There were 10 demonstrators on Sunday, Nov. 27, safely tucked into a turnout on Mil Potrero Highway. They have been appearing every Saturday and Sunday to greet traffic coming into and leaving Pine Mountain. Sample signs read “How Many Foreclosures Are On Your Street?”; “U.S. Govt. The Best $ Can Buy;” “Middle Class and Shrinking Fast.” [Dan Combs photo]
By Patric Hedlund
There is buzz among Mountain Community neighbors with a variety of perceptions about the many variations being seen in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. There were 10 demonstrators on Sunday, Nov. 27 safely tucked into a turnout on Mil Potrero Highway. They have been appearing every Saturday and Sunday to greet traffic coming into and leaving Pine Mountain. Sample signs read “How Many Foreclosures Are On Your Street?”; “U.S. Govt. The Best $ Can Buy;” “Middle Class and Shrinking Fast.”
These are local voices, discussing the times we are all navigating. To an editor, it sounds like a community trying to figure out what is going on in our country.
Each voice adds a unique piece to the conversation. In November, we received material from a defense contractor, a school teacher, an artist, a professor, a preparedness trainer, a business consultant (and part time farmer) and a barber.
Danny Combs, 61, who sent this photo is the retired barber. Donn Coon, 68 is a retired defense contractor “supporting naval weapons systems,“ he writes. With a home in Pine Mountain, they stopped to join the demonstrators Sunday.
Coon was holding a ‘99%” sign. He was asked why he participated: “Supporting the socalled ‘Occupy’ movement is a matter of recognizing the raw truth of what the group has been saying since it began.
“Early on, I noticed a very simple fact: these people aren’t asking for anything for themselves. They aren’t saying ‘hire us,’ nor ‘provide us with housing,’ nor ‘pay for our food.’ As I have watched the movement grow, I’ve noticed more and more that many of the people demonstrating were blue-collar, working-class folk. Then, behind them, I saw elderly men and women, obviously no longer working, but expressing the same grievances and those grievances boiled down to this:
“It has been through our sweat and labor that the rich have grown and acquired seemingly insurmountable power over us, but then threw us out into the streets. Those interests, in turn, are being protected by allies within the current political structure.
“This perspective, obviously, is not shared by corporate elite nor by the government elected to ‘serve’ us. Perhaps the most recent example of their total lack of perspective is Newt Gingrich’s gaff, “If you want to work, get a job—after you take a shower.” That viewpoint does not recognize the demonstrators for what they are, does not hear what’s being said and does not seem to care one way or another, so long as their positions of wealth and power remain undisturbed.”
Why I Became Involved?
“Look, I am not looking for work. I’ve served this nation’s military, I’ve acquired a couple of degrees and I spent nearly 45 years in the working world. But I’ve lived with and understood the people around me—the people who live in the lower to middle class of Americans. How could I possibly not support this movement that arose among them? They are simply saying, ‘Look at what America is becoming and take steps toward the cure.’ Since they’re not asking for material support, it seems the least I can do is show them my support by standing with them, holding a sign or two, and encouraging their effort….”
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This is part of the December 02, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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