I was misquoted

 *correction to the Bangor Daily article* Alba Briggs said that uprooting the camp would mean throwing away the last month of work we’ve put in.  Not me.

I said that, yes, we may be the top-clicked story on the Bangor Daily website (partly no doubt because of all you beloved “Get A Job” trolls venting your spleens) — but we pull up our tents, we’re a flash in the pan and forgotten by Bangor.

America is sick.  Terribly sick.  It should be possible for a man making minimum wage to support a wife and three kids, without a dime of government assistance.  We had that once.  But now, minimum wage isn’t enough to support yourself.

We need to *push* American society off its present self-destructive course and onto a more reasonable one.  This takes *time*.  We *need* to keep at this.

Our white-collar organizational leaders, who put forth the proposal to pull up the camp, without actually *telling* anyone who lived at camp ahead of time, tell us maintaining the camp takes too much time, too much energy.  Some of the ones saying this, like Valerie, really put their heart and soul into keeping the camp alive. 

Now I know something about photography, and this picture -- in that light? -- is a real accomplishment

Other of those leaders, I can’t tell you what they do to keep camp running.  Sunny once called the encampment the “heart and soul” of Bangor’s Occupy movement.  Was up in arms when the city wanted us just to apply for a permit.  Now she wants us shut down.

What I said was, we decamp, and we become just another white-collar activist group doing deskwork and promotional stunts.  Camping out in Maine weather *means* something, and this is what has the nice old women from the Peace and Justice center running scared.  Trying to uproot our camp for our own good.

It’s amazing to me that we have to fight not only City Hall, but our own leadership to stay alive.


Reply on BDN bboard

I have to say, the city has been very reasonable toward us.  The Parks guy, Tracey Willette, has, and the city council has.  Cops have on their rounds.
But I also have to say, I think we’ve been pretty reasonable toward the city.  Not filing a permit is something that can be done by anyone doing something in a park.  To have a wedding in a park, you can go without a permit.  Cops won’t bust it up.
The permit just allows you to certain benefits, which Occupy has, in my understanding, gone without.  A benefit to permitting is that, for example, you make sure someone else isn’t having a wedding at the same time.
Whether Occupy NEEDS a permit for the way it’s currently using park property is not at all clear.  In my view, we SHOULD HAVE a permit — it’d make things legally tidier, tie up some loose ends — but look:
One of the things that came out of the meeting is that it really isn’t clear which park department rules and policies we might be breaking, or should be governed by, because those policies weren’t written with something like an occupation in mind, and they don’t clearly apply to us.
I left the meeting thinking that the city council is deeply committed to the bill of rights, and for that I’m grateful.  The lethal question is, is the city council committed ENOUGH, and is the city itself committed ENOUGH, to reconsider whether giving Bangor citizens real legal freedom is worth stepping outside the normal comfort zone, in the form of actually allowing substantial 24-hour peaceful political protest.