October 3, 2011 in World
It was a beautiful fall morning when I arrived at the Bank of America on Saint Francis Drive in Santa Fe. There were already forty to fifty people gathered and the sense of the protest was uplifting. A woman was playing the drums. A man was riding a single-wheel bike dressed in corporate clothes. Many people were holding homemade signs that were unique to their individual character and what they wanted to convey.
“Chop From the Top,” “We Pay Taxes Why Don’t They?” “People Over Profits,” “Greed Is Out of Business,” “Why In A Democracy Does 1% Rule?” “Democracy Is Not A Spectator Sport, Act Against the Empire,” and lastly, “I’ll Work For An Economy That Works For Me.”
The scene was colorful and the people that gathered had a sense of purpose and cohesion. I asked them why they were spending a beautiful Saturday in a bank parking lot. Here is what they said:
From Deb, “Enough is enough, time for the average person to call for change.”
From Rebecca, “People have, in the past, not come together over issues. They always had something they disagreed on. “Occupy Together” may be the way we will come together and agree on the dysfunctionality of the government. The ones who have the most money are the ones who control the planet. This has to change.”
Barbara said bluntly, “We are the majority, we are the 99%!”
Carol, who recently had a stroke and was in her mobile wheelchair, said, “Take the subsidies away from the drug companies. Take the subsidies away from the oil companies. In fact, take away all subsidies from these large corporations. Since the 1970s, Bank of America has been involved of tens of thousands of scandals. Get rid of them.”
She went on to explain her thoughts about the members in our government who were in the Tea Party. “There should be a deck of cards with each member of the Congress and Senate who are from the Tea Party. People don’t know who they are and we need to know so we can get rid of them.”
Joe, dressed in a tuxedo, was even more forceful, “You know Bank of America’s money as well as Wells Fargo’s is mostly offshore getting a tax holiday.” Then he went on to say, “There is not enough jail space for all of us fighting to change this corrupt system.”
As I was going around getting statements, I noticed the group was doubling in size. I realized more than 100 people were in the bank parking lot. One out of three drivers honked and waved their support as they went through the intersection.
Sheridan Phillips passed out fliers that said, “Petition – No Nuke New Mexico.” She was working with Greg Mello to stop the new planned plutonium smart bomb factory in Los Alamos.
The planned event ended Saturday afternoon. However, the Occupation of Santa Fe has only begun. The participants are in the fight to take back their country and they are in it for the long haul. Events are planned next Saturday and the Saturdays after that. They intend to be there until the change they want has happened.
I could feel the Spirit in these people. I believe it is the same Spirit felt by those who were alive during the time of the American Revolution. If my belief is true, this collective Spirit of the people will make this change happen. As Margaret Meade so succinctly put it, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
For more information about the Occupy Together Movement in New Mexico, use these links.