Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dear Occupy Greenville

With all due respect, may I ask, what was THAT?!

Fall for Greenville happens once a year and brings in hundreds of thousands of people to the city. Is there some reason you decided to squander this golden opportunity to make our presence known and organize for the cause?

After an hour of "meetings" (about what?), the group visibly lost about 30 people, which we can ill-afford. People drifted away; they did not come for an interminable meeting, they came for action. (Why did you bring cops to the last meeting, to ask them about the legality of demonstrating at Fall for Greenville, if in fact nobody intended to actually GO THERE?)

So, a healthy number of local lefties are roused from their peaceful Sunday and actually drive downtown, during an event where parking is scarce and the traffic is horrific, and... you bore half of them into leaving. This is not my idea of success. In fact, let me be clear, this is BAD.

Activists are getting arrested all over the country, Occupy Wall Street is all over the news and has grabbed the headlines. This means: we must strike while the iron is hot. People are ready to DO SOMETHING... NOW. They drive downtown during Fall for Greenville with the expectation of radical ACTION, not sitting and dithering for... well, I left, so I don't know how long it was. At least an hour and a quarter, since the meeting started at 2pm and was still droning on into somnambulism when we left, well over an hour later.

Once a Yippie, always a Yippie, and I therefore joined the unofficial breakaway faction that bravely plunged right into the heart of the festival known as Fall for Greenville. Ten hardy souls (see photo above), including the Future Politician, the Ex-Marine, the Mother of Two-Year-Old Twins, the Gay Singer, the Romanian Refugee, the Former Obama Campaigner... and yes, your humble narrator, the old Yippie. These are the only people who had the fortitude to pin "We are the 99%" signs all over our bodies and walk into the lion's den, whilst holding scary signs and making it very clear who we were and what we were about.

This is the most conservative county in the USA, and it would have been nice (putting it mildly) to have the original 50-60 people that were in the park, but alas, most had been bored into departure by then. But it would not have been as daunting as it was, if we had just had a few more people. And what does it say to festival-attendees that there were only 10 of us? Does that sound like a mass movement to you? Police were easily able to cordon us off and keep us moving (in single file); we were certainly no force to be reckoned with. Although lots of people gave us thumbs-up and woo-hoos, several hugs, high-fives and sweet "good luck!" wishes, there was also ample thumbs-down, nasty yelling, the finger, charges of communism (Aside: I wondered what our Romanian refugee thought of THAT), mean sneers and frowny expressions, "GET A JOB HIPPIE!" and so on.

And maybe this is why they decided not to join us? After all, it did take guts.

Apparently only 10 people at that meeting had the guts necessary. After all, as we were leaving, somebody was complaining about... (are you ready for this?) people taking pictures. Some pseudo-radical who has never seen Medium Cool, is worried somebody will take their picture. In response, somebody else was seriously proposing "no pictures" -- at this point, I had heard enough.

I repeat: they can take Osama bin Laden's photo from freaking outer space, and somebody is worried about their photo being taken (when they haven't even left the park yet). They take your photo every time you park your car, every time you go into the CVS or Walgreens, every time you sit at certain red lights... you know this, right? And you are worried about photos by lefties? Or are you really worried about "guilt by association"? Actually, if I can't take your picture, it is YOU I am worried about, so maybe you need to go back to the mall, where... guess what? They will take your picture as you order your Starbucks. YES, THEY DO. Please get a clue. Stop worrying over silly stuff, get off your ass, and DO SOMETHING.

The Future Politician, God Bless Him, didn't back down from a single confrontation and seemed eager to take on all comers. I was impressed with Jonathan Eames (wearing a tie, at left), and will be working for his congressional campaign. I like people with nerve and verve, and I can see he won't be reticent about confronting the Rethuglicans. And I truly wish I could say that about Occupy Greenville in general.

In addition, I will say that I was shut up at Wednesday's meeting after speaking for less than two minutes (yes, I timed it) and the aforementioned Mother-of-Twins was shut up only after about 30 seconds (yes, I timed it), and so I am seeing a pattern. As someone with a regular radio show (hello!), I offered my input for the "media group" and was promptly ignored ... possibly since I do not have the right genitalia? (By contrast, at Occupy Columbia yesterday, I was actually handed a microphone on the spot.) You know, I might put up with this shit without complaint, if it meant a better, stronger and more cohesive group, but so far... instead, I see a large radical group that sat in a park and pissed away Fall for Greenville and the mega-opportunity it provided. If this is any indication of your effectiveness, I am just going to have to keep going to Spartanburg.

Let me know when you are ready to ACT, since I will continue acting anyway, as I have been for 40 years now. You might actually want to 1) talk to people with political experience (and a radio show), 2) stop silencing women, while men rattle on endlessly, 3) ignore reality-challenged individuals who don't seem to realize that their photo got taken already while they parked their car. Etc.

And please don't squander an opportunity like Fall for Greenville again. Really, I am quite amazed by that.

Yours in solidarity,

Daisy Deadhead

PS: Radio show podcast is up!


Gregg Jocoy said...

But other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

I wish I could have been there, but Bodie has needs too, and puppies can't put up their own fences.

