Wednesday, November 16, 2011


 “What are you doing?” asked my little son, as I rescued his plush R2-D2 from the floor where it had fallen.

“I am baking potatoes,” I answered, tucking it in next to him.

“Are you making them for the protestors? Again?” he asked, a whine creeping into his un-napped voice.

“Yes,” I said, and kissed him and turned the bedroom light back off.

I cannot do flash mobs because finding a babysitter at short notice is impossible. I cannot go to the General Assembly because it interferes with bedtime stories.

So I go to Liberty Plaza when I can. I keep a sharpie in my back pocket and a peanut butter sandwich in my diaper bag and two bucks for someone who really needs a cigarette even though I don’t approve.

The Lawyer Guild’s number on my arm is for others to copy, since I can’t get arrested—my little son told me not to as we rode home on the bus today, and I try very hard not to disappoint him on the big things. Getting arrested would be a pretty big thing.

Tomorrow, though, I am going to Zuccotti before he wakes up. I’ve made his lunch for daycare, it’s waiting in the fridge. Dinner is made, too, just in case, and I’ve got a sitter lined up to pick up my older son from school. I don’t know when I’m coming home tomorrow.

I vote, but the choices I have in the voting booth get worse and worse. I donate, but the needs get greater every year.

I don’t have any more money to give, I don’t have any more votes to vote, I am so tired.

My flesh and blood are growing up in a world with fewer resources and greater inequality, and all I have left to give is my body.

So I’m taking it—and 5 pounds of baked potatoes and 3 pounds of apples and as many peanut butter sandwiches as I can carry—to Liberty Square tomorrow.

There I will stand.

It is the biggest thing I have ever done.

For my children.


  1. At the end of a Quaker meeting, the Clerk will ask if anyone would like to ask the Meeting to 'hold someone in the Light.'

    It is one of the loveliest sentiments I have ever run across.

    Know that you are held in the Light, Alia.

    (Sorry for the slightly scary religious comment. It really isn't...but I could see how it could go that way.

    I don't think Quakers are capable of being scary. Like, ever.)

  2. Hee-- Owen and I met at a Quaker New Year's Retreat, were married in a Quaker ceremony at the Quaker meetinghouse he was co-caretaker of, and our wedding picture graced the cover of Young Quaker Magazine (UK amateur publication) that Owen had previously been the editor of. I am very comfortable with that language, and I thank you for it.

    I'm a little scared about tomorrow, frankly. Both that people (including myself) will get hurt, and that it won't be enough. We will get laughed at or ignored.

    If you can, keep an eye on the livestream tomorrow? And forward and tweet like crazy.

    Make whatever we manage to do tomorrow *mean* something. Something good.

  3. Ah, right - I'd forgotten.

    I'll do what I can (including asking other people to keep an eye and to do the tweeting, as I don't).

  4. It's not something I usually make a big deal out of-- we haven't been able to make it to a Friends meeting since Sam was old enough to not sleep through one. :)

    But thank you so much for the sentiment, and for keeping an eye on us.