Early mornings stay dark and mid-morning is a time of block long shadows that swell the size of my world. The palm tree that has spent all summer stuffed behind chain a link fence, reaching expectantly and decorously for blue sky, has now escaped to the street beyond, its trunk gone shadow grey, snaking down the sidewalk, steely fronds fanning into the intersection.
I walk, forgetting that I have slept only fitfully recently because of surveillance helicopters, hovering over the downtown Occupy encampment, making a racket. Our tax dollars wasted. Thursday night, I peered from my window, saw the three north stars of helicopter heaven, blinking and trembling, rattling the sea of the sky, and had to wonder what was birthing beneath.
A new tent city, that's what.
Today when I visited OCCUPY : OAKLAND, the lawn was once again covered by tents, not quite as closely packed as previously but as neatly organized. The paths between the various neighborhoods of tents had been marked out with silver tape and wooden sidewalks were beginning to be laid down. An efficient kitchen was up and running, and the food being served looked as tasty and more plentiful than before. The First-Aid booth had reappeared and seemed to be well stocked. A hand-washing station, complete with bottles of hand sanitizer, had been set up under the bust of Frank Ogawa, steps from lines of portable toilets, more numerous and some fancier than before.
People were crowded on the amphitheatre steps, enjoying the sun, eating lunch, and listening to a young man speaking about Bank of America's recent shifting of trillions of dollars worth of spongy derivatives from Merrill Lynch into its retail bank coffers.
On the periphery of the still forming tent city, candles were burning around pictures of Scott Olsen, the young marine, still recovering from a serious head injury inflicted by a 'non-lethal' police projectile.
A silk screen artist was printing up dynamic posters -- Hella Occupy Oakland, Power to the People -- and other folks were roaming about passing out bumper stickers (99%) and flyers announcing the General Strike, called for Wednesday, November 2.
Thank you. You have my admiration.