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Crystal Zevon

Crystal Zevon is author of 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon,' an oral history of the life of her former husband and lifelong friend and co-conspirator

January 17th, 2013 10:22 AM

SEARCHING FOR OCCUPY: Occupy Maine

Alive, Well and ACTIVE

About to leave Portland, Maine for Augusta.  It has been non-stop since we started on this quest to Search for Occupy.  Before leaving, I heard from the checker at the health food store and the guy at the dog groomer’s (where Wilma, my Japanese Chin, got her beauty treatment for the trip) that there was no more Occupy.  Even in  Boston, where I had an insightful and in-depth conversation with John Stephen Dwyer and Rene Perez of UnRegular Radio, I heard that perhaps the name ‘Occupy’ had lost its relevance with the break-up of the encampments.  And yet, I couldn’t help noticing that the same two guys who claim to have ‘moved on’ and no longer feel tied to the Occupy label, lit up just a bit as they talked about what they did in their logistics and security working groups... “GA’s are where you go for funding now.  They hold the purse strings,” they told me.  Yet, when they accompanied me to that night’s Strategic Action Assembly, and they proposed an action around rewriting billboards, I couldn’t help but notice the rapt attention of the group assembled when they spoke, and how they were instantly at home in the room. 

Yesterday, we spent the entire day with Occupy Maine in Portland.  There is no question that Occupy is alive and well in Maine.  They have regular General Assemblies.  They have working groups.  They have spokes-councils with other Maine Occupies.  They work with Occupy New England to rent trucks to take supplies down to Occupy Sandy Relief.  They work with the homeless and know what the city council is up to and are ready to be present and make their views known.  After filming individuals telling their stories, insights and thoughts on what Occupy is now and where it is going (and growing, in the view of most), Denise and I headed off to their GA.  Topics included government surveillance of citizens via video cameras everywhere (check out www.documentingdystopia.org), protesting the city’s plan to outlaw street artists selling in public places, joining with environmental groups for a large environmental convergence in Maine on Jan. 26th… and, the meeting concluded with each person taking two minutes to share a story of childhood and how they related to money.  Denise and I were invited to join in the sharing, and we did. 

What I have found in these first two stops is that these groups are family.  They don’t always agree, but they work it out.  They are no just leftovers who are hanging on to a concept that has moved on, but the people who are determined not to let the mainstream denigrate the magic that was and is all things ‘Occupy’.  At least in Maine, the Occupiers have no problem joining other groups, with other names… but, they hold their banner high.  They are Occupy.

Follow the search at SearchingForOccupy.com

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