Friday, May 4, 2012

Emergency Relief: Thank You Melissa

On Wednesday, just hours after my post for emergency assistance, I received a PayPal notice of deposit for $50 from a woman I had not heard from in years. It was the first help I've seen since my illegal arrest and the confiscation of my property by the NYPD last Friday. The next day, I received the following note: 

"I've been keeping up with your journeys via your blog and various updates that you do such a great job of putting out across the social media spectrum. Bravo! Your journalism is both candid and captivating. I'm terribly sorry to hear of the arrest and loss of your of supplies. I hope that I was able to help in some way. What you're doing takes some real balls and I absolutely admire that."

Demand #4623
And Melissa and I have never met. A few years ago, while I was living in Vietnam, Melissa had been referred to me by a colleague for some assistance in helping her secure an internship at my alma mater, Leo Burnett - so my job was to be a virtual mentor of sorts. Melissa never got that job and I never became the President of America but we've both gone on to Occupations that suit our talents and places in life. Melissa occupies a 9-5 insurance job in Las Vegas and I occupy New York City in hopes of bringing positive social change to a world that greatly needs it. Yet our missions are the same. Contrary to many people's beliefs, the Occupy movement is not anti-capitalism,  but it is anti-irresponsible capitalism. And contrary as well to conventional wisdom, occupiers may not have conventional jobs, but they definitely have a collective Occupation. With well over 12 hours a day invested in Occupy over the last 8 months, my being arrested by the NYPD has signaled that I am so constant an Occupier and so resilient an artist that I have now become a threat. And generally, this is a good thing. That means that I am doing very, very well at my job. Rarely a day goes by at Union Square that I am not approached by the 9-5 class and given thanks for doing a job that they are not able to do. And that job is to raise awareness about the issues that affect humankind the most - Economic justice - The right to a job and home - and non-profit healthcare for all.

Without the 9-5 Melissas and others out there, Occupy could never survive - but together we can continue to reshape and control the destiny that is our lives and the lives and futures of our children, grandchildren and beyond. Long live this Occupation. And thank you again Melissa.

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