Occupy Elkhart

A gathering place for the Elkhart, IN Occupiers

    Why we're here



    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2011-10-17

    Why we're here

    Post  Terri on Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:35 pm

    This was written by someone on another forum, but I thought it held a lot of truth. Maybe others would like to comment why they're a part of this movement.

    JetpackAngel wrote:
    Well, I suppose it's as good a place as any to have myself a little catharsis. Bear with me, I will make a point after I do a little ranting. Sorry for the long post, so I left a TL;DR at the bottom. That's the problem with writing: hard to start, even harder to stop.

    I unload trucks for the place where there's Always Low Wages, Always (and I'm the only girl back there). I am part-time after being there three years and having a high opinion of me by everyone in the store who's worked with me. I work hard because I'm there to work and it's the right thing to do. If I see someone who needs assistance, I don't stop to think of what's in it for me, I simply help, because it is the right thing to do. And I am thanked only by the people whose lives I make a little easier every night (like the grocery stockers who thank me for sorting their grocery carts instead of just tossing it all on pallets).

    My work boots are falling apart. I'm afraid to clean them because the dirt might be the only thing holding them together. I can't afford new ones. And of course my company won't just give me better equipment even if it helps me work better. I didn't start wearing a knee brace until after I started working there; now I wear one every day, whether I'm working or not. I have to buy those myself, too.

    My 'benefits' are a joke. About the only thing they're good for is prescription assistance. Other than that, well, I had to pay $100 for a positive strep test last winter. An extended hospital stay would indenture me for life.

    My best friend has been without a job for four months. I have sent her what little food I can spare, and at one point asked members of my own family to send her money when I couldn't send any myself. She recently landed a temp gig, but it's only three days a week, so it's not going to help that much. Nobody in her major city is hiring.

    Another friend of mine, one also jobless for months and one with sexual identity issues as well as severe depression--he genuinely thinks I'd be the only one at his funeral, and some have actually advised me to cut him off, but how in the hell could I do that?--has a roof over his head only for the grace of his near-estranged father and a cheap motel. He may have landed a job at a fast-food joint. I pray he has. If he has not, then there's only so many packages of Ramen and toilet paper I can give him.

    My cousin dreamed of being a sportscaster since childhood, and was planning on going into teaching. He now manages a frozen yogurt shop, and despite its success, funds are scarce, and he's forced to work both mornings and evenings pretty much every day just to do all the necessary tasks to keep the place running.

    My sister-in-law also dreamed of being a teacher. There are no jobs in my area for her, and if she found one she'd have to uproot herself, her National Guardsman husband, and their two young boys.

    A recently added brother-in-law is going to school to be a nurse. I know there is never any shortage of jobs for those, but I worry about him going into an occupation where he can expect abuse on a daily basis and will be faulted for defending himself, because it violates 'patient rights' if a patient bites a caregiver and a caregiver fights back.

    For some reason, my dental work doesn't seem to be staying put. My mother took money out of her own retirement fund (and she's recently gone into retirement, by the way, so the only one working is my stepdad) to give me the funds to do this since I don't have dental coverage, and over a year and $6,000 later, I am once again restricting myself to soft foods and drinks that have been sitting out for at least ten minutes. Since I'm lucky if I bring home $800 a month, I can barely afford the stopgap repairs, much less the heavy-duty work I need to have done.

    Why am I here? Because the country is broken. Healthcare is broken. Finances are broken. I move forward, struggle and fight to move endlessly forward because the alternative is to lay down and die, but I don't know how much longer I can physically keep moving. The whole goddamn system is broken, top to bottom.

    Why am I here? Because I want to seek out people who are trying to do something about it, people who can do something about it, people who aren't content to sit on their asses and take it anymore. I'm here because I can't code worth a damn, but I can write, and I can listen, and I can share news with people who cannot and/or will not hear it. I am here because, in the words of Ayn Rand: "We are all brothers under the skin, and I for one would be willing to skin humanity to prove it."

    I'm here because I don't care if your melanin levels match a 'flesh'-colored crayon or not. I don't care which gender your brain chemistry is hardwired to most appreciate. I don't care if you were born as the wrong gender and need help to fix it. I don't care which religion or lack thereof gives you peace, or what culture you were raised in, or what nation you were born into. I don't believe that the actions of the few will ever speak for beliefs of the whole, no matter the reputation. I simply care if you are a Human Being, and I believe you have the right to exist, to live, to love, to worship, to contribute to our world without fear of being persecuted simply for being who you are, and to be treated with dignity and respect, so long as you show equal tolerance and Do No Harm.

    (I'm also here because, in the words of H.L. Menken, "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.")

    I believe that helping others is human nature, that it is what caused us to form society in the first place, that standing up and getting shit done is what keeps this half-ass bipedal zoo from crumbling around our ears. I don't understand how people can see a wrong and not stop to do something about it. Many raindrops make a flood, and if there are enough of us, we can start fixing what is broken.

    I'm here because my mom watches Glenn Beck, and when I started posting about Occupy Wall Street on Facebook she messaged me, "By the way. I learned today (yesterday) that many of the people who are protesting in this Wall Street thing are unemployed that the unions are paying $20/hr + overtime to make noise. This is not a groundroots movement, it is an attempt bythe unions to strangle their employers. Not a smart move, in my opinion"

    It took everything in my power to not start crying. But, like had been hammered into my head a long time ago, "God will save those whom he wants to save, and harden those whom he will harden," or something to that effect, it's been a while since I've been to church. (Nowadays I describe myself as a Buddhist, but according to Google Maps the closest temple is four and a half hours away, six if I want one of my denomination, but that's more of a personal problem, I think.)

    My dad watches the news, and he's a lot more sensible. He'd heard of Occupy Wall Street, but when I showed him the YouTube video "I Am Not Moving," he was genuinely surprised, and said "They're not showing this on the Nightly News."

    I am here because I have possibly opened the eyes of a man who's always been enormously pleasant to be around except where the topic of money is concerned (and then he turns into a dick). I could perhaps open more. I would attend the local #Occupy protests that've sprung up once or twice except that they tend to happen when I'm at work, and I'm out of personal days, and I can't lose this job. But I can speak online. I blog on LJ, I post to Facebook, I'm considered an entertaining read in my tiny little circles so I won't be automatically dismissed, and there are those who take me seriously and can spread the word.

    TL;DR I am here because the system sucks, and I can't do much but I can write, and I want to help, now please tell me what I can do. Besides torrent V for Vendetta, of course.

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