’t know about you but I live with this permanent Sword of Damocles hanging over my head. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough for Noah. I’m not good enough to live in a nice, safe home. I’m not good enough to be loved. I’m not good enough to deserve to live. I’m not good enough to _____________. Fill in the blank how you please and I’ve probably thought it.

I learned something interesting from Occupy. I didn’t have to be good enough. I had to be there. I had to be there with thousands of other people and we shut down the port of Oakland. Was that long-term impactful? It depends on who you ask. There were consequences to an awful lot of people. Did it change politics as usual? No. But Mayor Jean Quan sure didn’t last long. Did it fix the problems with the police? Ha. Ha. Ha. No.

My neighborhood is different than it was before Occupy. Why? Because more people talk to each other. I’ve had a bunch of neighbors tell me that they hadn’t spoken to anyone in our neighborhood ever before I started introducing them around and now they talk on a regular basis. They used to walk past each other and not even nod. They needed someone to do an introduction and explain why they should be friendly. Now they are.

I was deeply inspired by Occupy. I watched the protests with love in my heart and amazement that so many humans came together in one place to say, “How things are happening is wrong.”

We need to show up like this with the current problems. Trump and his transition team are seriously talking about putting Muslim people on a list. This isn’t ok. This isn’t a little ok. Haven’t we learned from our history? It was wrong when we put Japanese people in internment camps. It was wrong when we herded up Native Americans and put them on reservations. Wrong wrong fucking wrong.

We just can’t do this again. No. We have to fight against this. All of us. Each of us who feel too small and too insignificant and too unimportant to be able to help. We need to show up. We need to protest. We need to write letters and call our congress critters. I think I should follow up with letters and calls to my state and local government officials too though I have not done so yet. I should do that this week.

We have to show that we are never going to commit that particular set of evils again. We need to stop breaking our population down into subgroups and then punishing them for sins they have not committed. It was not the fault of Japanese Americans that we went to war with Japan. It is not the fault of Muslim Americans that we fight wars with Muslim countries.

It’s just bullshit. It’s not ok. Not unless we round up every god damn white man because those mother fuckers are dangerous.

Do you know what I am good enough to do? I am good enough to say that these people matter. They matter to my community, my country, and my world whether or not they ever have a conversation with me or touch my life. It isn’t about me. They don’t have to be my friend to be ok and accepted. They just have to exist.

I’m good enough to believe that and act on it and try to make it so people in my community have increased safety.

If I do not work towards the people in my community having this kind of safety, maybe I am not really much good for much else. If I do not work to help those who are currently suffering… maybe I can’t be good. Maybe I have to earn it. Maybe I’ll never do enough to earn it but I have to stay on this treadmill trying until I collapse and die and then I’ll be good enough to deserve a great memorial at my death services.

Krissy was a bad ass motherfucker. All of you remember that. At my funeral. That’s what you say.

Life is complicated and big and we all have so very much to do. But this action is important. This is about our future. This is about the collective soul of our country. What kind of people are we?

White people elected a frightening white supremacist to the White House. Shit. We suck.

I strongly suspect that was possible because of the large scale disenfranchisement of citizens. Half of all citizens aren’t allowed to vote. That’s fucked up. We have just continued our racist paradigm straight on from slavery.

This is one of those times. This is when you stand up. If you hear someone express hate towards a less powerful group, take a god damn risk. It’s important. The god damn president is a scary man who really wants to hurt a lot of people. It will take a full scale resistance from every part of the nation to overcome the force of the tidal wave he wants to create.

It doesn’t matter if we are tired and hurting. We have to fight this or the children of people who are not white Christians will pay and pay and pay. It’s horse shit. It’s time for this country to change its tune. We have always been an evil nation but we could be better.

If we fight. Get involved in your local government. Get involved in your community. Talk to people. Build connections. Find a way to have impact on peoples lives. Don’t know what to do? Start by reading this.

Occupy the space you are in. Take up room. Make the world you want to live in. Or President Trump will make the world he wants to see.

Dear anonymous person on the internet,

You challenged me on Twitter. You told me that Occupy was dead and why should you care about some guy being tortured by the Police in Maine–it’s not your government.

Given that we live in a country where part of our civil war was based on the fact that some states were engaging in inappropriate activity and other states decided to stop them… I can’t imagine not feeling like part of the United States. Maine matters to me like California matters to other people.

Do you think that everyone else in the country watched the Rodney King riots and thought, “Good thing it isn’t my government doing this to someone.” Whoa. I can’t understand that thought. The militarization of the domestic police force is of enormous national concern. It quite literally keeps me up at night. How the police act in one city influences how they feel it acceptable to act in all other cities.

I have been thinking for days about how to talk about this subject. I have a strong tendency towards tl;dr so I’ve been struggling to find a pithy argument. It is quite frustrating that someone on the internet argues with me and demands a counter argument but I can’t count on someone to read more than three or four hundred words. That’s not an argument it is an exchange of theme songs.

For me, not caring about the police in Maine is like someone in Germany not caring about the first few train loads of Jews being abducted. I understand that I just lost this argument based on Godwin’s law. I spend my life living as if I am one of the first ones called. I can’t afford to think that the first few groups of people the police harass are acceptable collateral damage. My life won’t let me think of any situation like that.

I have had extremely damaging run-ins with police in my life. White trash whores are not really respected by local police forces–they decided who and what I was before I hit puberty. They were not interested in protecting me from rape or sexual assault from childhood. I live enmeshed in rape culture in a way that very few people can understand because very few people have more rapists than fingers.

I believe that a boy being tortured by the police in Maine matters because I have to believe that I would matter in his place. That it wouldn’t be ok for them to do it to me. I live in a time and a place where I can not have the hubris of saying, “Oh it wouldn’t happen to me so it is ok that they do it to someone else.” If they were going to do it to someone they just might do it to me. It wouldn’t be the first time I have had my rights taken away and I’ve been strapped down by government forces.

I understand that my life experiences are unique and unusual. My opinion intensified by one hundred after having children.

My then three year old marched with the Port Shutdown in Oakland. She remembers Occupy. We talk about it. I was one of the first people at the General Strike port shut down. I watched the thousands of people stream into the port. I watched what happens when people say, “It doesn’t matter that you say this doesn’t effect me and I should shut up–I have a voice and you can not silence me.”

