Monday, 21 November 2011

I Have Met the OccuHippies (and I like them)

The other day during lunch I walked across City Hall square and waded into the midst of the "OccuHippies", as I have referred to them (here).

I went prepared to learn enough to write a second scathing piece, which I suppose I could now.  I couldn't find even one person who voted in the last election, which actually suits me just fine.  No, really, it does - I've written about that here.  But I have trouble criticizing them for it.  I found what I was looking for but can't write the scathing piece because what I found were people, not ideals.

Look, these citizens want change.  You may not agree with their methods, but do you have a better idea?  Don't tell them to join a mainstream political party - they don't trust 'em.  Don't tell them to get jobs - they're trying.  Starbucks only needs so many baristas.   As one of the underemployed told me, "I'm just sick of being poor."

In the Windsor camp the voluntarily homeless occupy when it suits them, showing up to protest and then heading to their warm homes and apartments.  The tents mark the spot.  For others, the first wave of fainthearted joiners have been replaced by the actual homeless.  If not here, they'd be under a bridge.  Here they live in community, people give them food and treat them with respect.  They have much to protest, as much as their situation is as much of their own making as it is of society's.

There are no easy answers.  The fate of the least of us falls on the shoulders of each of us.  In our lives we will never eliminate poverty.

But shame on us when we look the other way.

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