First, check out this U.S. map from Daily Kos, though I couldn’t find it there and instead got it through my houseguest, Jim, who just saw it on fb.
Lots of actions, eh?
Of course, some of them were huge, thousands upon thousands of people in gigantic squares in the world’s biggest cities. But I bet there were lots of actions like Bloomington’s, too, small, local, and spirited, each one a vibrant node in a miraculous mycelliac web tissuing (is that a word?) into all the interstices of daily life on this planet in this extraordinary year 2011 and even more extraordinary month of October as we move through the final day of the final 18 day/night period of the (Calleman) version of the Mayan Calendar, ending October 28, 2011.
Occupy Bloomington scheduled its march for 11 am, leaving from the People’s Park camp. Of course it took longer than that to leave. Here we are, milling about.
Yesterday, on a short sojourn through People’s Park I spoke for a few minutes with a young woman who in her regular life works as a nanny with a useless college degree in metalwork and $25,000 worth of debt. She spoke of the children’s presence at the camp and said something that stuck in my mind: “You know, they say we’re here to protect the children, but I think the children protect us. Because they are here, people behave better than they might otherwise.”
Hey, new message board! Cool! So this is to be an “Econ Hecklers” march, eh?
On our way at last!
It felt great to be moving down the middle of the street, cars stopped, drivers in various states of disturbance and/or thumbs-up recognition. Chanting “Whose streets?” “Our streets!” little dog Shadow bouncing by my side. The mood among us lighthearted, joyful. At last we are speaking, living, marching our truth. What’s been buried inside has now been unearthed. Even in the grocery store, later, get this! I was in line at the checkout looking at the Business section of the New York Times. Wanted to see if there would be any mention of the Occupation Movement. Sure enough, there it was, something about the way Wall Street traders really view the occupiers. Call them dirty hippies, losers, can’t remember all the words, but they were uniformly insulting. As I was reading this, the man behind me in line, whom I did not know and had not spoken to, had apparently been looking over my shoulder, because just then he exploded: “BULLSHIT!”
And nobody even found his strange behavior odd. That’s how much things have changed since September 17th, when a few bedraggled “hippies” started camping in New York City’s Zuccotti Park. We all know we are in the 99%. We’ve ripped off the conditioning; we no longer feel ashamed for not being “good enough” or “smart enough” to be ultra wealthy, or secretly furious or envious at those who are. Instead, we’re purely, openly, PISSED, knowing what is and is not fair. And it feels good to get that pissy feeling out of us, that explosive internal powder keg that has been set to go off for so long.
Back to the march. About six blocks after we started walking, we arrived at Chase Bank, where we enjoyed each others’ rousing speeches and songs — and took each other’s pictures.
And my little Shadow found a new friend!
Chase Bank happens to be kiddie-corner from Bloomington’s beautiful restored Court House.
Okay, time to take the streets again. “Whose streets?” “Our streets!” More disgruntled and/or gung-ho drivers’ faces. . . We’re on our way to the jail, so that the inmates can see us rooting for them.
Across the street from the jail (third floor), again we pause, sing songs.
Final destination, the Saturday Farmer’s Market, which was in full swing, and of course, very welcoming.
And here’s the most amazing thing. On the entire route, no cops! None. Nada. Were they in plainclothes, stealth mode? Or, could it be that there was at least one person there who in his regular life is a cop and who chose to march with us and the whole world on this beautiful October Day when we can feel the winds of human freedom and trust and communion beginning to rouse themselves from the closets where they have been hiding, afraid to show themselves.
No more fear.