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Why Do I Occupy?

So I just got back from Occupy San Jose, and it was exhilarating—not just for me, but for Heather and, especially, Emile, our 3.5 year old son. After 20 years of top-down academic wankery, I was thrilled to spend three hours practicing democracy. And it was Emile’s first demo!

I’ll always remember the smile on his face while he chanted, “Time for the 99!” and “This is what democracy looks like!” on the two-mile march to City Hall and Chavez Park. Participation peaked at 150 and hovered near there for over four hours. The General Assembly and march were facilitated by tough, smart, organized young people from the local community college, De Anza (my two transfers from there currently getting Ph.D.’s from Yale and Pitt).

As we marched, we got loud, long appreciative honks all the way from passing pickups, city buses, and even an old Mercedes. It doesn’t rival the hundreds encamped in Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, or New York, but it seems there could be up to a dozen folks sleeping in tents, starting tonight or perhaps tomorrow, and a heckuva support brigade.  We went from first general assembly to “who’s camping out tonight?” in minutes.

I joined the group’s Research Committee (natch). The Occupy Boston interviews above are essentially what I had in mind for us. Just documenting the peacable, thoughtful, reason and reasonability of the millions of us. Versus the frantic lies and fraudulent “market rationality” of our masters.

Sure, there’s a virtual occupation making the rounds of social media. That’s fine. But you know what? There’s almost certainly a general assembly near you. Even if you can’t sleep over, think about kicking in 20 bucks toward a generator or blankets and staying the afternoon. Three hours of participatory democracy will do you good, I promise.

Prior coverage:
All the News Fit For Bankers

Bankers Chuckle (Must-See Footage of the Week)
Occupiers Issue First Statement (And it’s Bigger News than Radiohead Rumor)
Mass Arrests on Wall Street
Protests Spread to Both Coasts
Police Violence Escalates: Day 5
Wall Street Occupation, Day 3
What Are You Doing for the Next 2 Months?
Occupy and Escalate
Big Brother on Campus
California Is Burning
Will Occupation Become a Movement?
Grad Students Spearhead Wisconsin Capitol Occupation
The Occupation Will Be Televised
The Occupation Cookbook

related:
More Drivel from the NYT
Citizens Smarter than NYT and Washington Post, Again
Education Policy Summit or Puppet Show?
Parents and Teachers, the Alienated Democratic Base
Dianetics For Higher Ed?

xposted: howtheuniversityworks.com

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