Saturday, October 29, 2011

OCCUPY OKLAHOMA CITY (no astrology today)

We spent a couple of days in Oklahoma City, 90 miles north of our hometown, this week. Timing, as it happened, was a bit off - or rather a lot off!

During Wednesday night, after we'd arrived, the temperature dropped around 20 degrees, it started to rain and storm - heavy constant rain - and it didn't stop until well into Thursday afternoon, even then starting again after a brief respite. It remained bitterly cold - unusually so for OKC in October.

I wanted to donate something to the Occupy Oklahoma City group and had, stashed in the closet, an unworn warm padded coat I'd brought from England and never had need of in south-western Oklahoma. I decided it would be useful for someone camping out or protest marching during the coming cold weather, if not in OKC, then it could be passed on to more Northern cousins; I felt certain there'd be some co-ordinating activity going on.

First problem on Thursday, early afternoon, was finding a place to park the car reasonably near to Kerr Park in the heart of the city, where the Occupiers are camped. We spied the encampment from the road, saw a guy with a tripod and camera heading that way, but no other warm bodies were to be seen. It took around 20 minutes to find a place to park, and another ten to walk back to the encampment. Fortunately we'd hit a space between heavy showers. The guy with the tripod had gone on his way by the time we arrived, and two young guys were boiling some water, they generously offered us coffee, which we declined having only recently drunk some. I handed the coat, covered in a big plastic bag, to one of the guys with an explanation. He was obviously unused to hearing English-type-English, for he looked completely blankly at me as though I were speaking Swahili. The other young guy stepped in, took the bag from me with profuse thanks and put it in one of the tents, which appeared to hold supplies.

We chatted for a short time about how wet and cold it had been during the night and all morning. They agreed it had not been fun. Nobody else showed up, other Occupiers were either inside the twenty or so tents, or had repaired to warmer, drier places. A young woman passed by and was asked "Are you joining us today?" She shook her head, "Not today, sorry!".

My husband took a few shots of the tents, and any signs not obliterated by the rain. Young guy number two posed in the opening of the supply/donation tent, raised his arm in the clenched fist salute, so I joined him. There was little time left on our parking meter so we had to rush off, and as we walked back it began to rain - again.

So, due to such awkward circumstances our visit wasn't a resounding success. It was very bad timing and bad luck that after months and months of heat and drought in the region, the one time we needed a bit of dry weather it decided to pour down with very cold rain!

A young journalist, Zac Smith, whose timing had been better than ours, visited Kerr Park earlier in the week. He posted a report online SEE HERE.
Snips ~~~
Occupy Oklahoma City, the largest Occupy Wall Street solidarity group in the state, has staged an around-the-clock occupation for the past 15 days in Kerr Park.

About 40 demonstrators are occupying Kerr Park on a continuous basis, sleeping in portable tents. Their numbers are supplemented to varying degrees during the day.
Since the commencement of the occupation, protesters have staged marches through the streets surrounding Kerr Park at least twice a day or more. Local media coverage of these activities has been shallow and police surveillance casual to nonexistent.

In the words of union organizer Nicholas Klein, “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.”

While the New York occupation currently exists somewhere between the second and third phases of this process, Occupy Oklahoma City is stuck firmly in the first.
Despite this, the mood among protesters is buoyant. Given Oklahoma’s enormous political conservatism, simply gathering to acknowledge there is a fundamental problem with the American economic and political system is a great stride forward...........Though conversation and debate at Kerr Park is generally congenial and relaxed, some protesters seem increasingly conscious of the existence of conflicting political philosophies within the movement.

Thus far, Occupy Wall Street has sought to be entirely inclusive, often treating fundamental political disagreements as superficial and irrelevant..............

“It’s actually beautiful that you can have two people from opposite ends of the spectrum agreeing on something, but we’re agreeing on what’s bad; we’re not necessarily agreeing on how to fix it.”


Kaleymorris said...

I believe you are the most radical person I know. Keep up the good fight, Dudette!

Anonymous said...

GP: When the current president of the USA comes out (smiling as always...) and saying that "millionaires want to pay more taxes" one cannot stop wondering. Is he of a sane mind???

This is massaging public opinion, as others do, have done, Quadafi, the Castros in Cuba, Berlusconi in Italy (controling over 30% of the media there).

Occupy whatever city/institution - if to succeed (and not just the colds of comming winter), has to step up at least one more degree of understanding and effective power to act.

Today's world is DRUGED. ON CREDIT. NO WAY OUT. CAPITALISM WON! As per K.Marx. Until it will have eaten the last of it's children, that thing will continue "prospering"..

Sad conclusion, but have to face reality too...

Twilight said...

Kaleymorris ~~~ LOL!!!
In reddest Oklahoma being the most radical is easy-peasy K!
I'd like to think I'm a Dudette though! ;-)

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~
I couldn't agree more GP. I agree also that the Occupy movement will need to kick it up a notch (or two) soon.

I can't see yet in which direction they'll go though. At present they're raising awareness for the most part, and gaining support. It's reported that they don't wish top have any leaders. Most older supporters think this is a mistake.
I tend to agree, but think that a leader WILL emerge when the time is right. "Cometh the hour, cometh the man (or woman)" - one of my favourite sayings.

If it all fades now, due to the on-coming winter, it will rise again, I feel sure, especially as 2012 is election year in the USA.

James Higham said...

Suppose it's nice having a campout with everyone else - sort of like summer rediscovered.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~~ Maybe so - as long as the weather holds, and as long as one doesn't happen to be in Oakland CA or Atlanta GA where the police have been using tear gas, and worse on the protesters.

R J Adams said...

No doubt the all-powerful 'One Percent' are expecting the approach of winter to scratch this irritating itch on their ass for them. They may well be right, though I hope not.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ I hope they will start to evolve the movement a bit soon - before the worst of winter, so that there's a strong core to return to early next year.

I don't think anyone could foretell, at this stage, which way things will go. I alternate from hope and enthusiasm to doubt - then back again, about it all.