Sunday, January 8, 2012

How I spent my weekend

Friday I picked up ProtestKid from school and we brought tiny tents and pumpkin bread to the protestors outside Bloomberg’s Mansion. The street was blocked off, so we huddled on the corner and mic checked about Stop and Frisk policies and ProtestKid took some pretty good pictures with his DSi. I think some direct action people were intrigued by the possibilities: Is it a toy, or a tool to beat the oppressor?

He also got a brief guitar lesson from a random guy who for all I know is a rock star and talked about Mario Kart with Lauren, who was the first person to get arrested at Grand Central for mic checking.
She was awesome. (I wonder if she babysits?)

The sun set, and ProtestKid was starting to flail, so we took a few more pictures and headed home. The event was small but sincere. I hope the next action is better advertised and better lit. The cops were fairly friendly. ProtestKid enjoyed taking pictures of the cops who were ok with it, but pouted dramatically when one of them didn’t. He got over it, and she seemed relieved that I did not let him press the point.

Saturday, I got followed by several more Occupy-types on Twitter (hello, new readers who are real people and not bots from Venezuela!) which was exciting, but mainly did family stuff.

Sunday, we had Occupy Pancakes with M and E and A, talking about what solidarity means when some people demand that solidarity for a larger cause, and say that cause is more important than the little betrayals of silence and dismissal and disrespect.

Then M, E, A, ProtestKid and I went to the third meeting of our local Occupy Group, and there was a lot of noise and a lot of disrespect. That was hard. I think we’ll work through it, but as the group gets larger (and we are, from 24 people at the first meeting, 27 at the last, and 33 today—not counting A and ProtestKid) I worry that the people who appreciate consensus and listening with respect will get diluted and the angry and disaffected will win.

(And that makes me feel angry and disaffected. I wasn’t as awesome today as I wanted to be. I really *want* to be awesome and a good listener. But I get upset and then I get loud and then I sit on my hands and think dark thoughts.)

 I am consoled that tomorrow I get to try again.

Good luck to you, too.

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