Archive for October 14th, 2011

by jhwygirl

This post has been updated

Mainstream media is reporting that #occupywallstreet is calling for a Global Day of Protest tomorrow (Saturday), with over 800 cities participating.

OccupyHelena get’s the nod here as Saturday is their first General Assembly (GA). Hill Park, time apparently unspecified. I found this link (warning: facebook link) on twitter.

Also giving a nod to OccupyButte which as Turner reports below gets underway Saturday morning at the Butte Plaza Mall, noon. There was a meeting earlier this week at the Butterfly Cafe if I’m remembering my twitter feed.

I have to say that it can be maddening to some to watch something so truly organic get up and running. Me? I’m loving watching it. It’s a beautiful thing. Beautiful.

OccupyBozeman got underway Friday with a march on Main Street.

OccupyMissoula starts off tomorrow morning (it’s one-week-old birthday) at 11 a.m., at the fishes near the Higgins Street bridge at Caras Park. They’ve got a rally and march planned – and then from 1 to 10 p.m. is a OccupyMissoula ArtJam, of which I’m sure we’ll hear Lizard down there jammin’ on some poetry.

Not only that – don’t forget that Missoula still has the wonderful Farmer’s Market going too – so there’ still time to stock up on locally grown and produced preserves and cheeses. I’m thinking this is the next-to-the-last one.

I want to explain what a General Assembly is, as I’ve had people ask. I can only describe it how I’ve seen it.

GA’s are like a people’s congress. Everyone get’s to participate and everything is a negotiation – all the while, everyone works together in organization towards a goal of determining what it is that government should be. One general cause that morphed this together is the skewed wealth distribution system of government that essentially has Wall Street running the show (and anyone can call me on that and I don’t mind), but from there the search for commonality is very much part of the GA process.

People of all ages and backgrounds are attending OccupyMissoula. There are even people driving in from outside Missoula. I’ve seen 3 generations of a family (Grandparents, Daughter and grandaughter). It’s wonderful.

OccupyMissoula is facing some issued down there related to security (yet alone weather!) I have much respect for the organizing going on down there as not only are they working on their own structure, they’re feeding and clothing and generally addressing homeless issues down there.

I can tell you that the very first late afternoon as they were just getting started down there last Saturday I had a homeless woman come up and berate me because all that was left to eat was salad. And potato soup. She didn’t eat potato soup because of the starch and the salad was..well SALAD as she clearly had to let me know. No protein! What was she to do?

I was a little dumbfounded (I wasn’t in charge..but really, no one was in charge) and rolled out a response about the Poverello serving dinner and she literally screamed at me and said that she hadn’t “planned to go there and now she was hungry!”

OccupyMissoula is in need of a number of things – here is a list – things like blankets and gloves…food…propane (done with that grill for the season? Why not just donate that gas?). Tarps are another thing. Garbage bags.

Anyways…I will update this as info comes in (either in the comments or email me at hotmail dot com)

by lizard

The twin pillars of modern poetry—T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound—cannot fulfill the role poetry now must play in our current struggles. The Waste Land and The Cantos echo back to us notes of isolation and archaic knowledge far removed from the spinning crust we occupy.

Navel-gazing confessionals need no longer dribble from the fingers and pens of poets. To successfully occupy language, every effort to connect to that which is larger than ourselves must be made if we, as poets, want to aid those who are using their bodies to occupy actual ground, here and across the world.

There are plenty of poets to look to for inspiration. This morning I pulled Pablo Neruda’s Let The Rail Splitter Awake from the shelf, and a section from ‘The Dead In The Square’—which is about the gunning-down of a crowd demonstrating in solidarity with the protesting workers of the northern nitrate mines in Chile in 1946—really resonates:


People, here you decided to lend a hand
to the bowed workers of the pampas; you answered them;
you called them, man, woman, and child,
one year ago, to this Square.

And here your blood gushed forth.
In the very centre of the country it was spilled,
in front of the Palace, right in the middle of the street
for all the world to see.
And no one could mop it up:
your red stains remained there
like stars, fixed and implacable.

It was when one Chilean hand after another
was stretching out its fingers toward the pampas,
and your words came from the heart, speaking unity;
people, it was when you were marching in your own
singing the old songs full of tears and hope and sorrow
that the hand of the hangman drenched the Square with
your blood.


This is the way the flag of our country was made:
out of the rags of their sorrow the people stitched it;
they embroidered it with the shining thread of love;

they cut from their shirts, or perhaps from a fold of the
that patch of blue to hold the star of their country,
and with eager hands they pinned it there like a jewel.

Drop by drop it is turning fiery red.


Another section of that poem got me working on a poetic response to what’s been developing both here and in NYC this past week, but before we get to that, I would like to put it out there that TOMORROW AT 1PM, there will be poetry on the courthouse lawn as part of OccupyMissoula, so come on down and occupy a bit of public space with us for a small portion of your Saturday.

The poem below the fold is untitled, and opens with the section of Neruda’s poem that inspired it. Enjoy. Continue Reading »

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