The QueQue: Occupied
Published: October 12, 2011
Almost everyone likes a party in our fiesta town (though not necessarily every party). Give this one a try? The next Occupy San Antonio rally is a 6 p.m. Wednesday drum circle at HemisFair Park. Then on Saturday, a larger rally is planned from noon to 3 p.m. at South Alamo and Caesar Chavez. More info online at various FB pages, including Occupy San Antonio.
Sure, some parts of the country joined the Occupy Wall Street movement before Texas got in the act, but hey, here in SA folks have a tendency to show up at parties late. As actions raged in Austin and Houston last week, Occupy San Anto rallies began Thursday at Travis Park. Then in a convivial “let’s all get-along” gesture they moved to HemisFair Park at the request of City Hall. Damn, we’re polite. The weekend’s rain cut the crowd down to a dozen or so drummers at HemisFair when we stopped in on Saturday, but a rally at the SA branch of the Dallas Federal Reserve greeted Sunday morn with — Alex Jones, Austin-based conspiracy theorist extraordinaire. Jones’ website, infowars.com, lists fellow 9/11 “Truthers” Charlie Sheen, Chuck Norris, and Jesse Ventura as prominent guests on his nationally syndicated talk radio show. Jones was in town to spread the word that the Fed is, well: Evil. Are the SA Occupiers tilting towards Ron Paul’s campaigning anti-Fed message? Some have cast Occupy as a hipster Tea Party contingent, but rather than bashing Congress, Occupiers have honed in on Wall Street, “bankters,” and multi-national corporations as the main usurpers of the public good. What they most dislike (to be kind) are not just the bank bail-outs, but that banks aren’t passing along a chance at the gold ring to the everyday guys and gals, the so-called 99%. That moniker points to another number, not so well-known, the 1% who own a quarter of our economy. But perhaps the most exciting thing is the exchange of ideas taking place. It’s not an anomoly, after all: sit-ins rode hand-in-glove with teach-ins. And even earlier: During the republican era of classical Athens, it was thought that all citizens (slaves didn’t count) in the city should be able to hear the voice of a speaker at the same time, the better to disagree on the spot, if they so desired. If there were too many to fit in (and hear) in the amphitheater, it was time for another colony. Does the same hold in the era of Twitter? Amplification is one thing, communication another. Could it be (to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan) “no media is the message”?
‘These are our demands... Can you read that back to me?’
Occupy protesters in SA say they’re trying earnestly to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, the hundreds of stalwart activists that have swarmed New York City for weeks. The Zuccotti Park contingent have marched, shouted, “occupied,” and passed along their “demands for Congress” — demands like reinstating key provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act, identifying and prosecuting “Wall Street Criminals,” implementing sweeping lobbying reform, revamping the Securities and Exchange Commission, rolling back the Supreme’s Citizens United decision, and ending corporate personhood.