Joe Anderson donated $50 today, which was a wonderful gift!
24/7 committee convened today to discuss several things; including plans for Occupy the Night. Zoe from the Street Medics will be holding a seminar on cold-weather dangers, and plans are in the works for lots of hot drinks and a drum circle sponsored by the Family of Love. The committee will meet tomorrow at 4PM in the public library to refine details on the 4PM Saturday class on urban camping.
Weather was clear and cold, with daytime temps in the fifties and dropping to 37 degrees at the time of this writing. The encampment has been busy, busy, busy with many new plans for a more flexible infrastructure, outreach and events which will be deeply relevant to our movement. We live in interesting times – now if we only had more hours in the day!
Love from the McDonald’s (free wifi = best invention ever),
Locke in Socks
Karl Denninger, original co-founder of the Tea Party, spent the first weeks of Occupy Wall Street watching the nascent movement carefully, and then finally reached a decision to support them. And not merely to support them, but to call for the two grassroots movements – both comprised of ordinary Americans fed up with rampant corruption and an unresponsive political system – to join together.
Karl Denninger, CEO of MCSNet and noted economic and political blogger at the Tickerforum, has earned national renown and frequent guest spot on the Dylan Ratigan show by skillfully disseminating wisdom to frustrated masses. It would be surprising for Tea Party activists to have followed him with all their hearts on every score but this one.
Quotes from Karl Denniger~
On his time spent at Occupy Pensacola: “I’m a white man, the last guy you’d think would get the chance to speak, right? I’d be asked to “step back”? Uh, no. Anyone who stood in line got called in turn without fear or favor. We were a nice motley crew made up of men and women of all ages, races, colors and sizes, and we all took our turn. Nobody hogged the floor or said anything that could be reasonably attributed as communist or racist. But there was one overwhelming theme: The people have been robbed, the Wall Street and DC people did it, and the people have had enough of the lies, broken promises and outright theft.”
“OWS looks like exactly what it appeared to be from 20,000 feet, despite the claims of many in the media and other so-called “punditry.” It’s a group of very pissed-off ordinary citizens who, as I noted on RT, know damn well they got serially screwed, but they’re not sure exactly how. They know who did it though, and have identified the correct targets for their wrath.”
“One of the things that the Occupy movement seems to have going for it is it has not turned around and issued a set of formal demands. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. Everyone is looking for a set of demands. The problem is that as soon as you pipe up with a list of four or five things — and you’ve got to keep it simple and short — then somebody’s going to say, ‘Well, we gave you 70 percent of it, now go home.’ And the fact is, that’s exactly the sort of thing that happened with the Tea Party.”
“Stay on message, which is that the corruption is not a singular event. You can’t focus in one place. You have to get the money out of politics, which is very difficult to do, but at the same time you can’t silence people’s voice.”
Contributed by on the ground correspondent, Jo Newton
When Occupy Denver was briefly hailed on Friday evening their main concern was that the weather might dampen interest in the Children’s March, but the following morning dawned warm and sunny. Attendance far exceeded expectations, with approximately 150 in attendance.
It was widely considered to be the smallest and yet most enjoyable rally yet. Balloons bobbed over the heads of the people, and several children had their faces painted. The kiddies were given the lead, and they reveled in it. A spot was set up where children could make signs, and a calligrapher helped those kids who wanted their artwork to be particularly pretty. Assembling for a pre-march rally, the children announced what songs they’d like to sing, although it turned out the adults had to help them with the words to ‘This Land is Your Land’.
It was surprising how precocious these tots were. When asked what they liked best about their march, one might expect the answer to be the arts and crafts, or the balloons. Alexia, a student at Gilpin Montessori, instead said, “I like the singing and the protesting. It’s good. Government should care about people.”
Robert Stevens, aged 9, from Devinny Elementary in Lakewood, waved a homemade sign he’d thought out himself: “Hey Wall Street Bankers, 4th grade rules 1. Don’t lie 2. Don’t cheat 3. Don’t steal Which did you forget?” Robert’s dog also had his own sign, worn as a sandwich board, reading, “We need a leash law for bankers”.
