Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15th - Occupy Medford in Alba Park

Today was the first meeting for the Occupy movement in Medford, Oregon. I arrived roughly 45 minutes after people had started gathering in Alba Park across from the Medford Post Office. Shortly after my arrival began the open session where people with a desire to be heard were able to speak to the Medford movement as a whole.
I immediately began to take notes on the points within each speaker’s conversation so as to gain a picture of the Occupy Medford’s persona. With roughly 30 speaker’s participating, the topics covered a variety of areas.

Topics covered included:
1.       A unified message and how the media has portrayed the movement.
2.       Child abuse and how it trains citizens to become victims.
3.       The powers-that-be are not held accountable, yet if a citizen were to act the way they do, many detrimental attributes would be applied to them, among potential legal repercussions.
4.       The real threat to national security is not what is perpetrated by the government and media. Al Quaeda may have brought down the towers, but Wall Street has brought down the world.
5.       Bradley Manning, the Army Intelligence Analyst who was arrested for leaking information to Wikileaks.
6.       The media portrayal of the movement being leaderless. The fact is, Lady Justice is the leader and she has been wronged.
7.       The necessity for the people who have perpetrated this crisis to be prosecuted.
8.       The destruction of the middle class.
9.       The condemnation of most of the world to living with under $3.00 a day while the rest of the world profits from their exploitation.
10.   The need for people to unite across political lines.
11.   The need for people to hold their leaders accountable.
12.   The need for people to continue to take action after a movement meeting is over.
13.   The need for state banks like the one in North Dakota. There is a meeting at the Woolworth Building in Medford on Wednesday at 6:00 pm covering this issue. Here is the writeup on the meeting.
14.   The divestment movement, where cities across the country will be asked to take their money out of the major banks.
15.   The Wisconsin movement from earlier this year which was shut down and how it affects everyone.
16.   The fact that a thriving middle class is where many great innovators come from.
17.   Restoring Glass-Spiegel through HR1489.

As you can see, this list is a testament to where this movement has come from. There are many problems in this country which this movement will address.  While the focus isn’t narrow, this isn’t a necessity for the movement to be a success. As all revolutions go, there are many problems which bring people together with one result: the unification and forward movement of a large portion of the population which always results in change.

One of the greatest things about this movement is the diversity of people which attend. I observed people from all age groups, ethnic backgrounds, abilities, and walks of life. The conversation was lively! Among the most lively was an interview recorded by a pod caster by the name of Mike Jones between a Libertarian standing near a Ron Paul group and another of the more boisterous speakers.
 I myself sat down for a half an hour and spoke with a person named Kate about a range of issues. After a while our conversation led to the social phenomenon of many people in my generation not wanting to have kids because they are worried about their children’s ability to have a future in this current state of the world. She said, “What does it say about how our children when a large segment of them don’t think they have a future, and therefore shouldn’t have children.”

This statement is completely accurate. It is human nature to want to raise children, yet what kind of conditions must be present for an animal, no matter how evolved, to decide against having children.

At this point I began taking pictures of all the signs present at Occupy Medford so as to portray a vivid picture of the opinions of the Movement attendees. Again, a great range of issues were presented through these communication devices.
The support shown by the community was phenomenal. While the media only attended for the first hour or so (which makes one wonder how they will accurately portray the event), police were present throughout. The police did not interfere in anyway and in fact made accommodations when possible. When asked their opinion on the movement they respectfully replied that “While on a duty, an officer is apolitical.” Also, though the movement did not have a permit to use a loud speaker, we were allowed to use one so long as we kept the volume at a reasonable level.

There was also a point at which donations were requested from attendees so food could be provided to the attendees. Over $250.00 was collected, providing a large quantity of food for attendees. This is just another sign of a powerful movement being created in our beautiful valley.

After a short break, the movement had begun to die down to smaller number of people. Before the closing of the event, there was another general assembly, setting a rough agenda for the next few days. The results of this assembly were as follows:
  1. Sunday at noon will be an Occupy event at the Walmart construction grounds to protest the construction of a 5th Walmart facility within the Rogue Valley. There are already Walmarts in Grants Pass, Eagle Point, Medford, and Talent.
  2. Monday at noon will be an Occupy event held on the corner of Crater Lake Ave and Stevens Street in Medford to protest the two banks who are located there, Bank of America and Chase.
  3. After each meeting of the Occupy Medford movement there will be a meeting at 6:00 PM of the general assembly (all of us) at the location of the day’s action.
All in all this was a very successful day for the start of a movement. Many voices were heard and the groundwork laid for the continuation of the movement as a whole. I look forward to attending as many events as possible so that real change can start in the near future.

Important Links:

Organizations Which Were in Attendance or Represented:

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