I hear that Occupy is dead. I do not believe this. I believe that Occupy lives in the heart of every person who will not be silenced. This summer I will be painting a mural on a neighborhood fence because some kids keep putting graffiti on it. The elderly lady who owns the property is not up to maintaining a fence free of graffiti. I’m going to use neighborhood children to help me paint.

Occupy is not just about living in tents and existing to annoy city hall. Occupy is about seeing something in your community and trying to fix it. Maybe I would feel less personally connected to the boy in Portland Maine if I had not just mapped out how I would drive there a week before seeing this video clip. I was specifically planning on going to that city. In my country. In my car with my kids. How could I not feel like what happens to him matters to me?

Why should you care? I haven’t been able to figure out how to convince you. I ask that you be polite about my belief. I should get angry when the government tortures people because it is wrong. That is just how the world should work in my head. Ok, that’s as pithy as I can manage. You see why I didn’t respond on Twitter.

OO money and other opportunities

I haven’t heard back from anyone in a while.  I get the impression things are in flux.  That’s ok.  I was approached about an opportunity this week which will use up a lot of the money.  It will be a community building way to spend the money, but a very different community.  I’m not going to say specifics yet, but I’m excited.

I don’t do very well with trying to join groups unless I have a reason.  I need a job.  I need a role.  I know that’s fairly common.  I’m trying to find a way back into a world I miss.  I’m not sure what I want to get from the experience, exactly.  I want to serve.  That’s part of it.  Tonight someone laughed and told me I want status.  Not really.  I mean, yes, of course.  I do love my status.  But I want the chance to be able to be effective.  I want influence more than I want status for the influence.  I’m not sure I’m explaining well.

I will never be a big part of the public face of this opportunity.  I will be back end.  But that means I get to decide things about the back end.  This is me rubbing my fingers together.  What things to I want to see?  Am I right about my priorities?  I might get to find out.  I have spent a lot of years sitting in the cheap seats watching other people try and have various success with their efforts.  I don’t know what all I am going to do in life, yet.  But it will involve taking as many opportunities as I can.

Why do I want to do this?  Because it’s an opportunity that won’t come again.  Something that will make for great stories for the rest of my life.  Something that irrevocably slams that closet door wide open.  I like that.  I like doing that now in one fell swoop.  I don’t know yet who or what role I will really have in the community.  I’m looking forward to finding out.

Written yesterday

             I’ve been at Occupy Oakland for a few hours now.  It’s tense and sad.  I’m watching cops who look exhausted and near emotionally broken.  I have been talking with my fellow protestors.  I’m asking them to please not hurl angry words at the police on the other side of the barricade.  Once or twice that has brought angry words at me.  I’m ok with that.  When I look across this barricade and I see grown men on the verge of tears I can’t help but feel that this entire circus is bad for everyone.  The police are just people.  They are the 99% as well.  When protestors yell that a smiling police officer is a disgusting pig, what they are saying is that joy in another human being is wrong.  Most of the people who crack smiles on the other side of the barricade look very nervous.  Smiling is a nervous reaction. 
            Last night the various police forces of the bay area joined together to slowly, carefully, evict people from Oscar Grant Plaza.  I’m not sure why.  I’m not sure what the goal was.  Does the city really believe this will do anything other than energize the movement?  Persecuted groups fight back.  They have a force to unite against.  I wish the force we were fighting against looked different.
            I don’t want to fight the Oakland PD.  I know about their reputation.  They have earned it after years and years of brutality.  How can it be changed?  How can the people of Oakland work together with the people who are supposed to protect and serve this city?  What kinds of things would build a bridge?  Last night the police were at least more gentle than normal.  I feel very resentful of the fact that I am surprised. 
            I think that every person should have the gut level expectation of civil treatment.  But that isn’t how the world works.  Instead we are cruel and vicious with one another and we have to say thank you when someone refrains from hitting us.  We can rail and complain and be upset about that, or we can say thank you when someone refrains from hitting us.  I feel like that is a lesson I’ve learned a bit too well.  There is no such thing as the “right” to being treated well.  Please God, most people treat one another well out of the kindness of their hearts.  It’s not a right.  I don’t know that I believe in rights much. 
            I’m not sure if I believe in rights, yet here I am.  Sitting with a meditation circle (you can see how well I meditate) and watching city employees clean up the debris of a tent city.  I’m here because my Constitution gives me the right to peacefully assemble.  And I think I should do it.  I think it is my obligation today to assemble here in Oakland in support of the homeless people who were just evicted from this park.  Because let’s be clear here: the encampment is about serving the needs about the homeless population in Oakland.  It’s a small part of the overall Occupy movement.
Mayor Quan, what were you hoping for?

You cannot evict Occupy Oakland

Right now there are a ridiculous number of cops attacking Oscar Grant Plaza.  I feel sick to my stomach.  The beautiful people I have been getting to know gradually as I have the courage are going to get hurt today.  I feel so sad.  So disappointed in my country.  How dare we treat people this way?  I wonder how many peaceful protestors are going to be shot today?

I am so fucking embarrassed to be an American today.  What a piece of shit country.

You want to know why I am so embarrassed?  Because this is theatre.  The Occupiers will be back.  Mayor Quan is only wasting taxpayers money.  They will just.come.back.

I think talking about money is important.

So after covering the checks I have already written for Occupy I have ~$32,000 sitting in my bank account.  Do you know how much money I have to pay this month for various expenses?  I owe $17,000 on credit cards.  That will be paid off this month.  I still haven’t paid property taxes or the mortgage or the domestic help or my therapy.  That’s another $9,000.  This is an unusually expensive month.  Our income is settling in to about $8,000 per month.  I am waiting to write checks for $17,650.  That means that on the 30th of this month, if I succeed in giving all the money away, I will only have around $6,000 in cash.  We have months that cost $15,000 on a fairly regular basis.  We pay for a lot of things.

People who know me know that having a large financial cushion is kind of a ridiculous driving force for me.  It’s unhealthy.  I grew up in a kind of poverty I honestly don’t like thinking about.  But holy fucking shit is my life different now.

