I’m sitting at my computer, watching the live-stream of Occupy Houston. As I write this, it’s after noon on Thursday, first day of the Houston occupation. The early morning crowds have had their rally and have dispersed until 7 pm tonight. The grounds in front of City Hall look like they look most other days, with perhaps a few more signs than usual.
I’m listening to the audio on and off during their downtime. I’m having a difficult time following what they’re saying. I teased some of them on Twitter with this tweet:
But I’m not really hearing any “demands” yet. What I am hearing, and what I am seeing online, isn’t helping. I want to understand. I want to know what the Occupy movement is thinking. In Houston, they will soon face a logistical problem – the Bayou City Art Festival holds its event on the same grounds that are currently … erm, occupied. And as that is an event that charges admission, this could force protesters to move down the road somewhere.
So much for Occupying.
I’m hearing discussions via their USTREAM channel, practical matters as well as the theoretical ones. People arranging to go home and shower. People calling friends to obtain more extension cords (who is paying for the power to keep their laptops going?) People returning to their cars to recharge their cell phones. People planning to stay overnight and go to work in the morning directly from the park. Plans to move to a nearby park if the numbers are too large to fit into the City Hall grounds.
From an interview I just heard over the USTREAM via a blogtalk radio host of Voice of the Resistance interviewing protesters:
“We’re here to get corporations out of our lives.”
“Money over problems, over health care, you know, over everything.”
“Anything you think is a problem in your country, that’s what this is about.”
“This isn’t an American thing, it’s a worldwide thing.”
“There’s people of all ages, of all races, … there’s not one stone left unturned. It’s gonna keep on going strong – we’re not gonna stop.”
“The fundamental problem is capitalism, it’s absorbed all the wealth.”
“When we screw up, who bails us out? No one bails us out.”
“We’re in a first world country, and we’re dealing with illiteracy.”
It’s beyond me to figure out. Maybe you can. But watch, if you can. Listen, if you can tolerate it.