The children marched from the Municipal Building down Colfax back to the park, ending at the Greek Amphitheater. They must have felt like seasoned protestors by then, as they formed their own General Assembly on the steps and barely tolerated the polite suggestions from adults. One little girl cried out for a mic check, and then said, “I love everyone”. A sturdy boy in a red sweater started a chant of “USA”. A girl in flashy purple kept the crowd singing “You Are My Sunshine” until she was satisfied we were all feeling the love.
In with all the adorableness was a cohesive spirit not often found in adults, let alone people so small. Their demands were simple. Educate us. Listen to us. Love us, and each other. We can do better, if we try hard. One begins to think that if the revolution were being led by such as these, we would all be better off.
The most poignant moment was for four brothers who could not attend. Leanna Debaeke, with Edward Jones investment firm, tutors four round-cheeked little boys and they were eager for ‘their’ rally on Saturday. They spent Friday evening plotting out their signs, including “I want candy” and “More Freedom”. Unfortunately, Sun Valley Housing community, where the family lives, informed the boys’ father that if the children attended the march, they would face eviction. The reasoning was that attendance by residents equals endorsement by Sun Valley for Occupy. When asked if the father is also blocked from voting lest it be construed as a political endorsement by Sun Valley, Debaeke chuckled ironically and said she wasn’t sure.
We know those four boys’ hearts were with us, just as ours are with them.
Contributed by on the ground correspondent, Jo Newton
Carlie, a Centennial High School in Pueblo alumni, has arranged with her school a food donation drive. Mr Mulberry, the principal, will be holding the drive for two weeks in December, after which Mrs Romero will be driving the food into Denver. Now that’s solidarity.
Ted Auker brought us a donation of some lovely enchiladas and rice, which was washed down by hot Starbucks coffee (with cream and sugar – such luxury!) provided by Steve Justino of Colorado Move to Amend. The Bean Bros returned this afternoon with their pot of hot, delicious bean-y goodness, and I speak for us all indeed when I say we look forward to their next visit. We remain ever so grateful to our generous supporters.
Those generous supporters should, regretfully, be cautious about donating to Miss Kayte’s Korner, ostensibly a non-profit kitchen with the stated purpose of feeding your Occupation. On Thanksgiving, Miss Kayte received at least one cash donation. She left camp that night and was not seen until yesterday, where she left as soon as someone inquired about the donation, and has not been heard from since. She also has not notified the person she designated her financial director about the amount, whereabouts, disposition of or even the fact of the cash donation. While we stress that this is clearly not a complete set of facts, we are obligated to advise our supporters of what facts we know, and that a word to the wise is usually sufficient.
The nascent Education committee is organizing classes, which look to be open source and available to all comers. This is a fantastic idea, and I encourage support for Occupation teach-ins; there is no such thing as too much information. More to come as this story develops.
David Lane, Colorado attorney, has filed an injunction on behalf of Occupy Denver. The hearing is on Dec 5th, at 9AM. I will keep you posted when I find out which courtroom.
At this evening’s GA, Steve Justino of Colorado Move to Amend introduced us to Occupy the Courts. This event will be held on Jan 20, 2012, and is a call to action to remind the courts they serve the people, not campaign dollars. The rally begins on Jan 20th at 11:30AM on the west steps of the state Capitol, and at 12:15 they will march to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. A reminder will be posted closer to the date.For more information, please go to http://www.movetoamend.org/occupythecourts.
This Saturday we will be holding a Rally for the Housing Crisis. Denver has one of the highest per capita rates of homelessness in the nation, and Foreclosuregate and the collapse of the housing bubble affected us all. We will stand together in solidarity for everyone affected by housing insecurity. The banks tell you foreclosure happens only to bad people, the government criminalizes the homeless, and Occupy Denver tells you that both are wrong. Join us in Civic Center Park this Saturday to send this message home.
