We are now at our Sustainable Informational Occupy Kingwood Week 23. This was a very special Occupy Kingwood especially because of two of our neighbors that stopped by. It proves further why we must be out there, why we must remain engaged. More importantly it sadly shows that we have a lot of work to do and we are starting from way behind. It is a failure on the part of Liberals and Progressives to have lost the narrative for several years because of complacency.
While standing up with our signs and taking mostly positive affirmations from passing cars (to be sure, we also received a fair amount of fingers from the more “enlightened” Kingwood residents), a couple passed us. Once the young man passed he shouted “you communists” and ran. I shouted back that he should not just leave the statement out there but he should come and talk to us. He did come back and we did have a very fruitful discussion.
What was most eye opening was that this young man told me he grew up all his life in Kingwood. He said it was difficult being a very poor kid living among mostly affluent kids. His girlfriend served the country for four years in either Iraq or Afghanistan. She is home now for the most part struggling financially like most Americans. The disdain they both have for the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the 99% Spring Movement before even understanding the reason for such a movement, proves the success the Right has had in negatively pre-conditioning their minds to any type of movement or policy that would empower them to force policies beneficial to the middle class and specifically to themselves.
It is interesting that inasmuch as they agreed with just about every one of our stated positions both in the abstract and concretely, they hated that it came with either the Occupy Wall Street or 99% Spring mantra. In fact the young female veteran implied that the names alone would spoil the movement not being cognizant that the movement is what brought awareness to the concerns. Previous to these movements the real ills of the middle class, income and wealth disparity was not even in the vocabulary of the mainstream media.
It is imperative that this type of sustainable informational Occupy is spread throughout the country. While it is slow, it is effective in the ability to speak to many in one’s vicinity one on one in a non-threatening manner. When people see others in their area with different beliefs they are generally more comfortable in engaging. Even if they do not immediately agree with the movement, a seed would have been planted. A seed of truth will likely be fertilized by their own personal experience just from these encounters.