That money was originally earmarked to pay off the Disney timeshare.  I bought the timeshare when I realized it was only took four trips of the kind Sarah likes for her birthday to pay off the investment and we really do want to be at Disneyland every year…  I bought it for Sarah and me.  Noah wasn’t thrilled.  Noah is not interested in spending that much time at Disneyland, thankyouverymuch.  He’ll go.  But not every year.

I have done Disneyland with Sarah enough times that it is worth it to me to buy the time share.  Do you know why?  Mostly because she is disabled.  It is hard for her to expend the energy to travel long distances, sometimes even with motor devices.  If we are in an apartment that is just a few yards away from an entrance she can afford the spoons to rest in the middle of the day and really enjoy evening stuff.  It feels loving to be at Disneyland with Sarah.  She appreciates it the same way my mom does.  Just sitting on a bench with a book while people walk by makes her happy.  Disneyland is a place to just sit and feel joy.

So I bought a fucking Disney time share and I feel like a privileged asshole.  I feel strangely embarrassed that I bought this stupid thing.  What a dumb fuck am I, right?  Only dumb fucks buy time shares.  It’s a racket.  Geez.  What a fucking waste of money.  A number of people have told me off for this.

Do you know how many weeks of joy this has already brought me?  Sarah and I get to dream about future vacations.  They are paid for.  I will have to pay for park tickets and gas to drive there.  Otherwise we can cook in the apartment and it’s not any more expensive than being at home.  Really.

It’s financed at 10% and I’m pissed off with myself for continuing to carry that debt.  I wanted it paid off in a year.  Err, that hasn’t happened.  Other things keep coming up.  Like getting my heart Occupied.  Why is this so fucking important?  Because people matter.  We need a William Wallace.  We need someone to step up.  This is a Revolution.  Hell, we need everyone to step up.  What can you go do, today, tomorrow, and the next day to make the world a better place?  Stop sitting in your house whining about your problems.

Says the whiny blogger who has barely left the house in months.  Cause Jesus Christ, if anyone should stop whining it’s me.  My life is the fantasy.  My life is the mythical American Dream in all of the particulars.  Oh, except that pesky PTSD shit.  How do I fix me so that I can enjoy the American Dream?

Well, I’m writing.  I think good will come from it.  I think that is one of the gifts that was given to me in this lifetime.  I can give people things to think about.  They won’t always agree with me, probably rarely.  But I want them to get to the point where they say, “Ok, I guess I can see why you feel the way you do.”  That’s what I fucking want.  I don’t need to have other people agree with me.  I need them to understand WHY I am different.  Why my opinion is different.  Because maybe that will ripple.  Maybe other people who have different opinions are ok too.  Can we stop beating the shit out of political parties?  What is the fucking point?  Grow up you stupid babies.

People are people.  I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican.  I kind of hate you all equally.  And don’t get me started on how I feel about socialists.  Or the members of my own, Libertarian party.  I feel pretty embarrassed to be associated with them.  Good grief.  But it is the closest to what I believe.

I’m getting away from the point.  When my heart was Occupied my priorities shifted.  Noah is never going to want to stay home with me while working a part time job.  He doesn’t want to.  Ok.  The dramatic need to lower our monthly expenses so that can happen… doesn’t really need to happen.  If it takes longer and I pay more interest in the time share, that will be ok.  Really.  I can deal having to “tighten my belt”.  We are part of the 99%.  In order to maintain all the insurances folks consider necessary we have more than $6,000 of our income promised before it arrives.  It’s $8,000.  We have months where we put $17,000 on the credit card.  You do the math.  No really, that’s going to require some belt tightening.  But I don’t exactly feel like I can complain about that.

And I have the money to spend.  Occupy needs it more than I need to be able to have the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed.  The fact that I can preplan 50 years of vacations means that my life is already as good as it needs to be.

The reason I feel I need to give the money is because people need a spark of hope.  They need to see things being done.  I can’t be the William Wallace for this movement.  I really kind of wish I could.  But that’s not my story.  I’m trying to bait other people.  I’m trying to push them to expand their dreams.  Whoever is going to be the firebrand to lead this Revolution, (s)he will not have much money to start with.  But there will be so much hunger.  So many dreams.  That person will say, “Yes give me your money so I can change the world.”  I hope.  I really hope.

In the meantime I took my family to a park clean up day in Oakland the Occupy folks organized.  I have marched.  I sit in the encampment and eat lunch and talk to the people who live there as I feel I can emotionally.  I think my next clean up day should be in Fremont.  I think that I’m about out of spoons for driving to Oakland.

I think maybe I should just open my front door and walk out it.  I think I should Occupy the space I am in.  Why am I trying so hard to give this money to Oakland?  Why am I beating people over the head asking them to please please please take the money?  Why don’t I start my own fucking occupation.  Hm.  It’s an idea.  What would I do if I occupied Fremont?  Hmm.  I would start putting up notices for neighborhood clean up days.  I’ll be surprised if I’m the only one out there.  This is a small town in the middle of a big urban sprawl.

I’ve been surprised by how many of my neighbors have lived here for more than twenty years and they don’t know any of their neighbors.  There is so much hostility and fear and isolation here.  Why?  I feel sad saying that I sat at the local diner and listened to the waitress be casually racist with the other customers.  Despite the fact that I actually know a fair number of people in Fremont… I don’t see them.  Pretty much ever.  If you live in Fremont and you are “interesting” you spend your life in your car trying to get anywhere but here.

I’m getting tired of this attitude.  Fremont is beneath people.  I’ve done it too.  I spent the first many years of our marriage being fucking pissed off living in this fucking house in fucking Fremont.  This is one of the lowest socio-economic areas.  Not the lowest, by any stretch.  This is more like what I grew up with. My friends keep telling me to move to Alameda.  I really don’t want to.  I’m neither interested in the housing cost increase nor the insularity.  I actually like that my neighborhood is not predominantly white.  But I’m scared here.  This is not really the safe bubble people think of in the bay area.

