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SEARCHING FOR OCCUPY finds the Navajo Nation in St. Louis and Kentucky

 

It seems about a century ago that I was in St. Louis where Don Yellowman and Fern Benally of Black Mesa, Arizona tried to deliver a letter on behalf of elders of Black Mesa/Big Mountain to Peabody CEO, Greg H. Boyce. The letter spoke to the devastation caused by Peabody's 46 years of strip mining coal on the Navajo reservation.

Searching for Occupy interview Sheik from Murfreesboro Mosque

While we were in Murfreesboro, Tennessee getting the low-down on the local occupiers activities in 2013 (which are varied and many ranging from Cop Watch to childcare collectives to coop library), we decided it was worth our time to visit the Murfreesboro Islamic Center which opened its doors a little over a year ago. The Mosque gained notoriety when a small group of right wing fanatics loudly voiced their opposition and the Muslim community had to fight their way through lawsuits, intimidation and even arson. But, throughout the process they were firmly supported not only by liberals and progressives, but by a large percentage of conservative Christian churches. In the end, the mosque was built and when the Searching for Occupy team arrived just as Friday prayers were about to begin, we were invited in to observe the service.

Peabody: Bad for the Planet

 

On January 25th, I was in St. Louis, Missouri where I met up with some friends in Veterans for Peace.  It was a long drive from D.C., so I admit to being a bit road weary, but the action I was there to capture for Searching for Occupy was so compelling that my adrenaline took over and I just figured I could sleep... another day (not what some of you expected me to say, I bet...).  

The Best Laid Plans

 

Why is it that the best-laid plans never work out… or, at least, they don’t work out like you planned them?  More to the point, why haven’t I learned this lesson by now?  I always find myself surprised that the things I thought were a ‘done deal’ tend to crumble quicker than coffee cake.  What I have learned is that when things do appear to fall apart, it is generally meant to be, and opens the door for whatever comes next.

 

Searching for Occupy: Packing Up and Heading Out.

 Just back from washing and vacuuming the car.  Trying to figure out how we cram clothes, camping gear, photo equipment, food, two people and the dog in my little Prius for a 6 month to 1 year road trip… Searching for Occupy.  I commented to my partner in this venture, Denise Valdez, that at least when we were occupying in D.C., we had tents.  Suddenly, the memory of those frozen, leaky tents translates into plush, cushy, comfy luxury.  We don’t know where we’ll be sleeping from night to night… What if one of us gets sick… How do we avoid corporate food stops... What if we get arrested and they take the video equipment that has been depleting my bank account...What if… what if … what if what the media implies is truer than we believe and we can’t find Occupy?

 

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