Also on Saturday will be an event I personally find fantastic. Occupy the Night! We 24-hour Occupiers understand well that obligations may keep our supporters from joining us on the sidewalks every night, but they are with us in spirit. Well, if you can, join us on Saturday night! A class on urban camping will be held at 4PM Saturday at Civic Center Park to teach you what supplies you will need and how to stay cozy and comfortable. To attend, arrive a few minutes before 4PM and ask for the 24/7 committee.
Cheers, Jeers and Gears at Occupy on Turkey Day!
Occupy Denver cheered loudly when Beth Daoud, 48, pulled up to Civic Center Park with her car festooned with love for her Occupation. Protestors warned her that she would get ticketed for donating, to which she replied “You guys are worth it.” Right on cue, police pulled behind her with intent, and she rolled out with Occupiers clapping and smiling.
Smiles turned into screams of delight as the Honda Accord floored it and led two police cars in a chase around the Capitol. Daoud, a volunteer for Middle East liberty organization, refused to stop for her ticket and instead led the police on a game of cat-and-mouse, pausing to buzz the Occupy encampment once more, horn blaring.
Occupiers chased her to the library, shouting for the mic-check and yelling encouragement to Daoud and cat-calls at the DPD. There they protectively engulfed her car and refused to move until the police left. Warned that a squad car was probably waiting out of sight, Daoud happily replied, “I don’t give a [expletive redacted]!” This, naturally, only made the Occupiers cheer even louder.
This was an enormous morale boost for the protestors, but perhaps it was much more. Contented citizens living under the rule of law feel no urge to break them. When the rule of law breaks down, the law itself has no meaning, and middle-aged middle-class women will openly thumb their nose at the sanctioned hypocrisy. Perhaps the DPD shouldn’t be asking themselves where this woman is so they can arrest her, but rather they should be asking themselves why an ordinary citizen felt society had broken down so far as to make this pleasant-faced American woman feel she had nothing left to lose.
This is what your revolution looks like.
Contributed by on the ground correspondent, Jo Newton
There’s actually little to report on the dailies, as either it was huge enough to get it’s own article or it wasn’t newsworthy, so this will be short.
Approximately 600 meals were eaten at Civic Center Park on Thanksgiving, due to the wonderful generosity of Denver residents. Food began showing up while we were still packing away our bedrolls and the later it got, the more food we had! It finally reached such a critical mass that we began sending out teams to canvass the area in search of anyone who might have been in need of a meal, in an effort to get the donated edibles into bellies before DPD put it into the trash. Two teams were sent to 16th Street Mall, one team south past the library and another east up Colfax. Many thanks from your Occupation go out to the residents of Denver for such a show of goodwill.
As has been frequently mentioned, many of your Occupiers have jobs. Many more are actively looking, however. If you happen to have a lead on a job, or are looking for an employee yourself for any job, large or small, please think of your Occupiers. There are a wide range of skills going unused, and the most important skill of all: willingness to work hard.
The weather was blissfully warm on Thursday, but our good weather broke next day and it turned bitterly cold. Temps dropped below freezing and we were very briefly hailed on Friday night. Winds were brisk, and what we up north called the “lazy wind” – couldn’t be arsed to go around you, so it just blew right through you. We were exceptionally grateful the next morning when Steven Liverance showed up with big armfuls of blankets and good sleeping bags – they will be put to good use keeping the camp warm.
On The Lighter Side ~
Older Occupier shouts, “Get a job!” at passing motorist making an obscene gesture at the encampment.
Several Occupiers had their bedrolls neatly in order along the sidewalk late Friday night, and enticed passersby to join in their ‘sidewalk timeshares’, featuring amenities such as beautiful views of the Capitol, handy to all downtown locations and 24-hour security.
More than a dozen local churches pooled resources to put on a fabulous show of holiday cheer for the less fortunate – and the politically stubborn – Thanksgiving morning. Members of the Occupy Denver encampment were surprised early Thursday when two large hired Arrowstage buses pulled to a stop in front of the protestors. A large man in a well-cut suit stepped down from the front bus and announced his intent to feed everyone, including transporting them to and from the church.
