Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Occupy Christmas Comes to Chapel Hill

The General Assembly was in full swing when I arrived at Occupy Chapel Hill, NC a little after 6 PM. Some 30 or 40 people were standing in a circle. The few tents remaining had been corralled off to the side. But the food tent was looking more closed in and  fortified against the weather. For the first time on my visits,  I observed a police presence. Three officers.  All this is happening at the Franklin Street Post Office, quite close to the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. As people passed by, if they paused for a sec, they were greeted by someone with a big smile and Occupy Chapel Hill stamped across her shirt.  I got there just in time to see them take a temperature check on some minor issue. Uptwinkles all around.
Occupy Chapel Hill is only steps away from campus of UNC.
What was under discussion? We were referred to to the calendar of events posted at their Occupy Media page. which details various upcoming events.

This is supposed to be a Chapel Hill and Carrboro Occupation, says the leader, as she grins and shifts her body a little to the west. So they are going to be planning lots of activities to include Carrboro from now on. First up, plans for a December 7th march to Carrboro Town Hall to protest a drugstore which CVS wants to build on an underused parcel in downtown Carrboro, to better serve the needs of the area citizens. CVS, as a corporation is not welcome. Corporations are bad.

Someone is going to come and hold a teach-in about how to get hold of your inner rage. #firstworldproblem Maybe that teach-in leader can come right after the march, and help occupiers settle down their tempers after they complete the action against the evil purveyor of medicines to the citizenry. But none of that was not specified.

This weekend, the occupation will march again in that direction, at 10 AM on Saturday December 10. They will Occupy the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade, which used to be called the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Christmas Parade, before thinkers of the community pointed out that having a Christmas Parade in December would be just be wrong.

Also coming soon, invasion en masse of a nearby shopping mall. It seemed they had not quite figured out which one yet.  The obvious choice is the University Mall, which does have a Santa schedule posted.  The plan is to descend upon the Christmas celebration area while Santa Claus is holding court. The attendees will please refrain from violence, the speaker announced, and they should also refrain from using their voices. Out loud. However, they will be there to whisper to the greedy self-centered children that perhaps they should expand their Santa List to include something worthwhile. Not specified.  Grin from the speaker. Knowing looks and nods from the audience. No further information.  Maybe they will instruct the kids to demand "free" higher education so they won't have to bother with that nasty student loan business. Or, maybe some of the kids will insist that the assets of their parents be confiscated, and shared to those less fortunate on a much oppressed continent far away. After all, Americans as a whole have raped the planet and have much to be ashamed of and much to atone for. We all have way too much and greed is bad. Again, nothing spelled out here, just instructions that the Santa invasion is to be done VERY quietly. In fact this event does not appear on their calendar.  I guess the Occupy crowd does not believe in their ability to occupy and hold the mall, which is private property, and they don't want to get thrown out. Maybe the video of that would not look so good on CNN.

Word on the street is that the Chapel Hill Occupy holds no protest permit and are just being allowed to be there at the pleasure of Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt