Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Belated Jingle Bells

ProtestKid and I joined with several other Occupy Astoria friends a couple of weekends ago to serenade workers at our local McDonalds, Taco Bell and other fast food restaurant chains on Steinway. It was organized at the last minute but we still had enough people turn up that we were able to fill the establishments with our rousing songs.

The only place we got grief was at the McDonalds, where someone (a shift manager? He clearly believed himself to be an authority figure) told us to leave... but we still finished our song and left under our own volition.

Some people just stared at us, and some people smiled. I got one very quiet, "Good job" muttered at me by a passing customer and nobody heckled us.

I enjoyed caroling to the staff and patrons, but my favorite part was caroling on the street corner, and singing, "Deck the jails with Wall Street bankers! We know you're all crooks and wankers!" outside an HSBC branch.

My least favorite part was when ProtestKid asked me what a wanker was. (For the record, I said it was a really rude word for a jerk, and he shouldn't say it at school.)

Afterwards, I asked ProtestKid a couple of questions.

Me: Why did you want to go caroling (for the 99%)?

ProtestKid: Because I care about people! And I don't want anyone to suffer because of the 1% not noticing them and not giving them human rights. Caroling is a good way to convince the 1% to actually realize, 'Oh, my workers are underpaid. Better make up for that!'

Me: How did caroling make you feel?

PK: I felt really really good. I only got a little nervous when we found the cop in the bank.

Me: How did you think people around you felt?

PK: A lot of them smiled. The cop looked a little scared and tense, ready to pull off an arrest.

Me: Anything else you want to say about it?

PK: I also liked singing the songs. ... I want to be a man of many talents; I enjoy singing when there's a chance and it doesn't embarrass me. And singing with the rest of Occupy Astoria, I didn't feel embarrassed, I felt special.

I have to say, I really like the idea of singing truth to power.

Happy New Year
from the Protest Family

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