I’m in the closet.  I can go protest in Oakland and be a radical and a pervert and a queer and whatever.  People here just see me as that nice weird lady.  I’m really polite to people in my neighborhood (uhhh except for the one time I yelled at a guy for wasting water while he was trying to deal with his lawn; long embarrassing story).  I’m getting to know my neighbors very slowly.  Very distantly.  I’m trying to be consistent in my behavior over a long period of time without exposing them to my mood swings.  I can’t afford to piss off my neighbors.  Do you know how much pressure that is for me?

How in the hell can I expect my really diverse neighborhood to be thrilled about having a whore who writes about sex on the internet in their neighborhood?  I’m out with the kids all the time.  Aren’t they going to start looking at me as if I am dirty if they find out?  Don’t I need to hide?

I think it is interesting that my friends think the Occupy movement is about money.  I think it’s about pushing for the right to exist and be different and have a different life.  Whatever the fuck that means.  Our entire culture is set up around streamlining people so they can be more and more similar.  I’m not fucking like the folks who grew up in small town Duluth (love you).  And that’s more than ok.  It’s awesome.  I had different experiences so I got to go off and become a completely different kind of person.  I’m not like the people who grew up in Rotorua, either.  Or London near as I can tell.  I go a lot of places and I meet a lot of people.  I never fit.  Nowhere.

Maybe I need to stop going out into the world trying to find someplace that is right.  I think the Occupy movement is about seeing that something that needs to be changed and doing it.  That will be financial for a lot of people.  But it’s also about recognizing that we have abdicated a lot of responsibility to the system.  Any system.  How’s that going for folks?  Maybe if we want something we have to just go fucking do it.

I want to feel ok in my town.  I have to live here.  But I can’t stay in the closet.  This is horrible.  I’m not much like most of the folks around me.  But I’m not like folks anywhere.  That’s ok.  I may not be the right kind of Fremonter, but I’m the right kind of me.  Yeah, it’s a stupid stupid little thing I say.  I say it because I hope it’s true.  I’m trying to convince myself it is.  It’s very hard to believe that who and what I am is ok.  That feels like a lie.  So so so so so so many people tell me that I’m not ok.  Not directly.  Not to my face.  But in the very air I breathe in this culture.  I am so fucking wrong.

The General Strike showed me that I don’t feel that way because of the incest.  I feel that way because I am an American.  In fact, that seems to be our national culture.  Anything different is wrong and bad.  People, you need to lighten the fuck up.  Maybe instead of sitting in an encampment in solidarity with people in Oakland I should be organizing a neighborhood group to figure out a way to meet the needs of the people within walking distance of me.  That’s a significantly better choice for the planet.

But I will have to do that alone.  I won’t be able to throw money at that problem and walk away.  I will have to find the drive and determination to do that.  I will probably mostly be the one doing that, if I think it should happen.  It makes me tired.  I can’t do that yet.  I feel like I am failing my human beings.  I feel like every day that I allow children to walk past my house on the way to school who are going hungry and I ignore that I am just as bad as the people who didn’t help me.  I have so much rage at all of the people who didn’t help me.

Who the fuck am I helping?  I don’t know.  I hope that the RV comes through.  That would be something.  I wish I knew where my life was going.  I feel like I am littering the path with burning ambitions.  Things that hurt me that I am not focusing on them exclusively.  You can’t focus on a dozen things exclusively.  There isn’t enough me for that.

I really hope this movement spreads.  Please people, you can change the world too.  It doesn’t actually take money.  It takes the desire to do good.  You’ll find a way.  Please? 

DBW: 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

And it is Occupy who establishes us with you in freedom, and has anointed us, and who has also put is seal on us and given us its Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Today I bring my children and my husband with me to the encampment.  I hope that Mayor Quan will allow my family to remain safe.  We will then be going off to: Lincoln Square Recreation Center

250 10th Street (between Alice and Jackson) from 10-1.  I am bringing my family with me to the place that gave me back my faith in the human race.  I’m really hoping no one fucks that up.  I have a lot of reason to believe that a lot of people in power want to stomp on my hope.  They want me to feel small and bad and weak and pitiful.  They think I am nothing.  But they can fuck right off.

My heart was Occupied.  I will be at the encampment today with my husband and children to support the people there who are bravely risking police attack any minute due to an inappropriate eviction.  I hope I can give them moral support as well as physical support.  We will be bringing food.

Cheese factor.

Laugh at me if you will, but after having my religious conversion at the General Strike I’ve been having daily bible verses sent to my phone.  I’m altering them slightly as I think about them through the day.  I like my version a lot.

Psalm 5:11-12 (almost): But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you, Occupy. 12. For you bless the righteous; you cover him with favor as with a shield.

I’m so glad my heart was Occupied.


Just to keep the time line up to date: offered money as compensation for damages during the General Strike.  Roundly ignored.  Go to morning meeting, mild interest but mostly apprehension about what it means.  Go to General Assembly, get told No!  You start chaos!  Ok.  Post on internet.  Receive emails.  Have phone calls and email discussions and one really exciting in person meeting.

Here is what I am looking at:
“A few friends/local (small mom and pop) business owners and I have come together to put organize a “black friday” event/shopping day.  We are working to put together a map of local shops in the area and making it a fun day of shopping, food and music in Oakland.  I’ve reached out to someone at Occupy so that we can include this day as part of our initiative to boycott corporations and bring Oakland’s local economy in the black.  I can call on Thursday and discuss with you further if you would like.  We are hoping to also get vendors and folks that do not have a store front to join in.  A few business have opened up their doors to adding tables for local vendors to be able to participate in this.

I actually do not need a lot of money for this initiative because our only major cost is printing of flyers and posters.  I have found many people to volunteer their time, as I have, to help support our local economy.  I was trying to figure out who I can get these posters printed by and hoped to find a place that would donate that as well but have had no luck thus far.  Then I saw your email and figured I would send you a note in case you would be interested in supporting this effort.”

That is the kind of thing I want to fund.  It’s going to be a few hundred dollars at most.

Another person is in communication with me about a separate fund for repairing damage done to small businesses so they can petition for redress.  I’m willing to contribute to that too.  I’m less sure of the dollar amount.

