Sunday, January 22, 2012

Occupy Providence

After the short ride from campus to downtown, when Kayla, Steph, Annisia, Merylda, and I arrived at Burnside Park getting out of my car was like stepping into a whole new world.  Upon the entry of the park there was a strong presence in the air; I felt this strong feeling of desperation.  Not a feeling of desperation in the sense of the cold weather or sub-standard living conditions, but because of the fact that there weren’t nearly the amount of tents or activists that I thought I would be seeing.  It was almost as if there was just a small group of people huddling together amongst themselves trying to stay strong and fight amongst the cold.  To me this was the ultimate form of symbolism regarding the occupy wall street movement taking in place in Providence, Rhode Island; a small group of warriors fighting the enormous battle taking place throughout the vast landscape of the country.
The common theme I gathered from talking to some of the individuals there was this fight for equal rights; equality for everyone from middle class people, lower class people, and even women.    When talking with a gentleman he asked what class we were taking and we told him a class about feminism.  It was truly amazing to recognize the number of similarities between the ideals of the occupy movement and the feminist movement.  So similar that in fact a homeless man with no teeth went on a rant talking about as far back as Leonardo Da Vinci’s opinion that women should be in high control of society and that even Jesus wanted to put Mary Madelyn in charge of all the world’s churches’.
Our group did not necessarily talk about personal lives or backgrounds so it was hard to tell if these people are considered to be “privileged” people as Johnson would say.  However, regardless of their financial backgrounds Johnson would certainly applaud their efforts to stand up for themselves and fight for an important cause.  They are indeed the positive role models that Ayvazian talked about, as well inspirations to the ordinary American citizen who may not believe that they can make a difference.  I think it is safe to say that everyone there was fighting for one cause and that was to “end the cycle of oppression.”
My comment for the class is to not take the hard work, determination, and sacrifice of these individuals for granted.  The lessons learned from our trip to Burnside Park can apply to many things.  Life is what you make it and you get what you put in.  How can anyone expect change if we don’t do our part and make a concerted effort to do so as well as be positive role models for the rest of our peers.

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