This post will be a little different. I’m little frustrated with myself, and decided that maybe i can get past it, with a little bit of honesty. As for OWS, shit, I can’t remember August 3rd, 2011, but I remember August 4th 2011. So I’ll take the time to just talk a little, share a little, and maybe we can dream together.
It’s currently 10/24/14.
Everytime I sit down to actually type something my mind goes blank. It’s terrible here.. I wrote this on the train on my phone.
What did you do?
I imitated her. You know. I thought she’d smile. She was leaned against the window of the subway car, and had her legs up and twirled her foot. So I did the same.
You didn’t think it was creepy?
Because you were watching her. How long before you did it?
I don’t now. Like 10 minutes.
So you watched her for ten minutes?
Well, isn’t that like the biggest compliment? Imitation?
[Writers NOTE: I usually need to write random shit to be able to start writing. So you just get to see it in it’s raw as fuck form]
So I wrote that thing… A good friend of mine told me she doesn’t think she’s doing enough to save the world. She’s also writing a novel, and I told her that each one of those words was able to save someone. I believe that some what. There’s writing out there that got me some dark times, and writing thats reminded me of why that muscle in my chest beats.
I guess, I miss that thought sometimes. 3 years ago, I came to New York City to write–songs and poetry and to tell anyone who would listen about them,. And when I got involved in OWS, I told anyone that would listen that stories would save us.. That they were the thing that would let a person know they were in the right place. Because, when I tell you my story, and you can see yourself in it for a moment or two, we know that we’re going somewhere else together.
I still believe that, I guess. And that’s sort where I’m at, just been sponging up all these stories, pain and love and hate and disaster. Threads leading back decades appearing like apparitions over firepits, from grandmothers and activist, from the very land itself. Speaking it’s all speaking and I’ve listened. I guess I’ve listened as hard as I could. Or, I listened intently, knowing that it was the only thing I had to do, and that one day, I’d tell you about it.
So here’s one of my favorite stories. It’s 2012, and I’m camped out in February in Minnesota. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, just imagine cold, cold and winter banging into you to remind you that your life can end even when the world sits so still around you. It was beautiful in many ways. I used to pull out my phone and start streaming these cold days, with nothing around. I don’t think anyone ever got it, but I was like come on New YORKERS LOOK! LOOK AT WHAT’S OUT HERE. And it would just be this silence with snow snaking across the ground.
The camp was called Red Lake Blockade, Enbridge Blockade, and the real name was Ojibwa “Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan” it means “We love our land.” And like so many activist camps, even ones made by local communities there was drama. BEEF! GENERATIONAL BEEF! Like that beef that anarchist have towards communist? You know Spanish civil war era beef, Soviet Union era beef, this little place had beef too, and it had to do with the American Indian Movement, and it had to do Anna Mae Aquash.
You probably don’t know much about either, and shit, I don’t either, but I’ll say this. AIM was attacked by the federal government by cointelpro programs. And when the government is fucking with your shit, it usually means you’re being pretty effective.
Anyway, this aimster was at the camp, and this woman who didn’t like AIM was also there and started to confront him about Anna Mae, Anna mae, died some thirty years ago on the Pine Ridge reservation, and supposedly was killed by AIM. Again I’m not really a historian, i’m telling you what I heard in these exchanges. So this goes back and forth for days. Arguments over who killed Anna Mae, until this young Aim kid decides he’s just out. And it was a tragedy. because this young aimster was doing so much work, and I mean, his story was amazing. It was one of those leaving substance abuse to join a movement to help his people stories, but now he was out of the camp.
Now the woman who caused him to leave kept on going on this tirade, till most people, even her own kids just stopped interacting with her. And me, well I like to listen, so I just sat by her in this little car port. You know, vinyl walls, no real shelter, and we huddled next to this wood stove for warmth, and she just talked, and talked, and i listened to her. And maybe an hour or two into listening i asked her if I could ask her a question.
She nodded and I asked her, “What do you want? What do you want to happen here?” Now here’s more backstory at bad point in the story. So the encampment was positioned over 4 pipelines that are tresspassing on native american land. Red Lake land if you will, and these native activist had set up this protest camp demanding the pipes be removed. So i’m asking her what she wants of this thign we’re doing, or we’re at–‘What do you want?
and she tells me…
“To win. I have nothing, my children will have nothing, and all we have left to give them is our land. And now they’re taking that from us. I want to win.”
I tell that story a lot, and I don’t think I can ever tell it right, and I’m trying to learn how to do it. There’s a lot of beef out there, tons of issues, generational issues, ideological issues, but here we are you know? If this is the world we have to work with, we really need to start working towards changing it, because I want to win too… and I want to win enough to not recognize the world around me anymore, because it’ll be governed by such foreign entities as caring and love.
I hope you’re all well.
i just needed to write a little.