Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Occupy Birmingham - to be continued

I arrive in Birmingham just as the sun is setting, a cold dusk fading to dark. I honk at a couple of people, blue tarps, and 99% signs on the corner as I go around the block to find a park.

Here, people have built platforms on the edge of the sidewalk - about 6 or 7 individual sleeping areas perched on pallets, sections off by lots of blue plastic tarps.

Two men great me warmly and enthusiasticall show me around the Occupy, telling me the history of this occupy. They have been there since October 15th 24/7. No one has tried to move them, shut them down, or harass them. In fact, the police come by periodically and ask if everything/one is okay, if they need anything.

People come by and drop off food, supplies, signs. They've had marches, protests, general assemblies.

There is a tall white man also, what Amy would most likely call an adbusters type. He is on the computer and seems to be an instrumental part too.

My guides speak to me about their challenges keeping the occupation going. They are both African American, southerners, and committed to stay for the long run. And they are leaders of this Occupy.

They introduce me to the one woman who is there, who is bi-racial and very young. She is not sure how long she will stay but she wants to stay for the duration.

It is sooooo cold I cannot move my lips. I go to FedEx to get my flyers copied and to get online. The fellow behind the counter has not been to the Occupy yet, but he is very supportive! He helps me print my flyers, takes one, and contributes to the cause! YEAH!!! And he is African American, young, and technologically competent!!!

It is so deeply rewarding to get support from employees who might not necessarily be directly involved but who feel moved to contribute in their own way.

Huntsville Alabama - to be continued

I know I've left Atlanta and I'm in the deep south: God and Jesus signs abound! And the marine recruiting posters are springing up.

The road to Huntsville is in the hills: much asphalt and concrete development, box stores, chain stores, and lots of grass mark the way with glimpses of patches of forest and hill between the walls and billboards.

It is freezing cold by the time I arrive in Huntsville. 8 or so white and mostly female folks are gathered under a roofed gazebo sporting 99% signs!

We have an amazing, inspiring almost 2 hour workshop, beginning with the issue of the constitutional permit or asking for a permit from the police and city, and ending with a commitment to be more aware of and to act against racism! And everything in between.

What a joy to meet informed, conscious, open white occupiers who sincerely want to help create a better community and country - and meet them here in the middle of Alabama!