Thoughts on poverty and homelessness in the U.S.A.

Here’s an UNEDITED comment I just posted on Facebook (of all places) in response to critics of the occupy movement. Again, I don’t have time to edit, so it is what it is….on my way to work again… (at my low-paying, stressful, dead-end job for which I am way overqualified, mind you…)  But I”m so lucky to have a job in this economy. Woo-hoo!

XXX contends that public camping is not a protected right by the US Constitution. S/he refers to a US Supreme court decision. The decision of the court reflects an interpretation only (and interpretations can be wrong) of the US Constitution and, I believe, it is misguided

Second, if you read the Constitution, it does state that the rights not specifically spelled out by the Constitution automatically revert back to the people. Since the Constitution does not specifically state that people cannot camp out in public places then it is up to us, the people, to decide whether or not we should have that right.

And we’ve decided.

Third, the colonists camped out on land that was owned by the Native Americans (Indians), so they couldn’t possibly advocate laws forbidding camping out in public spaces. (Otherwise, what they were doing in coming to this land and taking it over would have been illegal.  Wait a minute…it was illegal…)

Fourth, many Americans are losing their jobs and homes and are having no choice but to camp out somewhere as homeless shelters are overwhelmed with the increasing need (and are often dangerous and unpleasant places to stay anyhow.) Those of us who are suffering greatly in this economy need to confront those in power with our poverty. “Look at what you’ve done to us,” is what we are saying to them when we camp out in front of their luxury office buildings and add some discomfort to their luxurious lifestyles.

Living in their gated communities in affluent areas and traveling in their limos and private planes, it is easy for them to ignore us. (They’ve been ignoring us for decades. Read Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickeled and Dimed.” It was written over ten years ago!)

But when we’re camped out in front of their well-manicured faces, they can’t ignore us! That’s why the occupies are so important. We need to take back public spaces.

Ironically, we Americans have become a lot like the Indians or the illegal immigrants we claim so much disdain for in our own country and in direct result of this very system we have set up. We are now suffering, in part, due to our own unjust laws and policies. We need to take responsibility for our mistakes now and be the change we seek in the world.

Occupy is our big chance to do just that!

Fifth, the great thing about Occupy encampments is that they give us that chance to learn to live together, to share and cooperate with each other again. Camping out together, we have the opportunity to formulate a new system that truly is democratic. It’s not easy and there have been lots of problems and conflicts at the Occupy in my own city (as I’ve written about in previous blog entries), but those conflicts exist because we have all been influenced by this corporate-controlled society. We’ve been conditioned to think dog-eat-dog and fight with each other. The Occupy movement is our chance to work on ourselves and create a new way of living and looking at the world and each other.

My question to the anti-occupiers is this: why are you so against the encampments? Is it because it forces you to confront what you’d prefer to ignore, i.e., the suffering of others and the real truth about the US–that we are NOT democratic, NOT free, and most certainly NOT the land of opportunity?

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Comments on: "Why occupy?" (2)

  1. Meria, I’ve been approached a number of time on-line by people with another name that shows your name when I hover over the address. Either someone’s ghosting you, or you’re part of the persecution I’m being subject to. Please look into it. If you’re doing this to harass me, please stop. If you’re not, address me openly and directly about the situation. It’s not the first time it’s happened. I’m keeping track..

    • Hi John Z. Please write to me and tell me who you are and where/when this harassment is taking place, and I will investigate it. Have we corresponded in the past? I have not been contacting you, so this must be someone else using my name or my email address.

      I’m sorry if you are being persecuted, and if someone is using my personal info to do that then I want to find out who that person is. Currently, I am dealing with a cyber-stalker myself, and this person has contacted my friends and acquaintances, so possibly they are one and the same? This person has also been reported to the police who are currently investigating, so please send me info that I can present to the police. Can you tell me where–which web sites or forums and what comments were made to you? Also when the comments were made and what aliases the commenter used when he/she wrote to you? In other words, which names this person is using and which email addresses this person is using? That is very important. It will give me a clue as to who the stalker is. Any info you send will be helpful. When I see the comments and other info, it may help me (or the police) to figure out who this person is.

      Again, if someone is writing to you, it is certainly not me. In fact, I’ve been too busy lately to even keep up with writing my blogs and answering my emails, so I haven’t even been writing to my friends who are probably wondering where I’ve been. But I’d like to find out who is using my name and/or email address, so do contact me and I will do my best to present it to the police and find out who that person is.

      Also, John, if you can get screen shots of this person’s messages, that’ll be even better, as I can print them out including dates, times, etc. If not, then just send me the info you have and I’ll report it. In fact, I’ll report this message you’ve just sent me to the police, even if I don’t hear from you.

      Thank you and please try to not let that person upset you. That’s usually what the stalker/harasser wants–to upset you and control you.

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