Today all over the country people are celebrating the first Anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. A decentralized, joyous announcement that the Movement is not dead and hardly in disarray as the Yahoo Headline said this morning when I opened my email. The Nation has a better article. Read it here.
Why was I up early this morning? Because there was a counter demonstration organized by my friends Heidi and Read in the next town. Yes, in sleepy little Freedom, Maine the Koch brother funded “Americans for Prosperity Tour” was rolling into town. And we were there to meet it. Their deluxe bus arrived in front of the Dirigo Grange and the three people riding on it got out. The local conservative activists met them and everyone stood around eating the complimentary breakfast. It was a beautiful autumn day in Maine.
Then the Occupy folks started accumulating. By the time the Grumpy Old Plutocrats (my new take on the GOP acronym) started their speechifying the Occupy counter-protest outnumbered them about two to one.
The media showed up and interviewed everyone. The “Prosperity” folks wandered over to chat with us. We wandered over and spoke with them. We talked among ourselves and caught up on what was going on in each other’s lives since the last picket line we’d stood on together. I talked to Carol Weston, an old family friend, about our kids.
At one point a woman in our group looked at me and said, “You’re the Green Party!” Well, I’m not quite the whole party but I guess I am one of the more public faces of the party in this area. That, of course, unleashed the usual discussion about how the Green Party should just give up and join the Democrats. Leading to my now well-worn rant about corporate parties and how can you stand there with a anti-corporate sign and still vote for someone who is essentially a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex?
Cars went by, people waved and car horns honked. All in all a festive occasion. And very civilized as befits small town politics.