Amy Price Reports On Day 2 Of Occupy Houston & Good Jobs Great Houston Actions In Washington
My friend Amy Price has traveled to Washington with Occupy Houston and Good Jobs Great Houston to take the fight for economic fair play and the 99% to our elected officials and to the offices of the big lobbyists.
Amy was a recent candidate for Houston City Council. With that race over, she is remaining involved in the fight for a better Houston and a better nation.
Below is an account from Amy of her second day in Washington.
(Above–A fuzzy yet clear enough photo of the arrest of an Occupy protestor in Washington on 12/ 7.)
From Amy on Day 2—
Today in the DC action against austerity economics, we switched our focus from elected officials to lobbyists. Over 1,000 of us–union members, activists, members of Occupations around the nation–started out in the lobbies of various firms. The one I was in was The Capital Tax Partners, where we chanted “jobs, not cuts” as we moved through the ground floor. Several folks in suits videoed us from the second floor.
But the real action of the day took place on the streets, specifically on K street, where most of the lobbyists are located. We shut down the street with three different human chains from curb to curb. The first human chain was made up of union members, including a Houstonian with SEIU. The second and third chains were made up of Occupiers from around the country. We waited through the rain and the cold as, one by one, 62 individuals traded a few hours in jail for the opportunity to remind the nation that freedom of speech trumps local ordinances, including traffic codes.
Why does our freedom of speech require taking the streets? Because more ordinary methods of speech aren’t working. We speak through our votes, except that our votes get bought, bought by the bidder willing to put the most money behind a national political campaign. So we speak where we inconvenience people, because then we might actually get listened to.
I was interviewed by a local reporter who said to me, “why are you doing this when you know that it won’t make a difference?” And I responded with what I believe, which is that while we won’t make the difference today, or tomorrow, we will eventually. And when he asked how we’d accomplish this, I said, “we won’t. You will.” Because the press, in its many incarnations, is the conduit by which the citizens of this nation will become educated about exactly how we are being legally robbed of a just economic present and future.
Later in the evening, Carlos–who got arrested not for lying down in the street but for literally begging the police, on his knees, to do their duty to protect us and our freedom of speech–was released, and he told this story: a few blocks from the arrest site, the police stopped their van to take names and details of the arrestees. Carlos had been trying to dialog with the police, and one of them finally said to him “you’re doing the right thing. Keep it up.”
That made my day.