The First Ten Days
Spirits seem a bit low, here at Cesar Chavez Plaza, on Jan 17 so I thought I’d try my best to recap the 1st 10 days of 2012. Occupiers have been to presentations or meetings for the Sierra Club, Democrats for America, Puente, Rogue Green, the End the War Coalition, Energize Phoenix, Rainbow Push coalition(who work with Jesse Jackson), National Action Network(who work with Al Sharpton). We’ve gone to the state capitol to join in protests with Citizens for a Better Arizona and the National Organization of Women(NOW). While working with a group that fights Human Trafficking in Guadalupe, we found time to also help cleanup alleys and lots with several residents including one member of the city council. A community picnic has been planned with them this next Sunday to celebrate community. We’ve been able to stand with Women in Black against the War. We’ve also hosed a rally and marched in support of our public educators, many of whom came out to speak at the Cesar Chavez Plaza.
Occupy has given me a forum where I’ve been able to pass out information on community healthcare programs, public shower facilities, Stand Down Day (which helps veterans with a variety of services), and Community Voice mail (for those who need a way for a potential employer to leave them messages). Occupy has given others the opportunity to participate in First Friday events where we’ve been involved in the three way fashion show at the Firehouse, Holgas 10 years gone retrospective and an Occuart show at One Voice community center (an exhibit of Tiny Tents all over the city as a way of Occupying was put on display).
On Dec 31 I went with a group to Flagstaff where Occupy Phoenix, Occupy Kingman and Occupy Flagstaff met up in the snow for New Year’s Eve. During that trip we were able to spend many hours on the road learning about each other and sharing ideas. We also wandered around town, getting a chance to shop at Peace Surplus, play in snow and see the pinecone drop at midnight. We also found time to stand with the Flagstaff chapter of Women in Black.
At Occupy Phoenix we don’t have one issue or idea that unites us. We get a chance to experience and be a part of so many things and you don’t have to do them all. Honestly that amount to choose from just seems downright amazing to me. We are more than bodies and foot soldiers at a protest, we lead by example. We join in causes important to us and help make real change possible. That’s what I grew up learning America was all about; hard work, opportunity & commitment. We need people who are willing to hold down the fort at the plaza, as well as people who will provide support. We need people at home spreading word of these ideas/events on facebook/twitter/word of mouth and calling/emailing/writing the members of government and corporations we stand up against. We’ve been lucky to have people willing to do these actions so far and I want to thank all of those who have contributed and let them know how much their contributions have meant to making change happen.
In the first 10 days of 2012, I have been able to experience activism, culture, change, and local community. If you believe protesting against SB1070, Sheriff Joe for his failure to investigate 432 sex crimes, healthcare cuts, defunding public education, destroying the environment and big corporations influencing politics is how America should be then join Occupy Phoenix. We are a 24/7 occupation which means we are always accessible in person at Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix. We also have a video feed on livestream.com, socials streams on Facebook and Twitter, and tirelessly at events all over the valley and increasingly the state. The next time you’re downtown for a comedy/arts/music show, stop in and Occupy while you’re around. I’m here because I don’t think the status quo in this country is one I want my children to grow up in. I’ve been doing this for almost 100 days and I don’t plan to stop fighting anytime soon.