Pastor Milton Thomas more than kept his word. Occupation protestors, used to meals served in freezing winter temperatures and eaten standing up, were luxuriously treated to not merely a meal, but a memory. The church volunteers began cooking under the direction of a head chef at six AM. The ample and delectable results were fed to protestors and homeless alike, without fear or favor, as eager congregation members waited on them hand and foot and the Christian choir, Faithful Praise, serenaded them with joyful hymns. Holiday at the Ritz could not have been more attentive to detail.
It was a feast for the soul as well as the mind. Pastor Michael Daniel of New Divine Church took time away from ministering to empty stomachs to snap numerous pictures with their guests, and to pray with any in need of a kind word. His opinion of Occupy Denver was high as well. “You’re on the front line,” said Pastor Daniel, “and we need to support you.”
Many Americans have voiced distaste with organized religion, but when one runs across true fruits of the spirit it serves as a reminder that people still exist who feel their faith is a lifestyle and a joy, not a Sunday morning chore. It would be hard to say who enjoyed the meal more; those eating it, or the Christians devoting their time and energy in service to others.
A perhaps-incomplete list of the churches and organizations involved, with apologies to any left out:
Absolute Word Baptist
True Light Baptist
For His Glory Christian Fellowship
Centennial Lodge #4
Rising Star Baptist
River of Life
Crossroads Church of Denver
St Catherine’s Catholic
Divine Missionary Baptist
Orchard Road Christian
St James Baptist
Contributed by on the ground correspondent, Jo Newton
On the anniversary of JFK’s assassination in Dallas, several dozen people staked a spot in front of the Denver Federal Reserve to commemorate the date. Opponents and corporate media would have us believe that these were rabble-rousers, communist hippies better left to another era. Little evidence of that was seen at the rally.
The speeches mentioned Presidential candidate Ron Paul, often and favorably, and the financial benefits of gold and silver were touted over the megaphone to passers-by on the 16th Street Mall. Rally organizer Bruce Bauman reminded trolley passengers of the anniversary of JFK’s death and his many accomplishments, including the intent to abolish the Federal Reserve. Bauman, a We Are Change Colorado member who denies being an Occupier but feels solidarity with the movement, said, “We’re out here today to make sure of awareness of the bigger problem. The Fed creates money out of thin air, to the detriment of the rest of us.”
The Federal Reserve, whose mission is to maintain price stability and full employment, has even by the government’s methodology failed in both tasks, so it should come as little surprise that citizens are discontent. Further ire was directed at the fact that the Federal Reserve is not in fact a part of the federal government, as the name suggests, but a private bank.
Emphasizing the point that the protestors felt themselves to be patriots were the words of one participant, Nick, who quoted Thomas Jefferson. Scott Free turned another, more recent, quote inside out by shouting, “Too big to bail does not mean too big to jail! Officers, arrest these people!”
We may never settle the question of which demographic lays the most legitimate claim to the Occupy Wall Street movement, but it was clear today that these people felt much more in tune with the Founding Fathers and the Ron Paul Revolution than Karl Marx and the Black Panthers.
Contributed by on the ground correspondent, Jo Newton
Cindy and Daniel donated a very generous McDonald’s dinner to the Occupation, and then stayed to attend GA. We thank them for their time and efforts. Also, we had donations of a delicious ham and turkey supper, and some truly tender, juicy fajitas. Unfortunately, it’s a big park and Locke is a little person; we do adore your donations, and I apologize that I cannot always get the notes from everyone to properly thank the donor(s).
An update: The Children’s March is on Saturday from 10AM to noon. Materials to make signs will be available for the kiddies starting 9AM, and they will also be able to stage their own march and hold a GA. It promises to be adorable, fun and a great opportunity to introduce your little citizens to the political process.
It was a particularly productive GA tonight. Democracy is loud, as I am fond of saying, and anyone who has attended a GA can attest. Tonight, however, we quickly approved one thing after another. Three items were newsworthy.
First, a delegation has been organized to go to Occupy LA on Dec 12, stopping along the way at various Occupations. The entire Occutour will be livestreamed. More to come as details emerge.