The group of you looked mahvalous. (Said in my best Billy Crystal version of Fernando Lamas' voice)

So proud of you guys. Next time we bring leaflets!

Anonymous said...

Maybe my experience as a candidate blurred my vision and turned me into a media whore...but...

Why the hell would anyone not "use" the voice of someone with a weekly radio show???

Why would ANY group not take advantage of a gathering???

Do the "housekeeping" early...and get on with the event...

And Daisy, if you ever see me at an event with republicans are sociopaths sign...biting the head off a stuffed donkey...Feel free to take my long as I get copies

Becky said...

Have you noticed in your parts that the definition of "99%" is becoming less inclusive? It seems some would cast everyone who is not unemployed or underemployed into the 1%...

Also, many people would not want their pictures taken because they like their jobs. Not grounds for firing, but downsizing happens all the time...just a thought.

Myself, after showing up for one GA that droned on for a bit, along with assorted milling about and chanting slogans, have decided to watch from the sidelines, temporarily at least. However, if I have another run-in with a local bank and their hyper-defensiveness, I may bounce back out there :)

Anonymous said...

This blog's last few lines were inspirational. The earlier part seemed inflammatory. I am glad that I didn't go to this meeting or the protest; I can't imagine how the people who did read this diatribe felt after getting through to the end of it. I understand what exactly you are talking about with "let the women talk". I get it. I get it every day. Every. Single. Day. However, labeling people and snapping pictures of people who ask you to not do that doesn't seem reasonable. So what if Starbucks takes photos? That doesn't mean it's right. Respect people's boundaries even if the whole corporate-enslaved country sits on its ass and complacently lets Walgreens snap away. Model the respect that should be shown to all people, regardless. Photographing people should be done with permission when possible. It is an unacceptable practice to ignore the wishes of others, and using the justification that, well, the corporations do it...seems contradictory.

I am only too aware about the droning on and on problem. I am a woman and face that type of garbage in my line of work. I face it when I am not at work. I hate it.

But...everyone is an expert on her/his experience in life. Maybe there should be a share limit or something...please talk for three minutes or less...

If this is a leaderless movement, and I desperately hope it is a leaderless movement, then that means all people should act on level ground and not insult participants or try to humiliate them. All of them. Bully tactics won't help.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Anon, I thought long and hard before hitting "publish"... as I wrote on Facebook, I have seen too many errors in the left to stay quiet; I believe our silence and collaboration got us the Dubya era. I promised myself, if "we" ever got another chance, I would not stay silent again.

This is it, and no, I won't.

Writing a blog post is not bullying people, but shutting them up? Might be. I have mentioned only one name in this post, and I knew he didn't mind. Likewise, I have only taken photos of people who didn't mind. By contrast, the people who have appointed themselves leaders and shut people up or intimidate somebody for snapping an innocent photo? Maybe they drive people away and we have no way of knowing that.

Insulting and bullying cuts both ways, and if I (and others) had not felt insulted, would not have written this in the first place.

JoJo said...

Good for you for showing up and taking a stand, you old Yippie you! Abbie would be PROUD!

Anonymous said...

Well I was one of the people who stayed at the meeting until 5:00 pm. I remember when/how you left and I was confused about that. I arrived late 2:04 pm and did not even realize that another group had split off until much later (my observation skills need some work). Now that I have read your blog concerning the GA I understand what happened and why you left. I can only speak for myself, but if I knew what you were doing, I would have gone with your group. The only helpful comment I have to add is that we really need to stick together in order to be aware of what each other is doing, so we can act accordingly. Hopefully we all can put our personalities aside and work together b/c I feel the real opportunity is the movement itself - Brent

Mama Moretti said...

off topic = i love your skirt, where'd u get it? yard sale right? i'm *so* envious of your yard sale skillz.

RonF said...

Activists are getting arrested all over the country, Occupy Wall Street is all over the news and has grabbed the headlines. This means: we must strike while the iron is hot. People are ready to DO SOMETHING... NOW. They drive downtown during Fall for Greenville with the expectation of radical ACTION, not sitting and dithering for... well, I left, so I don't know how long it was.

Which is why I think OWS is going to have pretty limited impact. People keep asking "what exactly is the point here?" First, a clear statement of principles, but second - a plan of action.

The Tea Party movement had rallies. They weren't long indeterminable protests. They were short and to the point. Then, THEY LEFT, went back to their homes and did something. They raised up candidates and ran them in primaries. Sure, some of them were worthless, but about 60 of them got elected to the House of Representatives (and a few to the Senate). They didn't just try to influence office holders, they replaced a bunch of them. I don't see OWS doing that.

DaisyDeadhead said...

RonF, good point... Jonathan (in the photo) is fired up and ready to go, and as I said, I will gladly work on his congressional campaign. I think these connections are the important thing in a really conservative area like this one... I would not have met him otherwise; we run if different circles. The web of networks we create will be the main thing. Rep. Trey Gowdy was almost unopposed in the last election, and THIS TIME, an OCCUPIER will be running against him. (An Occupier vs a Tea Partier! Its primal!)

I am just loving some of the new people I am meeting, and if they ask me to do something, I probably will.