Occupy D.C. erects "Tent of Dreams" with statue as center pole

While we are still trying to wrap our minds and hearts around what happened last weekend in Oakland that the action there would turn violent, this new action is truly hilarious. Thank the gods and goddesses for the fertile creativity of Occupy. You just never know what will tent up next.

And, in case anyone is still wondering why Occupy hasn’t lost energy over the winter, but is in fact a deeply sourced movement to rebalance, reframe and return to a truly social contract, you might want to memorize this breathtakingly succinct summary from Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, in The Party People of Wall Street. Thanks to commondreams.org.

“The last three decades have witnessed a carefully calculated heist worthy of Robert Redford and Paul Newman in “The Sting” — but on a massive scale. It was an inside job, politically engineered by Wall Street and Washington working hand-in-hand, sticky fingers with sticky fingers, to turn the legend of Robin Hood on its head – giving to the rich and taking from everybody else. Don’t take our word for it – it’s all on the record.”

Thanks to alternet.org.

Watch: Occupy K Street, Defying Park Police, Erects Giant Tent Around DC Statue

January 30, 2012

by Alele M. Stan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When word came down from the National Park Police that Occupy DC’s two encampments would be, as of noon on Tuesday, subject to a rule that prohibits inhabitants from sleeping at the sites they have inhabited since October, Occupiers got creative. Occupants of the Freedom Plaza site proclaimed that they would operate a 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. daily spiritual vigil. Religious vigils are not prohibited by Park Service rules.

At McPherson Square, the Occupy K Street folks responded with a noontime spectacle. As as area workers, dressed in suits, emerged from their office buildings at the lunch hour, Occupiers erected a giant tent, using the Square’s massive statute of Civil War Major General James B. McPherson as its center pole. (Here’s what Gen. McPherson looks like when not acting as a tent support.) Protesters surrounded the statue with an enormous blue tarp painted with clouds, stars and crescent moons, and inscribed with the words, Tent of Dreams. Several of them scaled the statue, enveloping the bronze depiction the horseback general in the tenting, as those on the ground chanted, “This is what democracy looks like.”

The scene had a festive feel, despite the crush of media. Police stayed to the outer perimeter of the square as the protesters had their way with the general. The crowd of protesters spanned generations and social class in the racially mixed group. Many carried signs that appeared to have been silkscreened or block-printed on corregated cardboard that featured a large cloud inscribed with the words “I’m dreaming of…” Protesters filled in their own end to the sentence: “My First Amendment Rights,” read one. “Restorative Justice,” read another. “No institutional genocide,” declared yet another.

I spoke with Darlene Dancy, a longtime fair housing advocate from D.C. She was drawn to the Occupy movement, she said, because “the legislators who are elected to represent the people do nothing to actually preserve the lives of the people who elect them. Humans need housing.” Of the “no sleep” order by the Park Police, Dancy said, “I think it’s ridiculous because humans need homes, and the Occupiers are here to symbolize the atrocities done to people who have nowhere to sleep.”

Justin Rodriguez is a 25-year-old former student at Howard University, which he left before he completed his degree. He wound up becoming homeless himself even as he worked at a non-profit organization whose mission is helping the homeless. Rodriguez said he got involved with Occupy K Street via the Occupy Together Web site.

Ann Kruger, a 62-year-old museum professional, said she comes to the Occupy sites on her lunch hour because “I am so inspired by these young people.” She carried a hand-made sign that read, “Justice as Fairness,” which she said referred to a book by John Ralls called, A Theory of Justice. The gist, she said, was that justice is only achieved with the benefits enjoyed by society’s most privileged are enjoyed by all.

A video of the Occupiers’ erection of the Tent of Dreams appears at the bottom of this photo essay.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

If you examine the top of the crowd surrounding the statue, you’ll see splashes of blue. That’s the emergence of the Tent of Dreams.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

The blue tarp edges closer to the statue, carried by protesters.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

I wasn’t able to capture the scaling of the statue by Occupiers, but it was an impressive act of agility, as the tarp was pulled over the sculpted head of Gen. McPherson.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

Under the newly erected Tent of Dreams, at the base of the statue, anarchists left a valentine.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

Ann Kruger, a professional in Washington’s museums, spends her lunch hours at the Occupy encampments.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

Among the day’s announcements on the community board were instructions for safe storage of Occupiers’ possessions in light of the National Park Service’s “no sleep” order, which also called for the removal of camping equipment and bedding.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

Darlene Dancy of the D.C. Coalition for Housing Justice. Dancy called the no-sleep order “ridiculous,” because, she said, sleeping in the square was the point of the Occupation, partly as a way of symbolizing the “atrocity” of homelessness.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

A tent inscribed: “O.U.: The Harvard of the 99%”

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

Many protesters carried these signes, designed and block-printed by Occupy artists, and filled in by individual protesters to speak to their unique reasons for being part of the movement.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

The tent in the background is inscribed: NO JUSTICE, NO SLEEP, NO FOOD

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

The National Park Police stayed to the perimeter of McPherson Square as protesters erected their Tent of Dreams over the statue of Gen. McPherson.

photo © 2012 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

The graffiti artist who made this sign calls for statehood for the District of Columbia, whose citizens have no voice in Congress.

Below, a beautiful video by A.J. Chavar, via the Washington Post, who uses for a soundtrack a rendition of Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up,” by a trio of Occupiers.

[A.K.: I used a different video here . . .]

By Adele M. Stan | Sourced from AlterNet

Posted at January 30, 2012, 9:19 pm

This entry was posted in local action, new economy, unity consciousness, Uranus square Pluto, visions of the future, waking up. Bookmark the permalink.

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