Friday, November 4, 2011

I am a patriot

So I took a trip to downtown Binghamton last night to hang out with the Occupiers for awhile. The scene appeared surprisingly more stable and organized than the last time I was there. I had assumed the recent cold weather would be taking its toll. There are now two portapotties and there is a covered performance area with a killer sound system run by generators.  Tents completely filled the small grassy area in the park.  I did notice a distinct unwashed body odor that seemed to be coming from the tent area and there were some people who seemed to be struggling with mental health issues.  But overall the thirty to forty people there were relaxed, smiling and engaged. I was offered a flyer "We Are the 99%" which gave a brief, clear description of some of the movements guiding principles. Ages varied but most seemed young/college aged.  A few business men in suits standing on the border. Open mic was a gas.  The first several "acts" were young people of color who rapped without any music or percussion.  One woman with a F*ck Capitalism t-shirt seemed to be completely improvising. It was fascinating listening and watching her try to the words to express her very intense thoughts and feelings.  Very raw and real.  Another young woman read from Allen Ginsburg's Howl.  Right on! I brought my guitar and sang "I Am A Patriot" to the gathered throngs. Lots of people sang along and it felt great.  I was surprised by how moved I was.  After finishing singing I blurted out a thanks to everyone for being there and encouraged them to stay the course. Overall a very positive, uplifting experience.  I will go back.