Occupy Death City
Back when there was a National Conference for Organized Resistance (NCOR) we used to organize both official and guerrilla workshops and alternative events at it. And there were of course fingerbooks. These had great graphics from various sources and back in perhaps 2002 we put out the first one with a cover mentioning “Death City” for DC. When Willow recently asked why we call it that i replied “Because it is the place where they decide who dies.” Some of this of course is direct intervention like military strikes and wars around the globe. But more important in terms of total fatalities are various forms of inaction or sanction – like the pre-Gulf War boycott of Iraq which killed over 230K children far more than both the recent wars there have killed.
Sara and i went to the Occupy K street which includes the plus the 100 plus tent city on McPherson square park in Death City this weekend. What was amazing was the more elaborate infrastructure which had been set up as unfairly contrasted to the Cville Occupy site. Sara and i ultimately got to talk with her lover Oscar, who was largely rushing around preparing signs and paint for the next days action. There seemed to me to be strong integration and empathy with the homeless. This is hardly flawless and Oscar attested to strains. But as with Sara’s experience in Cville, ambassador members of the homeless population stepped forward and made the dialog work between the two groups. And for many they were getting some medical attention, regular food, and occasionally improved housing (a tent is much better than sleeping in the rain, tho many had better options than the park).
Somethings were similar to Occupy Cville. There was generosity from the surrounding establishments, workers would bring pastries destine for the dumpster to the Occupy DC kitchen. Residents would bring blankets and warm clothes. For now at least relationship with the police is good. The part service has a poster as you walk into the park starting by saying that the park service has a long and proud tradition of helping people express their first amendment rights.
But for me what was different was most important. The McPherson Square protest right off of lobbyist infected K street is much larger than the Lee Park occupy action in Cville. There is a library, a generator, a media tent, a medical tent and this precious water jug filling system depicted below.
Occupy K street uses the human microphone system, where he speakers words are repeated in unison by as many as 40 bystanders. This has (i believe) a similar effect on the speaker as alternating translational. That is that people think more about what they say and make in more information rich and potentially more concise.
As we started to leave it started to rain. As we drove back to a hopping Woodfolk, it started to snow. This will be the next test of the Occupy movement, how to deal with the pending winder. Something makes me think they will rise to this challenge.