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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Friday, November 04, 2011

Occupy Roanoke - or another nice christian

Roanoke is another 'old' city in Virginia, with the narrow, 2 lane streets flanked by brick and marble buildings from the early 19th century, with a town square and outdoor market place. It is slightly larger than Harrisonburg and has actual "walk" signs along with traffic lights visible to pedestrians (unlike Harrisonburg...)

I cannot find the folks that are supposed to be standing across from the fountain at the market place (I am a little late) but the first person I ask knows about Occupy Roanoke! but just doesn't know where to find them.

I find a coffee shop whose proprietor also knows of Occupy Roanoke, gets a strange look on his face, and tells me to check out the fella who owns the bike shop about 3 blocks away.

I enter the bike shop and ask if he knows about Occupy Roanoke. I am addressing a very small, short, trim white male maybe in his 40's who looks at me askance, wanting to know who wants to know.

I introduce myself and he grabs me in a bearlet hug, so happy he is to see me. He tells me how he has been with Occupy Roanoke from the beginning and hints at his overload of responsibilities. I ask where folks are and he's not sure who else is around.

He tells me people will show up for the afternoon protest at 4. He hesitates and adds "or maybe 4:30". Maybe 5, he mutters, as if he's lost touch with them. He hops on his bike and rides the 3 blocks to the site to unlock the portajohns.

No one is encamping, he's not encouraging it as the police have been very cooperative and he doesn't think it is the time to rock the boat. He is grateful for the police lack of interference.

I have already been sunnily greeted by one such tall, white, male smiling uniformed member on my walk over to the bike store so I can attest to the cooperative police presence here in Roanoke.

I head to the protest site myself. It is at the edge of the town square park, that is bordered by busy (for Roanoke I'm sure) 2 and 4 lane streets, across from the freeway entrances, and facing a huge hospital. I retrieve my truck from it's downtown prime location and move it into the hospital parking lot, one slot from the freeway entrance, which is taken by a dumb hummer.

No one shows up for this Friday evening protest but me! The bike guy tells me that about 50 people will show up for the G.A. tomorrow, Saturday. He has decided (with the G.A. consensus I assume) to hold it only once a week because they want to be "inclusive" and many folks come from miles away, having a hard enough time to make it once a week.

I am dying to attend this G.A. but I must continue. I am sure I've worn out my welcome at two of the three coffee shops in town, as I get on line, blog, and research my next steps. Johnson City is starting their occupation TONITE! So I REALLY want to be there for that exciting step!

Returning to my truck, I find the hummer fella has left a little baptist card on my windshield demanding I repent. He has written with bold black lines, repeatedly thickened and underscored "F.U." across the scripture on the back of the little card.

Sigh, another nice christian!


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