Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm not Occupying Red Bluff any more...

and here's why.

I enthusiastically participated in the first Occupy Red Bluff march a couple of weeks ago, waving my sign at cars going up and down Main Street.

The original Occupy Wall Street movement which, spore-like, has sprung up in communities around the world, began mostly as a protest against corporate greed.

Says the website: "Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.
This  movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don't need Wall Street and we don't need politicians to build a better society."

So okay, I absolutely can buy into that.  That seems to be an issue that transcends party lines and will register with politicians and corporations that we 'little people" are not going to lay down and watch our dollars disappear into your coffers without a protest.

And I print my signs about being one of the 99 percent and show up.

The Occupy Red Bluff group gets on Facebook. Well, okay, that is a great social media communication device as is Twitter for communicating and staying in front of people.

And then I read this post: "Every Monday @ 11:00 am there will be a gathering of occupiers @ BofA, 955 Main St. Red Bluff CA. Plz bring a sign and express your feelings about what is going on in Congress, on Wall Street ,The War, Guantanamo Bay, etc....Be nice, be polite, be humane"

More posts appeared in support of the Humane Society, the homeless, famine in America and hungry children, pictures of hippies back in the day, lots of news about other Occupy cities (which I'd have expected, of course), domestic violence, even Lindsay Lohan news. 

And I was done. 

The protests against corporate greed,  about misuse and non-repayment of the federal bailout money, and about the rich (both individuals and corporations) not being fairly taxed was one I could embrace and one which I believe could do a lot to bring people in any political party together on an issue has now devolved, at least locally, into a mishmash of liberal causes. 

Don't get me wrong: I support many of these causes individually and have donated time and money over the years. I've marched on picket lines and written letters to the editor and supported various of these causes. I support spay/neutering of pets, shelters for the homeless, ending domestic violence, and the like, for instance. Each of those causes already has an organization devoted to furthering its message and call to action.

But Occupy Red Bluff (and, I suspect, many other local Occupy events) has become too unfocused, too broad for me to want to get out there with my 99 percent sign again. I don't have a passion for some of the other causes that have been all tossed in together like grandma's old crazy quilt, and I don't want my friends and neighbors to mistake my action and conviction for something else. 

Unfortunate. Really unfortunate that it has become just another "liberal" vehicle for the Tea Party and conservative Republicans to scoff at and dismiss as a place where all the 'commie liberals' hang out and wave their protest signs. 

It should not be labeled as such. The root of the protest is one we all should be concerned about and be vocal about because it strikes at the heart of our economy, our investments, our government, and our future . The leaders of this 'leaderless' protest would be better served to stick to the issue. Because they've lost this one of the 99 percent, who is now slipping back into that silent majority who don't participate in picket lines and marches. (My pen, however, remains my most trusted sword....)


mxtodis123 said...

As a New Yorker, I have to say this Occupy Wall Street is now going too far. They've lost focus and seem to have forgotten their original purpose. Sadly, we the working public are going to be the ones footing the bill. All this overtime paid to police officers is going to come out of taxpayer dollars...not too mention, police being spread thin in high crime leaders. While the police are stationed at the protest site, the rest of the city, especially the other boroughs, is becoming the Wild West. Shootings and killings are up. It's actually getting quite frightening.

My Grama's Soul said...

Popped over here from Mary's....I liked your ideas for her space. You haven't posted in a while....but I certainly like this post. Thanks for speaking for a lot of us.