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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our world's in your world, now


1/21
Go with Tracy across the street for coffee. To review the march last Monday and how it was another good connection between the antisweatshop coalition and the neighborhood. And the value of a campaign that is localized. I make a comparison to our recent experinces with #ows and say to Tracy You guys are easy. And she laughs and then reminds me that workers are easier to organize than say, intellectuals, or others, because, well, they work. There’s an inherent discipline that develops from having to show up and work every day even if you are exploited...you understand discipline. We talk more about how too connnect #ows activits with localized campaigns  and actions, how too connect the lines between the macro issues and the micro on the ground actions for justice. 
Ocer on the steps, I see teh doorways are full. In the souht doorway I think I recognize an #ows sleepin gbag. Can’t be here during the day, man, I say. And then explain that while homeless people sleep on our steps, they  leave in the morning, and we have relationships  and work with Goddard-Riverside Reachout to try and find housing. He tells me his friends went for coffee. Doesn’t matter, I say.
And then in  front if our office  door, I’m surprised to find Kanaska, the singer-songwriter. She tells me she’s not feeling well. Then get your stuff and get inside, I say, you don’t beed to be out here. And as I’m telling her this, Red from Occupy Portland comes up. I explain the  drill to him. But people been givin us presents all day, he says. All the more  reason man. Can’t be here. Got to go, I say. 
Teddy’s puttting Kanaska togetehr with Mary, the sweet older woman from Staten island. Still can’t figure out ho she lost her job and home. And need to keep Red and the guys away. 
Dan has brought me a collection of baseball cards that were found somewhere along the way. All from 1979. Mostly commons. But a lot. Dan thinks  it may replace my laptop. Uh,no. At most, worth around $250, I think.  (Actually, $150, the baseball card market has crashed too.) I do like the Pirates in their bumblebee unis though.
I feel like #ows has moved all thie rtents inside of me and set up camp. Occupy me. 
Kevin is back to plan another event. May have a national group from Iceland to perform. And another of his own productions he’d like to  run. With a little less scaring the neighbors. And he’s interested in the development aspect of the project as well. 
I have to run off to Newark and talk with Douglas Bendall about teaching at the Newark School of Theology. When I get back, it appears that spokes council has just ended. I look inside, things seem realtively calm.
As I’m leaving, I notice George on the steps. Knew he’d be back sooner or later. So Occupy Wall Street’s Occupy 86th Street,huh? And he laughs. Then tells  me a story I don’t like about people smoking weed in front of the church. The police stopping by. 
I go back in. Talk to Rafael. Yes, it happened, yes it got broken up. And I try and explain that it can’t even happen. How exposed and vulberabe I am right now.. More talk of plans to do more reconstruction work. A union guy wants to connect with artesnas. OK, OK. I need to see plans on paper, No more talk. 
I go back and tell Jeff what I need to see on paper. And that this project in this form is over as of next Saturday. Given enough time, maybe Jason’s paln woud work. Maybe everyone could be turned aound, come  togtehr as a community. We wouldn’t last that long. Dan had his DJ mike and adapter and head phones stolen. This project is over. 
George has been watching all this street action from the steps.  
Occupy Wall Street, humph. Me and that Mexican, we regulars. Get here these people takin up my place. The don’t belong here. Don’t know nothin about bein homeless. You let em in the  church? 
I nod.
He laughs again.
Got these fools out here smokin weed. Got cops copmin by. What the fuck? These fools gonna get me busted and I don’t even have nothin to do with all that. This Spanish guy Rafael, he tell me he represent the church. Rep you. I say, fine, do your goddam job.
George looks at me and laughs. Our world in your world now, he says and laughs again.   I tell him about the news people coming around. And he goes on again, They demonize those young folk. Demonize them. They may be fools. but ain’t no demons. Homless hell, yeah, homeless hell. Our world in  your world.
I tell him I have to go home. See him soon. And i think to myself, he;s right. 

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