But the big one?  The individuals who pushed the General Strike through want to buy an RV and make a mobile clinic.  They have doctors and nurses who have already volunteered to staff it.  It’s going to be a logistical nightmare and a fuckton of money beyond what I have.  I’m so excited I could pee my pants.  This is something real.  Medical care for people who can’t afford it?  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  If my money can provide that, please dear god take it.  My medical care is covered.  Noah spends a fucking insane amount of money on my medical care.  (don’t ask.)  I’m not a special fucking snowflake.  Everyone should be able to have the support I have.  I won’t be able to ensure that everyone gets what I get, but they can get better than they have right now.  They should.

I’m not real enthusiastic about national healthcare, I’ll tell the truth.  But I’m fucking enthusiastic about people in a community saying, “Hey!  We want to help our neighbors get healthcare.”  Washington DC isn’t going to save us.  We have to do it for our selves.

Occupy your heart.

When I wandered around the Strike on Wednesday my favorite sign was the one that said Occupy Your Heart.  I think a few different people made them.  That one appealed to me because it seems at the root of what needs to happen, in my opinion.  Occupy Wall Street/etc is about being upset about financial stuff.  That’s true.  But it’s also about our country’s desperate need for hope.  We thought Obama would fix everything.  Unfortunately he’s just one man.

What I saw on Wednesday changed my life because even though everyone didn’t understand exactly what they were doing, they were motivated to action.  What can we accomplish with this much emotion?  That many people showed up for the General Strike because they want hope for a better tomorrow.  They feel like their needs are not being heard nor met.

And this all started with some anarchists, near as I can tell.  Or at least people with different ideals than me. I don’t mind.  I’m grateful that the punk kids have had the balls to get this started while I hide at home.  I absolutely respect the fact that they have more courage than me.  I owe them a large debt of gratitude.  They have more nerve, and more anger.  I’m not sure if they have more vision.  I don’t understand much about the end goal of the destructive parts of the Occupy movement.  I’m waiting.

I’m more interested in the building side.  I don’t think I am the enemy of the anarchists.  I think I am the other side of their revolution.  They have things to say.  They have things they can accomplish.  I don’t agree with all of their methods, but I accept that revolutions have unintended consequences.  That is why I originally thought to just repair the damage.  Not because I want to shame the anarchists.  But because I accept a few broken windows as the cost of business and I want to be on the business end.

I am frankly terrified of what is going to happen in Oakland over the next couple of years as the city recoils in horror from the shock of the financial impact of the Occupy movement.  Millions already diverted.  This is going to hurt the city.  I’m sure that services will be cut.  I don’t know which and that scares me.  I worry about who is going to bear the brunt of the unintended consequences of this movement.  I wonder which innocent children will be affected.

I wonder and I feel deep guilt.  Because it won’t be my kids.  I’m not in the 1%, but I’m in the 5%.  My kids will be safe.  That isn’t true of everyone’s kids.  I feel so bad that some other woman’s children may suffer because I was one more freakin body at the General Strike.  Money is not an infinite resource.  The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of someone else’s money.

I believe in the principles of democracy in a small group setting.  I believe that my voice should be able to be matter.  Not more than other peoples, but just as much.  I was told that offering this money to the movement is a way of trying to gain power, and I guess it kind of is.  But a freaking small amount of power in exchange for me feeling like I did the best thing I could do.  Other people have time, energy, and manpower to spend on bettering the city.  I don’t.  I think those things are more valuable than the money I have, quite frankly.  That is what will get the work done.  The people who care.  Not the money.  But the money helps.  The money can make or break the movement because money appearing at the right time means that the right strategic things can happen.

I want someone to be building.  I don’t care who.  If you want to build, please come talk to me.  I believe in you Occupy Oakland.  You Occupied my heart.  You showed me how much power you have.  You showed me that you are mighty and influential.  How can we do things to help other women’s children be as safe as mine?  It’s not fair that so many children are unsafe.  Please, I want this Occupation to make the world a better place.  Not a place with less money to spread farther.

We have to build.

The money

I was attacked by a pit bull when I was 5.  I’m not going to tell the whole story because it’s going in the book.  But suffice to say, I spent my entire life knowing that money was coming.  I dreamed about it.  I thought about what to do with it.  I wanted to make sure that I got the absolute maximum usefulness about it.  I preplanned how to pay for college, a house… I had financial planning till I was 30 done by about 12.

Then I married Noah.  And the whole game changed.  The monthly stipend was my money through our marriage.  I never felt bad about buying the random shit I wanted because it was my money any way.  Then I got the $35,000 and I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to just pay off the time share.  It feels like an insult to who I was and what that money meant to me.  That settlement changed my life.  It was a gift from the universe.  I didn’t earn it.  It’s not like it’s proof that I deserve to be where I am financially.

I feel like the only reason I survived was because I benefit from enormous privilege.  I have enormous survivors guilt.  Whenever someone tells me that I should have died I think about all the girls who did.  Did they die because they didn’t have the hope at 18 of getting out for sure no take backs?  Did I only have the strength to fight every day because I knew that no one could take my freedom away from me.  I was god damn financially independent with $1200 every month.  That was more than my mother often made throughout my life.  I knew how to be poor.  That was easy.  If I was poor for a reason because I had a goal post in sight of when it was no longer true… that’s easier.  If you have no hope of things improving, why should you bother having self restraint when you see something small you want?

This is a big part of my issues with my mother.  She has been robbing Peter to pay Paul for so long that she is incapable of managing money.  Poverty will do that to you.  I don’t even think it’s her fault.  But I can stand back and look at how she cycles and know it’s a bad idea.

At this point in time I have no plans to go make money.  Indefinitely I am dependent on Noah entirely.  Noah makes such an obscene amount of money that I feel staggered by it.  We could survive easily on less than half of it.  And it’s going to go up.  All of a sudden my money seems… so small.  Cheapened?  In the scheme of my life all of a sudden $20,000 isn’t very much money.  In three years we won’t be able to tell a difference in our life because of it being spent.  That’s kind of disgusting.

I feel kind of disgusting.  And yet, this is the American Dream, right?  Whenever people express bitterness that everyone can’t be in the same position as me I feel kind of bewildered.  I don’t think I’m happier at this income than I would be at half this income.  I do more stuff.  I travel.  I fund a very comfortable retirement.  But I’m not happier.  I don’t feel this magical I’ve arrived that I expected to feel.  I feel like a trespasser.  I feel guilty.  I feel like I have done something shameful.

