OWS Day 51 (9 for me)!

So I’m feeling quite a bit better today after spending most of yesterday huddled in my tent. Bird flu or something. I went to the medical tent to see if they could help and was given a cup of herbal tea something something with raw vinegar in it. I was pleasantly surprised how much it helped. I immediately felt less lathargic and congested. Helped me get a good night’s sleep too. I’ll never make fun of hippie meds again!

Woke up this morning feeling 50% better than yesterday. Went straight for the medical tent for another dose of hippie serum. The herbalist wasn’t there but an actual M.D. was. She asked a few questions and disappeared into the med tent before coming out with a small glass bottle with an eye-dropper type lid. Told me to take 2 squeezes every 2 hours. This stuff is awesome. I feel so much better walking around camp. Got me curious what was in it. The chicken-scratch label lists 5-6 herbs (echinacea, elderberry, ginger, etc.) The last ingredient: 20% brandy. Of course! Thought I felt an alcohol feeling but the taste is masked.

Anyways, I’ve been on the sidelines this weekend and haven’t attended any meetings but I fully expect to be back in the game tomorrow morning.

Side note: as I’m finishing this post some crazy guy with one shoe just walked into McDonald’s shouting at the top of his lungs about how this is the time of Abraham. He then proceeded to do the worst robot dance I’ve ever seen. Gotta love NYC!

Occupy!

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Live From Occupy Wall Street

My first week at Occupy Wall Street has been an amazing experience. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect coming in but I’m so grateful to be a part of it now that I’m here. It has exceeded my expectations a thousand fold.

Most of what I heard prior to arriving was the constant blather about the lack of organization of the Occupy movement; i.e. the lack of leadership, goals, demands, etc.
What I have learned is these points that we “lack” are actually our strengths.
First, we don’t need leaders. We all lead by consensus. Leaders can be swayed by outside forces.
Second, it is not the responsibility of a social movement to create policy. We are here to increase awareness of the plight of the bottom 99% of Americans that are being fleeced by the top 1%.
Third, stating demands gives the media and others the opportunity to focus on a few bullet points and craft their message to pick those demands apart.

The truth is, we are operating a fully-functional mini-city in Liberty Plaza. You can’t do that without a huge amount of organization. We have over 80 working groups that take responsibility for different tasks/causes. We have kitchen, medical, law, media, direct action, women, LGBT, veterans, comfort, people of color, library, and so on. Every working group has daily meetings to coordinate their group and work for their cause. Working groups can form proposals to present to the nightly General Assembly to be adopted -or not- by consensus.

I’m sure you’re all aware of the safety issues and reports of junkies, drunks, criminals, and police brutality at Occupy locations around the country. Sure there’s a few people that are not here for the right reasons. Every big city and small town has them. Most of them have been repeatedly rejected and refused the care they need by society at-large.

As for the NYPD, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many officers at length. They mostly support our cause knowing they too are the 99%. They all want to be at home with their families instead of standing around in the cold in lower Manhattan. There are always going to be a few bad apples in every workplace, police included.

In my opinion, the NYPD presence is a good thing for the plaza because it forces us to constantly be aware that the situation can escalate very quickly; thereby causing us to self-police the community.

The best part of being here is the diversity of minds here in the plaza. Walk around and you’ll run into someone representing almost every demographic except one: the top 1%. You’ll meet doctors, nurses, steel workers, professors, students, artists, entrepenuers, lawyers, and the ocassional dirty hippie! I challenge you to visit your local Occupation and NOT run into a good conversation or three. Bottom line is: We are many. We are one.

We Are The 99%