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I participated yesterday at Occupy San Francisco’s ‘foreclose Wells Fargo,’ my 3rd Wednesday demonstrating.

I feel like this movement is the revolution I’ve been waiting for my entire life. It resonates on every level of my being.

The action took place during morning rush hour.  Tuesday night I couldn’t sleep at all, tossed and turn and thought. Partly the humidity of October in the bay area, partly many things on my mind, such as feeling something being born or recognized in myself. I’m going through a metamorphosis of some kind, which is also something that I’ve been waiting and seeking my entire life.

What started at Burning Man has continued and multiplied and become some sort of fractal presentation of myself, where everything I see and touch and think is related and relevant. For instance, what does freedom really mean to me? And having it is frightening and exhilarating, partly because of the disappearance of walls and structures, so many veils lifted; and if I have it, I must also gift it to everyone in my life. No more grudges, jealousies, feelings of lack.

So these thoughts are in my head and I’ve been trying to capture their forms into words.

Back to yesterday. I donated a big quilt to Occupy SF, I had bought it at a thrift store for Burning Man, stuffed it in a huge pillowcase type thing for a cushy seat, that  I never brought out of my tent, since the shade structure wasn’t as large as it was made out to be. 

I couldn’t fit it in any bag but a big garbage bag; I couldn’t take a sign, because it would rip the bag, so with a few essentials, holding the squishy bag to my body, I half trotted/ran to the Bart station since I was going to get there about 10 minutes late. I rode into the city with the morning commuters; it’s only a 15 minute trip. I got to the encampment, the quilt went to a young tired young guy, they pointed me in the direction of the march about 2 long blocks away, and in between waiting for lights, I ran to catch up and get in the midst.

Chinese, Filipino, Spanish and English were the languages of the day. There were infants and senior citizens. We basically surrounded Wells Fargo headquarters by picketing at each entrance, 2 main entrances, and 2 back entrances for employees. People sat in front of the doors, and inside the revolving doors, volunteers who planned on being arrested. The rest of us picketed. Around 8:30 is when the eleven people at the employee side door got arrested, they were released a couple hours later and came right back, they were just a few blocks away.

That and the back entrance eventually had a very small presence, we focused on the 2 main customer entrances, no one budged, no one got arrested, no customers got in. We shut the bank down from 9 to 12:30, as planned, then marched around it one more time. There was lots of traffic support, lots of good media coverage. Like most, I took pictures and posted on FB in real time.

For me personally, getting up at 4 because I couldn’t sleep, sipping coffee at home, then sprinting to Bart and then the march, then marching and chanting and singing, well, that’s a lot for an early morning.  My head and heart were thrumming with adrenaline and passion and solidarity with so many different people who participated.

I went to a McDonalds a block and a half away a couple times to use the restroom and bought another coffee. I had a banana at some point, and then bought protein bars at a Walgreens.  The energy was electrifying, the speakers were amazing. Naomi Klein showed up which was cool.

After the action was done, I walked back to Occupy SF. I really like being there. I also love that I’ve gotten involved while this movement is small because I’m meeting people, I’m meeting my people, we’re all our people I think.

I recognized a guy I had demonstrated with for the last 5 hours and introduced myself and we talked. He’s a software guy, lost his job, very into the movement. We were closest to the Federal Reserve building, standing on the edge of a circle of people who were discussing something intently, in the democratic way of the Occupy movement. Others were sitting around on tarps, the various tables for libraries, food, etc., were south a little, and the people sleeping were closest to Market St.

A new friend I met last week was nearby on a tarp playing his guitar, we waved and he came over and we all sat. I pulled out the sage I had brought for the march but didn’t light, since we were picketing, there wasn’t enough space to really burn it.

We talked and talked about life and the various actions and how the cop that started the aggressiveness last week was paid off to start something.  The guy with the guitar is a gifted singer and musician and free spirit with very good energy.  He left after a while and the tech guy and I leaned in to the meeting to listen.

They were discussing the letter they had just received from the city. The city was offering them a building, but with the thousands of homeless people in San Francisco who are arrested and moved constantly, they felt that was simply a fear tactic on the city’s part.

There was discussion about permits. Some thought they should apply for a permit for every different aspect the occupation offers, such as a library, food, first aid, etc. But it seems that was dismissed when the person with the letter said that’s not what the city was asking; they could apply for just one permit.