I’ll say frankly that a lot of the reason I feel so ashamed is the response of disgust when I say that I want to donate $20,000 people look at me like I just took a shit on the sidewalk.  Yes.  I have that to give.  This is the very last money in the world that is mine and I want to do something with it I can feel proud of.

I feel really guilty when I admit out loud that I keep having the parable, “If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day.  If you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime.”  Err, or some phrasing like that.  I think it would be wrong and short sighted of me to give the Occupy movement this money for things like blankets and food.  Local people with very little money to give are supplying those things.  It would improve the quality of the food and I honestly believe that’s not something I should be funding.  I am not going to feel like I have made the world a better place because I spent $20,000 on high price snacks for stoners in the park, sorry.

No really.  What the fuck is Occupy Oakland doing?  I want to know what concrete things people want to get started in the community.  What outreach?  What types of demands are being made of the city?  What do people want to have happen?  I can’t be one of the people out doing the work in the street and I know that.  That’s not something I have to give right now.  I would have another messy nervous breakdown and that’s fucking stupid.

But I’m really good at thinking through long-range planning.  And I have a very good idea of how money is most effective.  Ok.  I think I’m ready to write some emails now.  You were right, Noah.  I had to write about it.

I really hope Noah manages to hit the 1% like he thinks he will.  I will make a fucking good philanthropist.  Other people won’t agree with me, and that will be ok.  This is the hard part.  That people are going to disagree.  But people disagree with every powerful person.  You have to stick to your guns. I have a vision in my head of what it means to make the world a better place with money.  It doesn’t matter if other people agree with the specifics of it.  What matters is that I take action on making the world a better place.  That is what matters from everyone.

If I dilly dally and take too much advice I will never get the satisfaction of really attaining self-actualization.  If I want to take up the most space in the world I can, I can’t worry about the fact that other people occasionally have to bend for me.  That has to be ok.  The balance is in finding out how much space I can take up without pushing people too far.  I don’t want to shove people away.  But I do want to take up as much room as I can.  When I feel like I can’t take as much room as I want to, I feel small inside.  Like I’m stepping on all the dreams I had as a child.

Why the fuck can’t I shoot the moon?  I married a rich guy (I swear to fucking god it was on accident) and we are both ambitious people.  Why not?  Why can’t I play a whore for a few years to push Noah up the ladder.  That’s what builds him up the most from me.  I can do that.  Sure I’ll trade sexual favors for performance reviews.  If that makes you smile while you work like mad, why not?  What’s the problem?

And our needs are met.  If Noah never got another raise we would be fully on track to have a perfectly stable and comfortable life forever if he can work for another 10 years.  He’s 35.  I’m pretty sure that’s going to happen.  That means that everything from now on is extra.  We don’t need it.  Noah likes to say, “And what do we call things we don’t need?  A luxury!”  My entire life is about luxury.  I will be honest and say that I feel kind of embarrassed about the amount of luxury in my life.  But I’m trying to own it and be up front about it.  It’s complex.

I don’t know how to explain what I feel right now.  Watching the crowds stream into the port felt like a religious experience.  All those people cared so much.  And they pulled that off with very little money.  Actually, now they pulled that off partially with my money.  Because I paid for the buses.  I feel really good about that.  I feel like that is the first victory for this money.

I want this money to make a big impact.  I want it to be part of the big picture, not the stupid small details that will be handled one way or another.  I want to start learning what it means to be a big person.  I’m not there yet and I know it.  But I want it.  And that’s how you start.  I don’t have much influence with $20,000.  But I have enough.  I can decide which parts of Occupy Oakland I think will have the biggest long-term impact.  I can make a choice about something happening that is for the good of other people.  Yes, the argument can be made that absolutely every single part of the operation is Just As Important.  Whatever.  We disagree.  That’s fine.

Now how do I do this without being an obnoxious cunt.  Because it’s not my goal to make people pry this money out of my grasping fingers and that’s totally how I’m making it sound.  I don’t mean to.  Ok, here’s an example:

One person spoke about trying to have the actual dirt removed from the public areas and have it replaced with organic soil for growing food.  That’s an interesting idea.  It will require working with the city though, because if the city ignores that you did that and comes along and does business as usual next week… err… that was wasted fucking money.  Dead serious.  I’m not interested in funding something that make hippies feel good about themselves for a few weeks.  I don’t care if that sounds bitchy.  I want to know what agreements can be reached with the city for continued maintenance.  I want to know how that will be handled going forward.  And then that sounds like the kind of thing I would fucking love to pay for.  That aligns so perfectly with my value system it isn’t funny.

More blankets… not so much.

But the movement is just getting started.  Right now they are still focused on short-term logistics and they feel resentful of me having a different timeline.  I get that.  But it’s my money and I have to feel good about how it is spent.  When I feel good about how it is spent my response is, “Oh you spent your rent money on those buses?  If you walk with me back to my car I can give you a check for that.  I’m sorry I left my check book in my car.  That was kind of stupid of me.”

I don’t want to haggle forever.  I want to haggle until I am satisfied.  I want to feel like *I* receive the maximum joy from spending this.  Too much haggling means it isn’t fun any more.  I want to haggle just enough.  Ok.  That’s awesome.  I think I know what I want to do.  I want to send an email saying that at the next GA I would like someone neutral to say that this crazy lady wants to hear proposals for concrete things Occupy Oakland can start doing in the community in the next couple of weeks with $1,000-$5,000 start up capital on a given idea.  How would the money be spent?  What are the long-term implications of using the money this way?  How would it be maintained after Occupy moves out of the park (if that happens)?  I will accept them via email.  I need to have a form I want filled out.  Hmm.  Ok, what is that going to look like.

What need in the community do you see that you would like to fill:
How many people will be needed to see this through:
How much money do you think you will need?  How will you spend it?  Be specific:
How will this project be able to exist in six months?  A year?  Five years:
Do you believe this project is one that is likely to find funding in other places when I run out of money?  How do you plan to pursue that issue:

And I will decide which ones sound like things I want to fund and which ones are not well thought out.  I won’t be the most popular person there, but oh well.  I don’t want to be popular.  I want to be effective.

