Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The white guy in the box is back again

Stop by the church to pick up some papers on the way to see an attorney from the New York City Bar Association referral program. All these legal wranglings are wearing in their own unique way...
A long conversation with Jehan. I’ve always wondered about her. There’s a shrouded story in there somewhere. She comes across as cultured, educated, a product of the African-American middle class. She came to occupy not because of any political commitments but because she was homeless. Someone she met told her that she could find a home there, so she went to Zucotti and became part of the women’s tent. And eventually to West-Park. She never fully became part of the coop, keeping to herself. Spends her days singing on the subway, dreaming of a career as a performer. Now that the coop’s ending, she has no idea what to do. Can she simply come by and prepare healthy food? Sure. Why not. As long as nothing else is going on. I keep looking. But its hard to see inside. Something else is going on in there. 
Stop and talk with Steven and Chris outside. Steve is employing Chris as a security guard for the first buses heading to Chicago tonight.  People will start showing up around eleven.
When Steve is gone, I tell Chris how much I respect him. That he should use me as a reference. That there’s no reason he can’t get a job. That he is responsible, reliable, creative in problem solving. Most of all, I’d trust him with anything. He does not  belong on the streets. 
On my way back for teaching my night seminary class, I stop to see what’s going on. Already people are gathering on the steps. Takes me back to the early days when OWS overran the place and all the kids gathered outside upset the neighbors. I recognize many faces of those who once lived at West-Park. I see Maria, who delivered the proposal that resulted in people staying. Who I saw carried out more than once because of her seizures. She may not be allowed to travel to Chicago. 
Talk to Steven and Chris. Jason there, too. Time to let people in. Jason will watch the back stairs. Steven the inside guy, Chris in charge of the outside. The bus will arrive around 3 am. 
Steven and I go to invite everyone inside. The guy wearing a Bears sweatshirt turns out to be a reporter from the Chicago Tribune sent to be embedded on the bus trip to Chicago. Key organizers have been staying away from their homes so as to not be picked up before  the action. They're gathered here, at West-Park.

The white guy in the box is back again.

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