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As I am about to post this blog piece, I just got a call from a man named Garvard Good Plume at Pine Ridge telling me that Wounded Knee is being auctioned off RIGHT NOW. I feel sick. Meanwhile, here's what I wrote earlier today....
I am sitting in a cafe in Rapid City, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation, early for my interview with Charmaine White Face. I watched the riveting, heartbreaking and informative film "Red Cry" for the second time last night to prepare for this interview. I also studied the very specific and helpful directives about how non-indigenous people can support indigenous people at www.lakotagrandmothers.org.
I haven't had much time to keep up with blogging... I spent almost a week in Oklahoma, camping near Ponca City with the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance Camp - no electricity in my tent (although one tent did have a windmill and solar panels - I kid you not!). Although the action that we were training for all week didn't come off as planned, the overall experience came together as one of the most valuable I've had so far in a totally unexpected way.
I've always been a generous tipper. I worked as a waitress a few times, long, long ago, and my daughter worked as a waitress for a living more than once. I am aghast when I see a table of 10 walk out leaving a 10% tip (sometimes less, sometimes nothing)...
Out here on the road, I stop at a lot of places where I might not normally eat. One night, it was getting late and we didn't have a place to stay. I made a call to my friends from South Carolina, Greg and Brady Gavan of Money with a Mission, and they treated us to a night in a motel in West Memphis. It was after 8 p.m. by the time we checked in, and I was starving. There was a Waffle House right next to the motel, so in I went. Wilma and I found a table and made ourselves comfortable. I was just off the Footprints for Peace walk against mountaintop removal in Kentucky. I was tired and maybe a little cranky, so I noticed that it took longer than I felt it should for the waitress to make her way to my table. I was just getting ready to start waving my arms or clinking my glass (not really, but some people DO do that, and I FELT like doing it) when I noticed the waitress, the only one in the joint, shuffling in my direction. She was moving slow, VERY slow, and when I looked down, her ankles were swollen the size of basketballs, too heavy, tired and painful for her to lift even an inch off the floor. When she reached my table, I looked into her passive face and couldn't help staring at the black bags under her eyes. She looked like a prizefighter, only I knew those bags weren't from any one blow. This woman had been dealt a knockdown punch by life itself.
Searching For Occupy
Packing the Car
By Crystal Zevon
Just back from washing and vacuuming the car. Trying to figure out how we cram clothes, camping gear, photo equipment, food, two people and the dog in my little Prius for a 6 month to 1 year road trip… Searching for Occupy. I commented to my partner in this venture, Denise Valdez, that at least when we were occupying in D.C., we had tents. Suddenly, the memory of those frozen, leaky tents translates into plush, cushy, comfy luxury. We don’t know where we’ll be sleeping from night to night… What if one of us gets sick… How do we avoid corporate food stops... What if we get arrested and they take the video equipment that has been depleting my bank account...What if… what if … what if what the media implies is truer than we believe and we can’t find Occupy?
One year ago, I was living at Freedom Plaza in Washingon,DC. I was a part of Occupy Washington DC. In February of 2012, our encampment was forcibly shut down. I know many of the people I lived with in D.C. and met at OWS, Occupy Boston and many other 'Occupies' are still out there fighting for the rights of all people. We (SearchingforOccupy) are going from Maine to D.C. to St. Louis to Wichita to Denver to San Diego to find the people who continue to work for peace, justice, the environment and humanity. Please watch for us, and let us know what's happening where you live. We'd love to visit you.
Searching for Occupy hits the road Jan.13th with Occupy Boston!
Visit us on the web at http://www.searchingforoccupy.com/
Donate at :http://www.gofundme.com/Searching-for-Occupy
Contact us at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Twitter:https://twitter.com/S4Occ
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/SearchingforOccupy
By Crystal Zevon
As the country, and indeed, the world, mourns the tragic and unnecessary loss of so many young lives to the Newtown School Massacre, many peace activists and advocates for non-violence around the world are mourning another loss… the loss of a tireless advocate for peace and reconciliation, a blogger on this website, Mira Dabit.
I was sound asleep in my grandson’s bed when my cell phone woke me on December 15th at 12:30 a.m. Slightly annoyed, I answered the phone. It was my partner from Searching for Occupy, Denise Valdez. She was crying. No. She was sobbing. For a few moments, I listened to her crying. Then, she managed to blurt out, “Crystal, I have some bad news…” A pause. A sob. “Mira is dead.”
What? No. I must have heard that wrong. Mira, our Palestinian cohort from Occupy Washington, D.C. and Peace House, was only 27 years old. I just talked to her… what?... two weeks ago? She was excited about her newest endeavor ‘Love Music Hate Racism’. She was bubbling over in a characteristic burst of uninhibited enthusiasm…
Sadly, I did not hear it wrong. Mira, even when she phoned me, had been sick. Apparently, she had gone to the hospital a few times, but the last time she got fed up with the hours of waiting. She was Palestinian so, of course, she had to line up in the uninsured queue. She left before seeing a doctor and died a few hours later.