It’s kind of hard to donate money to the Occupy movement.

This morning I went to the Mayor’s office and I requested an appointment.  The kind gentleman who forcefully told me to go away and someone would read my letter some day was really a sign of things to come.  I then wandered off to my therapist’s office for that appointment.  When I explained to her what I was doing her eyes bugged and she actually said, “Give the money to me!” It was hilarious.  In the end she said she understood why I felt compelled the way I do and if it really isn’t a financial problem… she totally supports me.  That was nice.  She almost choked on her drink when I explained Noah’s salary and why I’m not worried about $20,000.  It is very uncomfortable for people when I talk about money.  It’s a hard thing on pretty much everyone.

I wandered back over towards the encampment.  I spent a while sitting around and feeling awkward.  I’m good at that.  Eventually I found the morning meeting.  When I asked if I could speak the facilitator first tried to tell me no but I interrupted and blurted, “I want to donate $20,000.”  He blinked hard and added my name to the list.  He had me go last.  I did my little blurt thing, not the letter.  I was too chicken shit.  Gah.  But I blurted something that was less than eloquent and I was somewhat surprised to have people muttering about how I should go buy some blankets.  I responded that I’ve already donated multiple tents, sleeping bags, blankets, air mattresses, several food drops, and other items.  No really.  I’m giving.  She looked down and kept muttering.  Ok.

I had an earnest conversation with a few gentlemen who gave me a little bit of their perspective and that was interesting.  The big sticking point seemed to be finding someone on the finance committee to talk to.  I wandered around a bit.  I met JP Massar, who decided to mention me on dailykos, thanks.  Another gentleman thanked me for being so generous.  It was really sweet.  Other than that… folks didn’t talk to me.  I wandered around.  I read.  I typed a bit.  I watched the large group of Muslims praying.  After a while one of their members started uhm, it sounded like preaching.  Am I allowed to use that word for Islam?  I don’t mean to be an asshole.  Anyway.  That was nice.  I liked what he was saying.

After a bit I went and sat in the Tully’s and managed to hook up with a few more people who had heard of someone on the finance committee.  I talked to a woman on the phone even!  It was exciting.  I did not manage to run into her later.  I wussed out on being on site for a bit and had to run away.  I felt lame, but I just had to get my anxiety under wraps.  I was shaking and hurting.  I came back in time for the General Assembly.

I asked around about speaking.  When I finally figured out who the facilitator was and asked him if I could speak he told me that was a bad idea.  It would create a shit storm of controversy.  He’s not wrong.    I did manage to give one check away!  I felt so proud of myself.  One man used his rent money to cover the buses used in the General Strike.  I didn’t think he should have to carry that load.  He has enough of a burden.  The joy on his face was the highlight of my day.  That was a real thing to do.  It’s not what I mostly want to do with the money, but that’s ok.

I haven’t heard back from anyone connected to the city.  I’m less than shocked.  I think that instead I am going to ask Occupy Oakland to think of me as a fairy godmother.  I would like to know what their needs are and I will decide what I want to fund.  It’s my decision.  This is my money.  It probably is going to piss off some people and that’s ok.  I will be giving a high priority to any project that is designed to increase the positive relationship with the city of Oakland.  I think the city is bearing an unduly high cost for this protest.  That’s my opinion and I don’t care if anyone else agrees with me.

By the end of the night I finally met a few people and exchanged contact information.  I hope they will contact me tomorrow because I am a lazy bastard.  But I’d really like to give them some money.

Open letter

Hello.  My name is Krissy Gibbs.  I was at the General Strike.  I was among the first two hundred people to arrive at the port.  What I saw there changed my life.  I am part of the 99%.  But I am also part of the 5%.  I believe in the Occupy movement.  I think that it needs to continue and grow.  I think it needs to be done through peaceful means only.  I grew up in extreme poverty.  I was homeless.  I stole food to eat.  I am a survivor of incest and rape.  I had a very hard life.  I moved more than 50 times before I was 18.  I went to 25 schools before dropping out of high school at 16.  I went to graduate school and I taught high school for three years before having children.  Now I’m upper class because I married someone who is the son of the 1%.  My life was changed because of an accident.  When I was five years old I was attacked by a pit bull.  The money was wisely invested because my lawyer was the father of my life long best friend.  He knew my mother would have wasted the money.  He put it in trust for me until I was 18.  Then he gave me $1200 every month between the ages of 18 and 30.  I turned 30 this year.  On my 30th birthday I fretted and fretted about what to do with the money.  You see, I got the last check.  $35,000  It’s a lot of money for someone with my childhood.  An insane amount of money.  An amount of money that could have made every dream I had then possible.  Because I was that poor.  My needs were that simple.  Now, I had to try to come up with some ridiculous over the top wasteful way to spend it.  Because all of my needs are met.  I have extra.  I don’t know what to do with it.  I want to spend this money on something that is just for me.  I’ll tell the truth and say that some of it is gone.  My best friend got married in Scotland and that was not an opportunity I could ignore.  I have $20,000 left.  I want to use that money to repair some of the damage done by vandals in my name.  I am Occupy Oakland.  I am the General Strike.  I apparently fucked up and broke something.  I’m really sorry.  I didn’t mean to.  I hope this is enough to cover the damages, and if it isn’t, I’ll ask some of my friends if they have any I can borrow.  I think they can.  They all have enough too.
Krissy Gibbs
PS: I will be emailing this to the Oakland Mayor, Oakland PD, Well’s Fargo, and Chase.  I am not sure to whom I should address the check.

