Occupy Austin

RECEIVED Thu., Feb. 9, 2012

Dear Editor,
    How can I explain in less than 400 hundred words that Occupy Austin is an important asset to our community? How do I convey in 3 column inches the good that we have done for those involved in our movement and those who are not yet involved? What would impress the average Chronicle reader enough to not celebrate the heavy-handed eviction we faced at the hands of the overzealous police?
    Is the $1.5 million we have moved from major banks to local credit unions proof of our action? What about the hundreds of native trees we planted in Zilker Park? How about the anonymous letters from silenced teachers we read to the school board in opposition to the privatization of Eastside schools? Are the public gardens we create weekly evidence that we aren't afraid of work? Are the millions of dollars worth of business we blocked at the anti-union, anti-environment, pro-globalization (read: off-shored jobs), and corruption-ridden Port of Houston not a demonstration of our conviction? Is the resignation of the CEO of the Port of Houston the day after our blockade not evidence of the effectiveness of our tactics?
    This list is not even a full accounting of our work, and it neglects our single greatest accomplishment, which was to get people out of their houses, out from behind their TV and computer screens, and into the real world where we came together – first as strangers, now as a family – to devote ourselves to the nag of our consciences. And we aren't going away. A fire lit in the heart of man is not so easily extinguished, especially not by the incendiary tactics of the brutish hand of the state. Understand, the Occupy movement is not political, it is cultural. For those tired of the toxicity of consumer culture, of war culture, of propaganda culture, of a culture that promotes and congratulates the worst in people – find us. We take all comers. We hear all concerns. We respect all viewpoints, so long as that respect is reciprocated.
John Duffy
Occupy Austin member
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