It's the weekend, and I have way too much to do. (Don't we all?) I received a fantastic email yesterday from a reader. It really was a touching letter, and I feel re-energized. Of course I'm still quite nervous about all that is going on, like paying rent and finding work over the summer, but I really feel as though I have all my readers behind me cheering me on. That is an amazing thought; one that drives me to keep going and not give in. You are all amazing people, and we are pushing to change the world for the better. I'm proud to be graduating in May as a Linguist, but I'm also proud to be moving to Sociology in the Fall. My main focus is deviance and crime, as I want to continue working with criminal behavior analysis, but I'm also interested in gender, racial, and class inequalities, as well as social movements. I think they are all important and work together to form the society we have today. From all the letters I've received from my readers, there are three that stand out in my mind the most. One man writes me almost regularly to offer encouragement and ideas, which I wholly appreciate and enjoy reading. One is a woman up north who wrote me several times to wish me good health and tell her story, which reminded me why we are all doing this. One was the letter I received yesterday, which was a heartfelt push that let me know that even though my visitor numbers may be low, I have more people reading this and relying on me than I know. All I can say to this...
Thank you for being there.
I also want to thank my wife for standing behind me as I write this. Not literally, of course. Every day she reads my blog and talks to me about what I've written. She's proudly told fellow classmates that I am the person writing it. She's going to read this later today, and I want her to know how much I appreciate it. Even from the start, when I wasn't sure if anyone would ever read my news, she stood behind me saying, "People need this. They will appreciate it. Keep going; you can do it."
This isn't a goodbye email. I'm not quitting this blog, and I won't until I'm forced to for some reason, or it's no longer needed. I just wanted to let everyone know that I have an enormous amount of respect for all of you. Every single person. This movement is a strong one, and we need strong people in it. We have each other to depend on, and that makes each of us stronger. I also wanted to let you know that the email I list at the end of this blog is indeed my personal email, and that I am more than willing to actually converse with you through it. If you would like to tell your story, I want to hear it. If you are having difficulties, and would like the advice of the crazy kitty lady, please share. If you just want someone to listen without advice or passing judgment, I will gladly listen. I'm here for you just as much as you are here for me.
I suppose I should get to the news, huh?
-- Occupy Town Square in Brooklyn, NY, is holding a rally this Sunday, and some are worried. The rally will be held at Fort Greene Park, and the group has not, and does not intend to, file for a permit for the gathering. The event will have a concert, teach-in, and cookout. Occupy Town Square said that filing for a permit is the normal course of action, but that is only when permits are handed out fairly. They say the NYPD has turned any Occupy event into an ordeal, even making some parks off limits to protest events. The group has said they will follow the rules from the permits, even if they do not have one. The NYPD has not responded to any questions concerning the rally, which makes some people nervous about their planned actions. One of the main points of discussion will be the financial problems in the area, especially concerning the recent bankruptcy and possible merger of a local hospital.
-- Occupy Des Moines was out last night, protesting the current education reform bill, as well as other education related issues. Echoing previous sentiments, the Occupiers decried educational cuts, saying that "schools build strong democracies." While this may seem like an odd thing to say, it is not so unusual when you look at what the reform bill looks to do. One of the provisions in the bill allows state funding to be directed towards online education provided by private, for-profit, online academies. Roughly 900 students would be enrolled in the online schools. The money for the online programming takes away from public school funding, said the mix of parents, teachers, and activists in the audience. There were other items concerning education discussed, such as the cut to public universities and programs, and the closure of the Malcolm Price Lab School.
-- Occupy Oakland has packed up their tents from the new park, after police warned that citations would be given should they stay past the park's closure time. Many of the Occupiers remained in the park throughout the day, but closed up shop when the 10 p.m. curfew arrived. The Occupiers changed the park's name from Mosswood Park to the Huey P. Newton Park, after the late Black Panther leader. They were protesting the recent OWS arrests, as well as the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. While Occupiers did comply with police, they said they intended to return to the park this weekend.
-- A man seen dumping a mixture of human bodily waste on a Chase ATM has been apprehended, thanks to a witness who jotted down the license plate of the vehicle. The Pennsylvania man also dumped the mixture down the stairs at a different Chase location. OWS has mixed views on the actions of the man, but most are condemning his actions. Most say that the man acted of his own accord, without notifying OWS of his intentions. While the man was out on bail, he was arrested again after his wife brought a knife to a courthouse, and he jumped into the fray to stop them from apprehending her. Some Occupiers believe that the man is attempting to sully OWS's reputation. Very few agree with what he has done, with most saying he should have thought about who would have to clean it up. (In other words, it's obviously not the 1% who is out there scrubbing the waste.)
To contact me for any reason, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again.