55 Days of Occupy Philly: Days 39, 40 — 99% chant wears thin…

Day 39
Weather 62-41
I will be posting these for each of the 55 days of Occupy Philly on Dilworth Plaza, from October 6, 2011 to November 30, the night of our eviction.

To view all posts to date, click:  55 Days of Occupy Philly.
Most of the day fielding email–______ at CoCo, making an effort to behave… sort of. He wants to go to facilitation training. Not capable of keeping opinions to himself or calling out (hand signal) “point of process” when his only point of process is his disagreement with what someone has said. What it amounts to—a desire to make process work to support his opinion & deny those of any who don’t agree. We’re going to have to work through this shit.
This has been… difficult, yes, but a satisfying challenge—a challenge that’s been a test of faculties not much called on for a long time. Twelve years in front of a class room helped. And a more secure sense of myself as a poet, that I’ve won for myself the freedom to shed the last vestige of the need to appear ‘normal.’ … to be what other’s want, or what I might imagine others to want of me.

Sunday Day 40
November 13, 2011
Weather 71 – 54
11:09 AM Dreams of sailfish & sharks in the Outlet at Bass Lake. Occupation. Disorientation. Meeting at 3:00 Reading Terminal. 5:30, Reading at Giovani’s Room. Too dangerous to swim in the ocean. Occupy web correspondence till 1:15. Read –GA –Prepare my story, “Freedom Arms” for submission.

Nate believes it’s possible to work with politicians. Talks too long—shouldn’t facilitate. I hope he finds an opening for his dream of an experimental farm.

Walked from City Hall to 2nd, North to Brown, met the Occupy Wall Street marchers & escorted them back. One who walked the 90 miles barefoot. Escorted by cops there and back. Taunted by hipsters watching us pass. Food ready for the marchers when we arrived… and news of the attack and destruction on the Zuccotti camp.




The 99% mantra works as an invitation to the Big Tent, but as a facade of unity it is dangerously misleading.

Nutter’s news conference—he “doesn’t want confrontation” but says that the Occupation has changed, the “leaders” have changed… not so veiled threats.

There are many of the 99%, not just the police, who will fight us, who will try to destroy us, many who simply don’t understand how to transition from a hierarchical culture, who use intimidation to grasp for attention & power and work to undermine and betray the movement… sometimes with the best intentions. Others who are too intimidated by the prospect of disapprobation by authority figures whose smiles and vague promises make them forget whose interests they serve, forget that no matter how ‘nice’ a mayor or police chief might be, they are inexorably bound up in an essentially undemocratic power structure that exists primarily for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.

Let’s not be overly distressed that when Authority begins to frown, many will scuttle to what they believe to be safety, many will turn their backs on us, others will seek to push us toward a defensive authoritarian response to the perceived threat.

What we have done is already part of history and they cannot destroy what has begun here–not from above, not from within.

Mayor Nutter said in his news conference that Occupy Philly had changed. That the “leaders” had changed. What he meant was, there is no select few who stand apart from the people and pretend to speak for us in our stead, who can be manipulated, cajoled, used for their own ends.

Let’s not be fooled. His complaint acknowledges that we’re making a difference. That’s why they will eventually try to destroy us–no matter where we move.


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