smallish steps 
(tiny little miniscule footfalls toward living in a way that actually makes sense)

#5 protest government corruption

on saturday, i hopped on the downtown-bound emx with some friends to participate in an occupy eugene march. but first, nick and i made cookies:
free cookies for the revolution.

we caught up with a very vocal crowd of oppositionists while they mingled at wayne morse plaza, right across from the eugene farmer's market. hundreds were there; more than one was dressed as guy fawkes.

from saturday market, hundreds (the register guard estimates 1500-2000) walked a highly visible route downtown, marching, chanting and waving signs in opposition to wayward policies in the states. i was very curious to see what other people would have to say. here are a few pervasive characteristics that i noticed at the occupy eugene march:

armed with a box of no-bake cookies, a friend and i set out to informally interview various marchers as we walked. what we discovered was an impressively diverse collection of eugenians - from old-guard activists to fiery students to young-and-possibly-homeless drug addicts. some people marched carrying young children. all of them had something to say.

among those marching, the diversity of opinions was significant: some were protesting corporate personhood in the states, while others were disputing the wage gap between workers and corporate officers... one guy was promoting the awareness of psychoactive mushrooms.

for the large majority, however, there was continuous thread - a central government had dispensed their taxes to banks and squandered them on militaristic endeavors elsewhere in the world. that same government, any occupier will tell you, is defiantly neglecting to dispense those taxes to those in need in the states and largely refuses to impose reasonable taxes on its largest corporations.

estimates cited on a new york times blog report that the eugene protests on saturday involved more than eighteen hundred people. yet the scene was curiously benign - no destruction of property, virtually no hate speech and no violence. protestors walked respectfully, careful to avoid even jay-walking, while dozens of police officers looked on ominously.

while excited, ecstatic, and sometimes downright annoyingly persistent in self-celebratory chants, these protestors also showed resolve. three days later, somewhere around a hundred are still camping in the plaza downtown.

while wandering through the camp with a friend at 4 a.m., i was stopped by a student who talked optimistically and frankly about the movement: "we are prepared to be here for at least a few months; and if not here, then somewhere else."


  1. The crowd in Eugene sounds like the crowd in Savannah... maybe... everywhere. :)

  2. @rachel: yeah, i guess i don't really know about that. there's an article about the #occupy movements that was really interesting to read, though : )
    here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1789018/occupy-wall-street-demographics-statistics