A few nights ago, there were several from Birmingham that tried to occupy a corner of the financial district. The stood in vigil to Scott Olsen, the injured veteran at the OccupyOakland protest. I was glad to hear that there were those in Birmingham able to takes steps that many couldn’t, including myself. Watching their tweets and posts to facebook, I was motivated to go to downtown, to check up on them, and see if they needed anything. Before I left, I looked in on my kids in their darkened rooms; listening to their quiet breaths told me that they were sleeping comfortably. I then grabbed my keys and left at 1:30AM towards 20th and 5th.
I reached downtown quickly but I couldn’t find anyone. I was tipped that they had moved to 5 Points after they were threatened with arrest if they remained on the sidewalk in front of the banks. I spent the next two hours in conversation with people I wouldn’t have known a week ago. It was nice to put faces to names I’ve seen on the forum and facebook. I listened to the reasons why they were here, at 3:00AM, on a sidewalk in 5 Points. We talked about where we worked, our families, and our experiences. The conversation was varied and enjoyable.
I applaud their effort. Their actions will form part of the tapestry that is OccupyBirmingham. It will attract attention. It will draw a bright line where people stand for their rights. Together, the occupiers of 20th and 5th, those who hold up signs and chant along a 500 strong citizen’s march, and the General Assembly who work to establish consensus regarding the business of OccupyBirmingham will, together, give their best to make Birmingham a better place to live, and hopefully, one that offers a brighter future for our children.