Some notes on the General Strike

I spent yesterday at Occupy Oakland participating in the General Strike.  I know a lot of people who are dismissive of this protest and I want to write about why I went and what I got out of this experience. 
I spend most of my life feeling like a dirty little street kid who should shut up and disappear.  I feel invalidated and disenfranchised and invisible.  I feel like I am nothing in the grand scheme of things.  I’m not alone.  I have much more concrete reasons for feeling this way than most people.  I can point to a long history of inconsistent housing, poverty, hunger, sexual assault, bullying, etc.  I can say, “See!  I feel this way because of all of these real things.  Most of the people who were at the protest with me felt the same way.  They don’t have the same history though.  I find that curious.
How has our society morphed into this bizarre consortium of unrelated people brushing past one another without dependence? How did we come to a place where people feel like they don’t matter?  People matter. 
I arrived in Oakland around 12:30 and got off at the Lake Merritt Bart station.  I wanted to walk in and see how much of the city was taken over.  It wasn’t much.  Mostly there were people leaving because the first march was ending and people had other things they had to do.  The first thing I was struck by was the fact that everyone looked elated.  Everyone looked like they felt good about themselves and what they were doing.  I don’t see large crowds of people who look happy to be alive very often.  As I approached the main camp area I felt nervous.  I felt like I am such a small person, what do I have to give?
I arrived with a grocery bag full of supplies to help deal with police brutality because I live with a Greenpeace person.  I was elated to discover I only saw a handful of cops in the first several hours.  Most of them looked pensive or they were smiling.  They didn’t look like the enemy.
I wandered around the plaza by myself for about an hour and a half.  I sat down and talked to this really wonderful man.  He is out here from Atlanta because he works with an organization that is promoting alternative discipline models in schools.  They want to work towards restorative justice.  The conversation with him was inspiring.  He has done so much to help so many people.  He is truly an activist.  He is compelling and charming and very well educated.  I felt ashamed to tell him that I stopped teaching because I couldn’t handle being a parent and teaching.  Both jobs take too much of me.  There isn’t enough of me to go around.  He smiled and told me, “You are just working on a different part of education now.  You’ll figure out later what you’re supposed to do next.”  I felt seen.  And valuable.  This person I will never see again told me that if I feel strongly about helping children I am valuable and I should not give up on myself.
I went to the protest at least in part because I object to the police trying to evict the Occupy movement.  As a taxpayer I think that I have some say in how public lands are used.  If people who are very upset want to camp in fairly miserable conditions in order to raise public awareness of serious issues I think they should be allowed to.
I posted continually yesterday about what I was seeing.  One friend was dismissive and catty about how there wasn’t a unified message so he wouldn’t take it seriously.  I feel like that summarizes the problems in our country perfectly.  If you can’t summarize your discontent in a thirty second sound bite it isn’t really important.  Really?  Since when?  This is a complicated issue because there are a lot of people involved and influenced. 
If you go back and read Revolutionary War era public discourse there wasn’t much of a unified message then either.  But we still fought the British off and declared ourselves a separate country.  Even though we didn’t know how that should look.  Even though we didn’t know at the beginning what the unintended consequences were.  I think as a country we made the right choice.
The Occupy movement is fractured because right now there aren’t enough people upset.  In my opinion.  As long as the Occupy movement can be dismissed and ignored then it will be.  I think that the Occupy movement needs to grow until so many people are inconvenienced that even Joe Schmo who “doesn’t understand the movement” wants to give them their reasonable concessions already so we can all move on.  I think this needs to grow. 
Yesterday I was in the first 200 people to arrive at the port.  I wanted to be there.  I stayed at the first gate and held hands with my muse.  We watched the crowds pour in.  We listened to the music.  We watched people be excited about the fact that they were courageous enough to say, “I am allowed to express my anger”.  Because that is what I saw most.  People were angry and upset.  They had a lot of anxiety about being there.  They didn’t know what to expect.  Everyone seemed to be delighted to find that being angry and upset just means you are like all these other thousands of people.  None of us are alone.
I climbed up on a scaffolding and watched thousands of people pour into the Port of Oakland.  I cried.  I was overwhelmed by the strength of my fellow humans.  I was simultaneously part of this movement and separate from it.  I am still the dirty street kid in my heart.  I watched all these people and I gloried in their beauty and I felt like I sullied them because so many of them have strong beliefs that I completely oppose.  And yet, I want them to be allowed to have those opinions.  Whatever they are.  No one has to agree with me.

My opinions are the result of the unique set of circumstances involved in my life.  That is true of every one.  In this way it is nearly impossible to ever understand someone else’s perspective.  But as I watched all of those people I was so glad that they had the courage of their convictions to march to the port and shut it down.  I was so proud of my fellow humans.  We are here.  You cannot ignore us.  Whose streets are these?  Our streets?  Whose port is this?  Our port.  If we want to shut it down to prevent those rich people from processing more commerce, we can.  We can make it so fucking uncomfortable that you can no longer pretend we don’t exist.  None of us are invisible any more.
When I left I was exhausted and drained.  I was emotionally spent.  My body ached.  I felt this simultaneous let down and building up.  I’m not sure where to go from here.  My first step is that when I finish this essay I am going to go work on NaNoWriMo more.  Telling my story is part of my life work.  That is the work I am doing right now in this stage.  I think I am going to be going back to the encampment.  I will be bringing my children over the protests of my co-parents.  I believe it is safe enough. 
I was standing there watching when the anarchist group attacked banks.  There were a few people who had their own agenda.  I do not identify with them or their methods, even though I understand them.  I’m not even angry with them.  I think they are misguided, but not evil.  Not bad.  They are willing to be the far end of the bell curve giving me the illusion of being moderate.  I’m kind of thrilled by that, actually.  That doesn’t happen much in my life.  They were arrested last night after scaring people and giving the news a reason to rant about how of course the protests ended badly because activists are bad people.
100 something people.  Out of at least 7,000 but probably more people.  Really?  That is what people are going to remember?  That says a lot more about the people remembering than the protest.  This was a beautiful peaceful protest.  There were fringe assholes acting on their own agenda at a similar time.  Please do not confuse the two.  And yet, it’s the same thing.  Those anarchists are so fucking angry that they are willing to take the courage of their conviction and say, “You are bad and you should go away.”  I can’t disagree with that sentiment.  I think the huge banks are pretty evil as well.
In my opinion one of the rallying cries of the Occupy movement should be to remove person-status from corporations.  Corporations should become third class citizens.  I’m sure people will say that will drive business away from our country.  To that I laugh.  Have you seen our country?  We are beautiful and wonderful and strong.  Even if our corporations made far less money, we’d be fine.  We have all these wonderful people.  We can do anything.

For the record, I release this into the creative commons.  Please give me attribution: Krissy Gibbs