October 25, 2011
The occupy movement has come to Northwest Arkansas. The most active area is Fayetteville where they (we) are mainly preaching to the choir, but at least something is starting to happen.
I, and my friend Sheila, joined a march a couple of weeks ago and it was great seeing all 330 of us marching with signs, drums, tambourines and other instruments. We chanted things like "Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like" and "We are the 99%". We began with a rally at the town square and ended at the Bank of America across from the University of Arkansas on Dickson Street. The Fayetteville Police Department stopped traffic for us even though that was not supposed to be a part of the plan. We got lots of honks of support from drivers and some pedestrians joined us along the route.
There were young and old alike. There were nurses, teachers, artists, musicians, students, Walmart employees, restaurant workers and all other kinds of people. The one disturbing thing was that the African American and Hispanic American populace was not well represented. I know that Northwest Arkansas has a huge Hispanic population but they did not come.
There are other groups in the making such as Occupy Bentonville that I hope will target corporations like Walmart and Tyson and will bring a better representation of what Northwest Arkansas looks like. I also hope that Occupy Northwest Arkansas doesn't just concentrate on Fayetteville. As I see it, the more people we can incorporate under one umbrella the more impact we will have.
In the mean time, I will continue to support the cause when they (we) march and I hope this movement stays alive. The only way to change things is to participate and democracy demands participation. I urge everyone to at least get involved in the marches. It is so inspiring to be among people who are willing to show their faces and be a part of the changing tide.
Remember, when you march you are showing what democracy looks like!