Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
Humor, wisdom / common sense, and some encouragement. That’s what I hear in the first-person account from one of the two people Occupying Mancos, Colorado. Read Occupy Mancos, CO: The Importance of Small Occupies, by Wendy Davis. Below are some excerpts. I hope they get you to click over to the whole article.
We’ve been Occupying this tiny town in the Four Corners area since last October to beneficial effect, imo. I introduced readers to our wee Occupation here back in January (includes very funky and cool photos), and this past Saturday it occurred to me to share our recent experiences and small victories with you in hopes that you may be inspired to engage in similar efforts.
The “we” mentioned are Wendy Davis, and “Mr. wendydavis.” Mancos, population 1334, is in Montezuma County, which, “by and large (is) a pretty red county,” with some “wonderful and kind residents.” Mancos has a fairly new “artiste community,” Wendy says, “so we’re now a mix of salty ranchers, farmers, latte liberals and small-time entrepreneurs.” Wendy and “Mr. wendy”
Occupy a corner at the intersection of the only two paved streets in town on Saturdays for an hour at about one o’clock. …
We’ve become a fixture during that time slot … . One very cool thing is that support has been increasing all the time, which to me means a couple things: folks are increasingly aware of the meanings of ‘the 99%’ and ‘Occupy Wall Street’ which our signs display, and that they may be figuring out which side they’re on.
Think about that a moment, because it says something about the power of what a person or two can do, and something about persistence and patience, and – quite literally – meeting people on common ground.
Measuring support is hard, … but in general I’d guess at least 60% of the cars going by either bring honks, waves, twinkles, or thumbs-ups, with here and there some encouraging calls out the windows. We’ve had very few strong negative reactions; a couple emphatic negative head-shakes ‘NO’, a couple thumbs-down. …
Wendy acknowledges the “Binary Occupation” is in part a choice.
… I’ll admit that one reason is that we can make a little sport of guessing by faces and ‘ponies’ (a reference to an earlier use of that word to describe ‘pickup trucks and cars’) what might be going on in the heads of folks who look away from us lest they meet our eyes or scowl a bit; Mr. wendydavis says I’ve developed a particularly comical and demonic form of low-pitched laughter that bubbles out of me to go along with the slightly disparaging brief narratives I’m wont to utter. …
The other reason we like it is this: as two, we are not intimidating as a big group would be. Plus we dress up a bit so as not to be targets for ‘get a job ya dirty hippies’ catcalls, but really, so we look approachable, meaning that sometimes people stop their cars to come and talk to us, or pedestrians cross the street to ask us what the hell we’re doing; in the kindest possible way, of course. ;o)
Advocacy comes in all kinds of shapes and forms, from massive crowds to one or two people on a corner, engaging in conversations with people who approach them. And being “approachable” sounds like something Wendy and “Mr. wendy” do very well.
… we explain what the democracy movement is about… : the fact that increasingly the corporations own not only our government in terms of contributions to candidates, but that they essentially write the tax code and anti-regulatory laws that ensure their maximum profit and endless bailouts for which taxpayers foot the bill. …
We explain that the old labels of Left and Right, Democrat and Republican don’t matter any longer: it’s a top/bottom wealth division that is at the core of it. We listen to our visitors, and try to answer their questions in ways that make them see more clearly that electoral politics are pretty much beside the point now except for a few possible social issues … and that SCOTUS is no longer a hallmark of higher Constitutional deliberation, but an increasingly politically partisan institution. …
Depending on our visitors and their questions and concerns, we might speak of Endless War based on chimerical ‘terrorist’ excuses, police state issues, the death of first amendment freedoms, the military budget, dying national infrastructure, etc. But always, always coming back to what the democracy movement is trying to accomplish: wresting our nation back from the Plutocracy that will soon own us lock, stock and barrel, and that with the recent laws and executive orders in place, any one of us can be … held without charges … . The new SCOTUS strip-searching decision the Obama administration worked hard to support will be a good story in future conversations.
Approachable, and knowledgeable. That’s a powerful combination.
It continues to amaze me how many of visitors end up in accord with us … .
… I love it like all giddyup! And when the odd person calls out, ‘The only cure now is revolution’, I practically swoon, and laugh with utter abandon and glee, reminding myself that folks are saying that in Mancos, Colorado.
… So if you want to make a difference, albeit a small one (but think of the power of millions of ’em), grab a friend … , make some signs, and Occupy a Corner. Talk to folks; they need to hear what’s really going on in our country. …
Occupy Everywhere! Rock and Roll The Democracy Movement! Make it fun!
Thanks Wendy, and Mr. wendy. Like Leah Bolger, you give me hope and encouragement.
(Mancos,CO photo via OpEdNews)