Since they can’t have tents on the sidewalk there is a lot of discussion about moving and scouting out parks. That’s a little sad, because being in front of the Federal Reserve building is amazing, being on Market, the bus drivers beep like crazy every time they go by, which is frequently, drivers honk, it’s a very symbolic place to be, if not totally practical, although the Bart station is right there too.

They discussed staying there which they can do, no one is moving them; they just have to do their cooking away from where the main group of people is and to eliminate wood-things that can burn. When we lit my sage, many people came by and made jokes to my guitar-playing friend about being careful for having a weapon. One of their group is in jail with a $50,000 bail for hitting a cop with sage.

They seemed to decide that a park would be best because they want to be self-governing, not told what they can do. It’s all about participatory democracy. Some felt they can do that on the sidewalk, as it’s their city, public property. But others like the park idea since they’re anticipating more joining the actual occupation.

They had been discussing for 2 hours, intelligent words and ideas coming out of every type of person imaginable, some living there, some donating their time and influence and resources.  They passed around a sign-up sheet for those that wanted to answer the letter from the city as it was decided that they wanted to answer all communication whether they agreed to it or not.

The next task was to scout out parks and decide which one they wanted to occupy.

It was very interesting, very powerful and encouraging.  It’s not all peace and love, but it is people speaking their truths in turn, respectful of letting each voice be heard.

I really like if not love, being there. I’ll be there often, until I’m working again.  I know for a fact if I was 20 years younger I’d be sleeping there a couple nights a week.

Occupy Oakland has a completely different vibe that I am not into on any level. I joined their page on FB but I don’t agree with their actions nor their ‘demands, ‘nor their very high opinion of themselves as an organized group. I don’t want to demonstrate with them either, because of the history of violence; I don’t trust them. My nerves and ethics just don’t fit into that model.

Oakland politics are filthy. The police chief just resigned under pressure from the mayor. People here are so mistrustful of the cops, and the same old voices are saying he resigned just when the occupations occurred, I suppose they think he would have swept them out of the park. I don’t agree, but he’s out now.

The SF group discussed the cop situation and determined the cops on the ground are there to protect them; they’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. It’s the layers of authority above the cops on the ground that they mistrust. I agree wholly with that. It’s nice to see the cops moving slightly to the music and chanting and singing during a protest. They can’t help it. Plus they know which side they’re on.

 So for this movement, my heart is in San Francisco.




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Regarding the burning man blog post and the ephemeral relationships that are created on the playa, and then disintegrate in the real world…

I think burner buddies sounds too much like fuck buddies, but that’s not the part of the article I focused on.

I like how he says that there, we learn to say yes instead of no, but when we come back we start saying no again. I hadn’t heard it put quite that way before; I love that theory.

I think it’s true and I think the goal, mine anyway, is to keep saying yes, shouting yes, whispering yes, doing like the village people with my arms and making the letters Y E S.

Occupy Wall St. came at the perfect time of course. In the midst of actually being with the demonstrators, reading about NY and all the other cities, seeing the movement begin and then spread and spread and spread on FB gives me that YES feeling of burning man, where anything is possible, and the doing is more important than the outcome, just say yes and see where it leads, there is tremendous trust.

It seems to me to be the definition of freedom, of open heartedness.  A way to really live the principles we learn in the desert that seeps into our skin like the dust. It’s always a question of how do you carry that home, how do you keep all that fire and wind and dust and heat and love and YES alive in your heart when you’re slowly overcome by work or no work, money issues, health issues, relationship issues, life.

This is a really good way. My heart is in it for the long long haul, whatever happens. I’m drenching FB with photos and relevant articles about Occupy Wall St. I marched this past Wednesday at noon. We had almost 1000 people. It was great; down Market, to City Hall, through the Tenderloin, to Union Square and back to the Federal Reserve building. The cops cleared the streets for us. We saw people of every ilk, residents and tourists, every color, hanging out of buildings, employees in the banks waving at us. There was such energy.

Saturday the 15th should be huge. If so moved please share in some way whatever information you can or join or donate. I think most of us here are the 99%. Mike check.

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Empty hangers everywhere! I keep shuffling them from closet to closet, some hang, some live on the floor. I think I went from about 10 to 45. 45 empty hangars! Who took my clothes? I have no clothes!

