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If you don’t know me, I am a single mother living in Southern California. I got my high school diploma before I turned 18 despite the system that failed me, and I had to bring my infant to class a few times to get my High School Diploma. I’ve been out of work since 2009 and I’m just now starting to get interviews. I job search 35 hours a week, sometimes more. Sometimes I do odd jobs for friends, and I’m starting classes in the spring if everything works out. I’m not the most well read person you’re going to read, but this is what I have to say. I think it gets more interesting and original towards the end.
There are some misconceptions that the general public has about the Occupy Movement, and Occupy Riverside specifically that really make me laugh. The single thing that I would really like you to know, if you live in the area, is that a lot of the big push for getting the Occupiers out is the City of Lights Festival coming up shortly, and quite frankly we are NOT leaving. It’s not going to work. WE WILL KEEP COMING.
1. We’re dirty.
I’ve been down there three times to Site A in Riverside and I have to say it’s pretty clean. The only smell is coming from the well watered manure the city decided to put down every day for the past three days, which I’m sure is hurting the business more than it’s hurting the movement. There is the constant reminder to pick up after yourself and others, and we often pick up after other people who walk through the plaza. All trash makes it into trashcans quickly. Before the city put manure down it didn’t smell, and that’s their doing.
2. We’re college kids, or lazy.
Again, in my visits I’ve met (myself) and spoken to people from all walks of life. College graduates who can’t find work, high school students, laid off workers, workers who were the best at their career found out their careers had been outsourced to India, single mothers, homeless people, people who are employed and come down in their time off, people who are underemployed, and that one guy who apparently thinks that he’s Jesus. And don’t forget the undercover cops. You can’t call someone lazy who sleeps on the cold ground, packs food from home, works their asses off making and holding signs, preparing and dispensing food and drinks to Occupiers, the homeless and other hungry mouths, and THEN finds time to look for work lazy.
3. We don’t know what we’re demonstrating for.
Get dirty money out of politics. Stop letting big business rule the debate, get money from the government when we could be using it for better ends- at least if you’re going to give them a free hand out do it so that it actually improves the economy instead of adding to their bloated salaries. Freedom of speech, right to protest without being harassed or bullied by the powers that be. Better healthcare, cleaner environment, better schools, getting out of this endless, goalless, expensive war.(The Bullshit War on Terror, about as effective as The War on Drugs. Walk down any main street and you can smell how well that worked.) It would also be nice if journalists actually started doing their jobs, particularly the local newspapers, and actually started reporting real news, not regurgitated corporate bullshit. Although I don’t know what our officials can do about that, that’s more of a personal gripe. This isn’t the first time I’ve had issues with our local opinionpapers. All I’ve ever used them for is cat litter and window cleaner.
Yes there are more specific things, but those are the things that I get most out of occupiers, it’s something that everyone that I’ve talked to seems to agree upon. We’re not happy with the Republicans OR the Democrats. We’re demonstrating because the ENTIRE system is broken and we want our officials to hear us and help us do something about it. We’re demonstrating because we’re spreading the message and getting others to join us in our cause.
We’re demonstrating because you can’t. We’re demonstrating because we DO know what we’re fighting for- we’re fighting for our children, and our grand children, and our grandchildrens grand children to have a shot at the American dream. Because we let big corporations steal the country away, hell, we, the American People, handed it over to them. And if we don’t demand for it back there will be no more American Dream. You can kiss your freedom of speech goodbye, they’re already working on censoring the internet and have already planted undercover police officers at protests.
It’s not about Republican or Democrat. It’s not about what race you are. It’s not about your gender, or whether you even have one. It’s not even about how much money you make, believe it or not.
It has to do with what those that have the money, the REAL top 1% (even if you think you are you probably aren’t.)- it has to do with how we keep them from running the show. 1% of the people should have 1% of the vote. Not 2%. And believe me they have way more than that with all of the money they throw into lobbying and at political campaigns. Not to mention the men who run the EPA who used to work for the top polluters in the country.
It’s about holding our elected leaders and the Owners of this country accountable, and I separate the two for a reason. George Carlin has a good bit on the owners of this country.
Wake Up America. This isn’t your playground political bullshit show that you put on for yourselves because it makes you feel special to flip off the other guy or insult his or her character. This is about your RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE peaceably when you don’t agree with the majority. This is about your RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH. This is about saving the American Dream for our children.
Wake Up America. You’re letting it slip through your fingers and you don’t even care, because you’re either too mired in your bullshit politics or your immediate lives to care what’s REALLY going on.
Where will you be while they’re stripping your rights away? What will you say to your children when they ask you, how could you let this happen?
Thank You For Reading,