Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Occupy Journal of a Country Radical: "Occupy Sonora" October 15, 2011

By Mike Israel

I woke up in my small Sonora apartment on the morning of October 15th. I had heard in the days prior that a group would be meeting, a few blocks from my place, to show their solidarity with Occupy Wall St. I shoveled down some oatmeal, chased it with a mug of water, and then set out.

 People sure are occupying the Courthouse Park, but it is not the crowd expected. It’s a Pro-life group, and they seem well organized. Matching shirts, plenty of leaflets, banners, even a band playing. I decide to kick back in the park and see if any OWS people show up.

A truck pulled up. A couple hop out and unload what appear to be a few folding tables and some poster board, they set these at the edge of the park then look curiously towards the group of Prolifers. “Occupiers?” I asked them, with enthusiastic affirmation. A handful of others wander in for the occupy group, we exchange names and handshakes. Before too long, the Prolife group begins to pack up, but some stick around for the OWS demonstration. The park is ours now. The trickle in of demonstrators is gradual, but eventually we have a crowd of well over 100 people. I spot a number of former and current Columbia professors, and I discuss some issues with them. Mainly, there was a shortage of Columbia students, something we’ll have to work to reverse.

The gathering was lively, with plenty of signs to go around, passionate chanting, and one man even brought out his guitar. I was impressed with the numbers that turned out. The Union Democrat is present to record the event, providing local media coverage, and they take my photo and a quote.

From the Union Democrat
By 12pm, I was getting ready to leave to go to Sacramento again. The demonstration had been going strong for about 2 hours, and would continue until past 1pm. I said my farewells. One Sonora activist was kind enough to collect the contact information of those at the demonstration, all of whom I should be in touch with. Thank you, Jerri.

  I return to my apartment and start to gather up some things I thought I would need for spending the weekend in Sac. I grab the banner, my backpack, a blanket for camping in the car and my comfy pair of boots. Except for the banner, none of these will be of any use for me though. I fix a sandwich and light a smoke, and then away to Sacramento.

In Solidarity,
Mike Israel

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Photos courtesy of "Occupy Sonora"

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