I wrote something this morning about accepting autumn's arrival:  I've kissed summer good bye until we meet again and I welcome autumn! I look forward to the trees dressing in their flamboyant finery then shaking it all loose in the rain and the wind.

Maybe it was the picture of the trees in their gorgeous fall wardrobes, their finest costumes and the long dances they'll perform in the winter storms.

I heard voices:  I need clothes. Now. Today.

It's been years since I shopped for more than one article of clothing and that was usually at thrift stores. So today, I went shopping!

TJ Maxx and Old Navy, nothing extravagant. But I got some awesome buys on 2 dresses from Max Studio, one of my favorite stores, ($29 and $36 from $118), a pretty top to go out in, a fabulous pair of shoes that I just wanted, 5, yes five bras, 3 t-shirts, a warm surprisingly nice and fitted fleece type jacket, like a snug pea coat,  and a super cheap pair of cute earrings.  And I feel great about it. Everything is washed and drying.

I threw out my old bras, and stuffed some shirts that were still hanging yet I never wore into a bag for later donating.

I made some calls regarding the harassment at the last job and finally got to a top person at the temp agency who hadn't heard the story. I promptly received a call from my new recruiter. We'll see what happens there.

Tomorrow in NY will be a huge protest. I'll be in San Francisco doing my thing. Every body counts.

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Some people will continue to say that marching and protests don't do anything.  Nothing will change. They'll say there weren't many people, it wasn't on the news or it only got 4 seconds and it's not in the paper.  Some people will continue to shake their heads sadly, cynically or apathetically at the state of the economy, the crooks in DC and still put their money in the big banks and pay their fees, the banks we the 99 percent bailed out-- because it's a hassle to change banks.  Some people will continue to say that Facebook is not for them, it's silly, they can't express themselves there, it's an invasion of privacy, they don't care what people ate for breakfast.  So they will not see how it gives us the power to be the media in real time and to share with the world information and yes, what I'm growing in my garden. Don't like a post? Hide it. Don't like the games? Hide them. Take the trouble to look at the settings. The world is on FB, face it.  hehehe

And honestly, how much of their life do they  think is NOT being tracked? Do they really only use cash at all times and store their money under the mattress? Do they care that much that because they click on a link, the ads will target them more specifically? Well, great. Maybe they've opted out. I gave up whatever I believed then to be private, when the gov't declared war on Iraq. I personally don't care about so-called privacy, I sign every petition I believe in and have for years.

I'm passionate about Occupy Wall Street and the movement that is building momentum. It's not going to stop. There is only a small percentage of people who don't agree with what the protestors are protesting. It's a no-brainer. We were robbed, stripped of jobs, stripped of services, overtaxed and we chase health care. Over 9% unemployment for how long? Tax incentives for corporations to outsource? There are not jobs being created. We are still being robbed and walked on.

I marched in Occupy SF yesterday, there were marches all around the nation. It's the second, I wasn't aware of the first one 2 weeks ago, but awareness is spreading. I'm spreading it. Maybe people have hid me on FB, don't care. The word is out. If no one speaks out, they win. They are 1 percent of the people, we're the 99 percent.

The unions are all joining, kids, seniors, unemployed, employed, black, white, brown, yellow, red, are joining.  I'm in for the long haul, proud of it, energized, in love with the people. If you've never been in the streets with hundreds and soon to be thousands of others, I strongly suggest it. The smallness gave it an intimate feel that the big marches naturally don't have. I liked that and will happily give it up too.

Small but amazing, empowering and adrenaline pumping. We started at Bank of America, marched through the Financial District, stopped at Charles Schwabb to picket for about half an hour, passed by Citi Bank, Wells Fargo, who are the others, all of them, then stopped to picket Chase. Who doesn't agree? We're protesting for the cops too, who were plentiful, but not in riot gear and I actually admired them in the lobbies of the banks where people entered. Must be hard. I did ask a friend if I could call him if I got arrested, you're supposed to do that. And he kept checking on me, which was cute. I posted as many photos on FB in real time as I could before my phone lost too much power. Me and everyone there.

People do have power. Not everyone has to march, but since everyone is affected, doing something is worlds better than nothing.

Pictures )


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