Occupy San Luis Obispo County Information
we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.
While in jail for demonstrating, Martin Luther King responded to a letter he received from a group of liberal clergy.They had criticized him for being too brash and confrontational. They urged him to 'wait', that change would come.
Among other things he commented on he defended his tactics by pointing out that he was not causing all the angst. Rather, he was healing it by forcing it into the public domain for scrutiny and cleansing.
Cowardice asks the question; is it safe?
Expediency asks the question; is it politic?
Vanity asks the question; is it popular?
But conscience asks the question, is it right?
There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right. Martin Luther King Jr.
As the economic disparity in these United States has become more acute and deliniated over time it was inevitable perhaps that the time would come for people to become unhappy enough about it that they would begin to express their unhappiness in some way.
That the way chosen was non-violent is certainly a blessing, and it behooves us to all remember the great changes that have been brought about by non-violent protest and stick with that.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement refers to itself as the 99% because it represents the super-majority of the population that does not have the money to influence decisions made by their own government. The movement differs from many other movements in that it has no official leader, committee or voice. It is democracy in action.
The Occupy Movement is not affiliated with any political party, or aligned with any Candidate for elected office. Though we can certainly anticipate one political power base or another attempting to co-opt ownership of the movement.
The Occupation Movement is the bottom 99% on the economic ladder. Professionals, small business owners, the 'middle class', laborers, students, owners, renters, and the homeless. We are all neighbors in this movement, and we all have our unique vantage point from which we see the problems in our financial system and the undo influence financial interests have on our government. We all have our ideas on what needs to be done to "fix" it.
The Occupation Movement is meant to be a means by which common citizens may express their views about economic inequality, and the ramification of these inequalities to society, and the government. Together we are attempting to create a voice loud enough to be heard over the financial interests of the few (1%.)
Some of the misunderstanding of the 99% Movement revolves around the fact that there is no real figurehead to represent the millions of voices being spoken all at once. At this moment the important thing is that people are talking about issues and taking action. The multitude of ideas is very important in this young movement. This is the first "idea collection" phase of an ongoing movement. That is all part of the democratic process.
We hope for constructive dialogue, creative problem solving, and adaptive response to the unfolding financial situation in the United States, and the economic injustice we see everyday. We are looking for solutions to these, and hope to come up with a government more responsive to citizens in the process.
So speak out! Get your ideas heard!
The Action one takes depends a lot on your own capability, interest and available time.
It could involve speaking on an issue at a City Council or County Board meeting. Or scheduling meetings with individual Council and Board members to air your concerns.
More personally, it might involve changing your shopping habits entirely and only shopping at local brick and mortar stores, or changing your accounts from a large big bailout bank to a small local bank or Savings and Loan.
Other Activities are meant to raise public awareness as to an issue.
These include marches and rallies, making and distributing bumper stickers, and making signs for rallies and marches. Also included are things like staffing a booth at Farmers Market or the Courthouse for a shift once a week, or once every other week. Making flyers and handouts for the booths.
Most activity does not involve an act of Civil Disobedience wherein one faces the possibility of arrest.
Many people cannot consider this something they can do or even want to do. It is not an obligation, it is simply one tactic that is sometimes used to raise public awareness as to an issue. Some folks are determined to do it, others not.
Some people are taking food donations and cooking meals for people working shifts down at the courthouse.
One might even consider opening ones house to hold a coordinating meeting for the group every so often.
Some people have started allowing Occupiers travelling from San Francisco or Oakland to Occupy LA to stay overnight in their yards or homes.There are a lot of ways people can help, a piece of land to camp as a waystop (time limited,) or a plot to grow a garden to help sustain the effort, money is also useful, at the moment we are looking for an RV with sanitary facilities whose use would be strictly controlled.
Having Legal Council donate some time would be very usefull at this point. Perhaps if there were a number of Council that wanted to do it, they could split up tasks so no one would get overwhelmed. We do have people that can sheppardize points of law etc. already in the organization to help any Council.