I woke up this morning to a text from one of my best friends telling me to be careful going to work this morning because there was a lot of shit going on downtown. I immediately put the news on, trying to get a grasp of what was actually going on and what I was in for when I got off of the subway. When I turned on the TV, I was crushed. I obviously have not been occupying Wall Street. I work a few long blocks away from Zucotti Park. Honestly, before September 17th, I had no idea that park even existed. That sounds stupid, I'm aware. The thing is that I work in corporate America, but I am very disconnected. I just kind of go to work, and go home. I don't work within the stock exchange, I have no idea how to even invest in a stock. I choose to be like that. I am drained a million percent of the time and I don't have patience to deal with the stock market. Now I'm rambling.
When the protest first started, I'll admit, I was like "WHAT THE FUCK?" That was the beginning of day 3 for the protesters... it was a manic Monday morning for me. A day I already dread was now going to be even more dreadful with the thoughts of having to push my way through protesters to get to my job... I was oblivious on that Monday morning. But as the day went on, I wanted to know what was going on. I did some research. I opened my eyes to the streets around me and realized everything was barricaded. I opened my eyes and I wanted to know more. Days and weeks passed and I found myself wanting to read the paper to see what was going on. I searched every OWS website. I started following @OccupyWallStNYC. I opened my fucking eyes.
They stopped bitching and started a world wide revolution. They are brave. They are strong. The took an idea and made it a reality. So many of us are struggling. So. Many. Of. Us. I am a part of the 99%. And it ticks me off that my tax dollars are going to the bonuses of people who don't need or deserve it. That money, millions and millions of dollars, is going to people who don't do good with it. And that's fucking sad. I have a mortgage, a car loan, credit card bills, utilities, the usual. I have literally, NO savings. And yet, I give to every charity, my church AND I sponsor a little boy in Kenya. I recognize what I have and know that I am more fortunate than some. They are brave and strong and I respect them for what they've done so far. I've watched them and I know that fear guides me. I have serious anxiety issues and just watching this shit on TV makes my stomach scream. But to know that they did this. They started this and they plan on finishing it, and well I respect that. My ass isn't sleeping outside or fighting for OUR rights. And they've earned respect.
This morning when I turned on the news, I was shocked. Yes, things may have gotten a little out of hand there. Yes, it is unsanitary and the park did need to be cleaned. Yes, people have been joining in with the protest who have no business being there. The people who are taking advantage of the people fighting for a cause. That shit is not okay. And I get where Mayor Mike is coming from in that sense. But his responses to protest talk have been all over the place and completely inconsistent and I can understand why people are hating on him. What went on this morning was a raid and a half and it was sad to watch. I can't even imagine what it felt like being there.
My issue today is the ignorance. I was ignorant at the beginning, but I wanted to know more. I read a status update on Facebook stating that these people should have learned their lesson and should just go home. That no one cares, that the protest didn't work. My jaw literally dropped. It's close minded and ignorant. If you don't know about it, if you didn't do the research, don't make statements that you can't back up. I've learned that life is not only black and white... there is grey. The grey is where your mind will open. I know I can't walk around with blinders on, and that's why I finally took them off. How can you say the protest didn't work? It's world wide. WORLD. WIDE. And it's not over. Evicting them on the fly from Zucotti park, while people were probably sleepy and groggy, didn't change anything. It just moved them to a new spot. No one said "fuck this, guess we should go home." They stood their ground. And that's ballsy and awesome all at the same time.
Things need to change. They're fighting for us. For the people who struggle every single day. Telling a protester to go get a job is the lamest thing you can say. Has anyone sent out a resume recently? Even if you're qualified it doesn't matter. It's not easy to go out and get a job. That's the fucking problem. We are in the worst economy EVER. And it needs to get better. Shit needs to change. And they're fighting for that change. And they deserve respect.
Keep fighting the fight you guys. Keep it peaceful. Thank you for what you're doing. You're changing the world every day that you're doing this and it's fucking amazing...
Thanks for reading.