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Occupy Voices: Portland Speaks

Occupy Portland 2011

I have been active in the Occupy Movement since its beginning in October. Occupy PDX is just one of many occupations around the world. I proudly stand up for my rights and the rights of others as part of the 99%. In the past, I have covered the “story” from a neutral prospective; only covering the facts and keeping my opinion at bay. I believe in this movement and the voices behind it. I had the awesome opportunity to sit down and document some diverse prospective.

Kelly Koblacki, 28 , has Occupied Portland, OR, NY, New York and Olympia, WA. “I became involved with the movement because I believe in positive progressive social change. Growing up low income, Queer, Jewish, and from a single parent household, I have experienced and acknowledge many different forms of repression. It is essential for our society to move towards a more socially & environmentally sustainable way of life. I am here to raise awareness and open the eyes of the 99%. All of the things that the 99% do in addition to the 1% are detrimental to our well-being.”

“Wall Street was, of course, a more diverse experience than the Pacific North West. People were from all different nationalities, religion, age, and class. No matter their social status, they stood together in solidarity with the movement-it was really beautiful. Other occupiers and I went to Olympia and supported in solidarity for their eviction date. In comparison, it was smaller than Portland, but the people were extremely dedicated! Personally, I think it’s very important for us (Portland Occupy) to collaborate with other cities and witness how our brothers and sisters are occupying. We all have a lot to learn from one another.”

“There has been a lot of queer involvement. I have met some amazing queer folks throughout this movement.” Kelly laughs. “There is this one thing that my fellow queers and I came up with. The GA (general assembly) does a ‘Mic. Check’, which is used to make sure that people hear important announcements without the use of a microphone or bullhorn. Well, we created ‘dyke check’ which is used to call out other queers when we need female support for any reason.”

I asked Kelly if there was anything that she would change about the movement. I was impressed with her answer. “I wouldn’t change anything! The amazing thing about this movement is that we all have many different ideas about what needs to happen to make the world a better place-that is what makes the movement so diverse, and diversity is beautiful! There are people facing foreclosures, students fighting against tuition hikes, corruption of banks and we are all here fighting against those politics. We stand for equality and fair treatment. Every message is just as valuable as the next.” 

Anna Randall, 55, of  Alameda, CA talks about how the Occupy movement is different from other civil movements in the past. ” The world knows the movement as it’s happening. This is front page world news! The divide of pro and con is not so volatile. So many Americans are effected-this isn’t the boy next door who is being drafted. This is about most of the neighborhood losing everything. This is not gender bias or racially motivated.” She said. Anna is one of many people who believe in the Occupation, but is not on the front lines. I asked her if she thought Occupying would create change, she quoted her favorite song. “I may be a dreamer, but I am not the only one ” by John Lennon. She followed, “Now that you have center stage, tell us the game plan, what can we do to keep the momentum going, by’ us’ I mean the boomers who are not camping with you.”

No matter the generation in which you came, this action has effected people all over the world; whether you’re on the front lines protesting or supporting from a far-even if you’re not involved in the movement at all. I, personally encourage  those of you who have not been involved, to do your research and spread awareness. Change is  necessary for this economy to avoid further recessions.

The time is NOW

Mike Myers Speaks out at Occupy Wall St.

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