Stormy Nights & the Winds of Change

Posted by CODEPINK Staff

By Mary DeCamp

These last couple of stormy nights make me think those crazy dirty hippies talkin' climate change might be onto something.

Friday night we had the storm troopers from Tucson Police Department surround Military Plaza in Armory Park and roust the sleepy Tucson Occupiers, telling them if they did not relocate all their worldly possessions from the site they would be arrested and taken to jail and their stuff would be confiscated.  Winds of social change with a very chilling effect.

The Occupying Patriots showed their grit and grace.  Within two hours, there was not a trace of the Occupiers left in the public park.  All tents, food, medical supplies, generators, technical equipment, personal effects, pets, and people were gone.  With no litter left behind.  Wow, just think if our government could operate with such speed and efficiency!  But they don't, of course.

The City of Tucson spent umpity-ump dollars to carry off the raid.  I conservatively estimated 60 officers, my friend Eric reported counting at least 72 on one side of the camp only, and those estimates didn't include all the traffic cops stationed around the blocks surrounding the camp to keep traffic out.  Odd, though, that all the media knew about the raid and were on hand before the Occupiers knew of the City's determination to break the will of the Free Speechers.  Maybe those elite opinion-leaders all have sumptuous dinners together and travel in the same rarified circles where they share priviliged information while the poor among us starve on their crumbs?  The City's money is being wasted on the wrong stuff.  The decision-makers are not accountable, because the responsibility for decisions is so diffuse - no one person is THE ONE who makes the call.  And if it gets too ugly and messy over financing, they can always form a committee and do an audit and absolve each of their buddies individually from any harm done.  That's how it turned out with the Bankster Bailouts, eh?  And how's that Rio Nuevo comin' along locally, folks?  Think globally , act locally.

That's what the Occupation Movement is about.  Calling attention to just how broken the system is.  The rich think they can simply lock themselves in their panic rooms, down their Xanax, and talk with their spiritual coach to weather the social storms.  How about you do your part, too, and VOTE before 7 pm next Tuesday?  Is that too high a price to pay for your democracy?  Too much of an inconvenience?

Ah, but then Mother Nature weighs in, too, with her non-electoral vote.  Last night we experienced incredibly violent weather.  The tents that were relocated to Tucson's Augusto de Veinte Park following Friday's Armory ouster trembled and shook and in some cases collapsed.  The window at Shot In the Dark Cafe was blown out, so retail establishments take a hit when the mighty winds blow, too.  Perhaps we should all just continue to ignore human-caused global climate change and clap our hands that maintenance and repair workers will now have gainful employment?  That's the Big Business approach, right?  Well, maybe right up until the time the insurance companies must pay - then there are squawks and squeals and legal maneuverings to evade responsibility and shift the expense to the poor who couldn't afford to guard against the "forseeable consequences" of not building a multimillion dollar castle to protect themselves.

I've long had a favorite saying - "If you're going to be poor, you better have a LOT of money, because it is going to cost you!"

We are at a point in history where we are questioning the role money plays in our lives.  Greece is defaulting on their debt, and NPR reports that the private financial sharks are circling the tank there, profitting off the taxpayers once again.  The dominoes are lined up and starting to fall.

Luckily plucky bands of Occupiers have sprung up in countless communities to show a better way of civic engagement.  Rather than letting the rats run off with all the goodies, they are standing together, sharing ideas and efforts, and getting stuff done.  We've organized into well-run teams of people to address every facet of the life in camp and we're providing valuable service to our communities.

When we Occupied Military Plaza in Armory Park, there were no arrests other than the stupid curfew citations that were issued.  How much money could that save our community if we adopted the direct democracy model in all of our neighborhoods?  Think what is spent on indigent care in the way of emergency room services, police patrols, jailing offenders, prosecuting and defending those who cannot afford their own representation, probation administration, and social services to care for the mental, emotional, and physical abuse that accompanies poverty.  But somehow, our status-quo system sees us as the bad guys in all this.  How dare we raise our voices after dark in a public park?  Call in the cops to quell the outcry!

The winds of change are blowing, friends.  Batten down your hatches because we are in for quite a squall.

And it really is a pleasure and an honor to be at the helm, watching the breaking fronts, and reporting back to you what it's like out here in the City's streets.

Love & peace,

Check out the Tuscon Occupy site for updates

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