Second, rumors abound in regards to tomorrow. (Really, people will say anything to a person with a notebook. I hear all the gossip.) It was confirmed at GA that Occupy Denver is certainly not planning nor anticipating problems on Thanksgiving. Important movements are known to have their agent provocateurs, as well as brash loudmouths who spend their time Occupying their Twitter feed. We are a non-violent movement, and our priorities are corruption and smug, unresponsive government; not picking fights with the police department. The official .org site should be updated shortly with a much more official statement in regards to our holiday plans.
Finally, Al from the Tech committee has been invited by Occupy Tampa to join them in solidarity this coming August for the Republican National Convention. Al has dubbed this “Occutour: East Coast”, and it was agreed that this delegation, too, would be official Occupy Denver.
Weather was pleasantly warm for your Occupiers last night, and many voiced delight at getting a full night’s sleep. It was needed, and we may not get many more nights like that before spring. Spirits are high at the Occupation, and frequent games of volleyball and football are breaking out. We had a nasty loss the other night when DPD again confiscated our supplies, and our supporters have been incredible with daily donations of hot food – we have been eating particularly well since our supplies were taken, which was probably not what the DPD expected. We are eager for the holidays,and the chance for positive volunteer opportunities and outreach.
A final note – contrary to the opinion of closed-minded readers of corporate media, several of your Occupiers have jobs. It is quite difficult enough to Occupy – to do so with a job is even more so. Any offers of assistance with laundry and showers would be greatly appreciated.
Seven weeks into the movement, Occupy Denver had perhaps its smallest march yet this past Saturday, November19. At about 700 strong, the crowd was two-thirds to half of what I am used to seeing at these weekly protests. Is the movement dying down? As I wandered through the chanting masses, I wondered if the past week’s police raid on Zuccotti Park had actually managed to squelch some of the momentum this movement has picked up. I may have been the only one there with that sentiment though; nobody else even seemed to notice the smaller numbers. What the march lacked in digits more than made up for in spirit. There was a tangible determination in the air, a deep-rooted feeling of importance. Rob Alejandro, a 99%-er I spoke to after the march put it best: “We’re at the battle. This is the battle. We can’t give up, we can’tafford to. Everything is at stake.” This movement, it seems, is still very much alive. So what was with the lack of participation?
There are a few reasons for it. I tis, after all, the weekend before Thanksgiving and many students who may usually come to the marches may be out of town or busy with family. Perhaps,also, some were feeling a bit wary after last week’s police crackdown at Civic Center Park. But I think the smaller turnout speaks more to a shift in involvement rather than a lack of it. We’ve done the march thing; it’s time to take the next step in getting people informed about what is happening in our country. Which is exactly what people are doing. Katie DeMichele of Boulder,who has been coming to the marches since they began nearly two months ago and recently started spending the weekends at Civic Center Park, has been working to get more involvement going in her own town. “My three friends and I slept in front of the Wells Fargo on Pearl last Tuesday so we could have conversations with passers-by and answer any questions regarding things they might not understand about the movement. It’s direct outreach.”
The actions of Katie and her friends may be more on the radical side, but the sharing of information, the sparking of conversation, seems to be the theme right now, and social networking is an avenue for this. Tamara Wilson, whose son Joshua is on the Security Committee with Occupy Denver, spreads the word through Facebook,“especially that regarding police violence.” Although it seems simple, using things like Facebook and Twitter to help keep people informed is instrumental in getting the truth out. We all know by now that the mainstream media is not honestly representing the protesters and the movement, so we have to rely on other sources to find out what is going on. And we can only rely on these sources if the people who have information post it there for us to read it.
This is a person-to-person movement. That means we talk to each other, and even more importantly, we listen to each other. As just another marching, chanting body in a crowd, we don’t have the power to do either of those things. Not that these weekly rallies and protests are unimportant, but they are no longer the only outlet. We, all of us individually, with simply our voices, have the ability to reach people. So go sleep in front of a bank you hate. Or talk to the person in front of you in line at the grocery store. Share your information and perspective in anyway you can, and you may find just how closely people are listening.
Contributed by correspondent Lia Campbell