“Never forget that life can only be nobly inspired and rightly lived if you take it bravely and gallantly, as a splendid adventure in which you are setting out into an unknown country, to face many a danger, to meet many a joy, to find many a comrade, to win and lose many a battle.” — Annie Besant
A new adventure begins!
Either life occupies you, or you occupy life — over the last few days I made some spontaneous decisions that were a long time in coming. Isn’t that the way things usually are? A long time ruminating over possible options, and then a spate of seemingly spontaneous decisions that change everything. While the decisions were made quickly, a lot of thought and emotion were expended manifesting this possible future.
I asked Stacy (Occupy Wall Street) if I could go with her to Maine for a quick Occupy related trip, and she gladly assented. Driving through Maine was a healing experience. Waves of stress disintegrated with every 100 mile swath of forest put between us and the NYPD-guarded Wall Street. Being involved in a creative project that came to fruition was also good for the soul.
On the way back, Stacy extended an invitation to me to join the Occupy Bus Tour. How could I say no? Leaving Occupy Trinity Wall Street was not an easy decision to make. I still want to be there. But I have to realize that the action will go on without me. Occupy Trinity is an ever-evolving action that has a life of its own. I was there on the first day as a defendant in the court case, and stayed more than 6 months as a medic and as a protester. There were days I spent almost alone, thankful that Angry Jason (Occupy Wall Street), José (Occupy Wall Street) and Nappy (Occupy Milwaukee) were certain to come by late at night to make sure I was OK, and to sleep in solidarity with me on the sidewalk. There was a time when they were the only ones coming by to occupy with me. There were also days where we numbered over 60 Occupiers stretched from the MTA subway end of the front of Trinity to the end of the cemetary by the Subway shop– and had satellite sleepful protests at banks around us. Of course, there were lots of times inbetween those extremes, and those times were of myriad situations and circumstances. Somewhere in there I became a full-fledged protester instead of just a street medic. The NYPD radicalized me with the callous brutality I saw them inflict upon Occupiers, and I needed to protest their violence in suppressing our rights as citizens of this country and as human beings. I had watched them beat us too many times. I had them put hands on me to stop me from helping the injured too many times. I had been beaten by them for being in the protests too many times. I had been kicked awake by them while sleeping on the sidewalk too many times. I had all my property confiscated by them and lost in bureaucratic paperwork and outright thievery too many times. There came a time when I put my duct-tape red crosses away and carried signs and lost my voice screaming in protest at the injustices of the NYPD and the murders and ecocide of the 1% of Wall Street.
Now, I put away the duct-tape red crosses again to support and reinforce the message of Occupy across the country. Along with Stacy, Danielle & Bishop (Occupy New Haven), and a few others of long-time Occupy notoriety who are meeting us in Florida, we will embark on an Occupy odyssey to many protests of our own making, and to many others in solidarity with the people already there.
The Medic Roadshow bus is in Washington state, and we will eventually get over there to meet up with them — where I might finally join the dream we Occupy Wall Street street medics had last year at this time. As I said, these thoughts have been thinking for a long time. The decisions came quickly, but were not unexpected.
While on the Occupy Bus Tour we will have our own blog at http://occupybustour.wordpress.com/ and also a website home at occupybustour.mayfirst.org . Several of us will be blogging, and we will have lots of photos, film, interviews and more. We will be putting together a documentary of the entire journey, as well. I will continue to post info here about what’s happening at Occupy Trinity until someone takes over for me . . . and until I get back from the bus tour.
Check out this Village Voice article: http://www.villagevoice.com/2012-12-12/news/trinity-church-james-cooper/
Yo. I will be back. Wall Street has not seen the last of me. Give’em hell while I’m gone, so they know what it will be like when I return.
The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.” —Pearl S. Buck
“Don’t get old.” — Grandma Colacino, and now me. Don’t get old, yo!