What ensued was a lot less rowdy than some high school graduations I've attended. They had a speaker, a well known university professor, who is an expert in housing. As she spoke, through a portable megaphone, the crowd reacted not with loud cheers and boos - but by raising their hands and wiggling their fingers - a silent yeah or nay. Speakers from the crowd were given the opportunity to respond, or add, to the speaker's remarks. Everyone was respectful of the platform and the other speakers. I closed my eyes and pictured these folks in suits and ties and I was back in an educational seminar at work. What?
|note the CPD in background|
I had a lengthy conversation with a very young woman and a man older than I am. I asked why the media hadn't picked up on the peaceful nature of the Chicago group - as they had the lawlessness and confrontational nature of groups in other cities. This time, I was quoted from Gandhi. I hope I don't mess this up, but I failed to write it down. Something like..."First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win."
They had games and artsy activities for children and a big chalk drawn sign saying "Keep Your Kids Occupied". They claim to have no leaders, but the whole thing was so damn organized that I find it hard to believe. If you think they're not organized, check out their website http://occupychi.org/
Their calendar abounds in educational events as well as action oriented gatherings. It's not just about corporate greed any more.
I'm sitting here in Tucson reading the New York Times recap of the arrests and evictions in places like Atlanta, Boston, Burlington, Vt., Denver, L.A., Oakland, Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City and St. Louis. I am hoping that the Chicago Occupiers are staying on higher ground and sticking to their theories of peace and inclusion. On the other hand, I hope they don't get too corporate. They may succumb to the things they claim to protest.