Why Do We Occupy? - Page 2
Nights are long and quiet. Tables are lined with donated food and coffee. Some occupiers try to sleep wrapped in blankets or buried in sleeping bags. Some play cards or hacky sack. Someone softly strums a guitar.
The homeless are drawn to us. There is food and water here and someone to talk to. Most help themselves to the food and leave. A few get involved and stay.
A large number of the homeless are obviously mentally ill and I am disturbed to see them huddled against the cold, seemingly hopeless and resigned to their fate. I am nagged by the thought that I am out here by choice. These homeless men and women have no choice and nowhere to go.
Maintaining good relationships with the police and park officials is a top priority. Trash is picked up promptly. Non-violence is a fundamental rule, so anti-social behavior of any kind is not tolerated. There is no on-site drug or alcohol use among the occupiers.
The group is surprisingly non-partisan. I almost never hear the words 'Republican', 'Democrat' or 'Obama'. Although many seem to lean toward progressive concerns such as health care, the wars and the environment, there are many conservatives and Libertarians in the crowd. The movement is leaderless, but decisions are made through a twice-daily General Assembly meeting and committee assignments.
The movement continues to gain steam. The simple message of economic fairness baffles journalists and political pundits. It does not fit easily into any partisan mold and defies talking points. It is driven by frustration but also by hope. It is a marathon, not a sprint.
This is why we occupy.