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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Barbara Grothus Guest Blog: Occupy Albuquerque is a Family that Includes all Kinds of People

This is a guest blog by Barbara Grothus, an artist and activist who supports the legalization of marijuana, among other progressive measures. She says, "I also support the DFNM blog, and I hope others will too by making a donation today!" (Click on the orange DONATE button on the upper left side of this page or use this direct link.)

On Saturday,November 12, the Albuquerque Journal hosted an Op-ed by Lisa Huval, Policy and Advocacy Director, NM Coalition to End Homelessness.  This is a response to her.

As a participant in (Un)Occupy Albuquerque, I am responding to Lisa Huval's "Homeless Part of 99 Percent Too."  It is unclear to me if Ms. Huval has spoken with (Un)Occupy participants herself, or if she is getting her information from written accounts in the newspaper.  I do not know what she has seen on TV or whether anyone who she mentions who has "referred to the tensions" in re: the "unhoused" is an active participant or is a random person on the street who may or may not sympathize with or have familiarity with our movement.

What I have witnessed and heard, from my first experience at a General Assembly to my most recent (and I am a regular participant who was also arrested at UNM for refusing to leave per the curfew), I have seen the "unhoused" embraced, fed and accepted as a part of the movement.

Yes, it is difficult for untrained and inexperienced people to become a de-facto multi-faceted social services agency.  Yes, it is a challenge for us all to intervene in potentially dangerous situations that arise in the circumstances we face.  Yes, "tensions" are palpable during certain kinds of crises that are likely when people with mental health and substance abuse issues come together around food, safety, shelter and compassion--all "attractive nuisances" to those who wish to use the very tools of our movement against us and find excuses plentiful to exercise coordinated evictions to remove us from public spaces all across the country.

(Un)Occupy Albuquerque is a family that includes all kinds of people, and we are active in working together to assure that all members of our family, regardless of their challenges or ours, are respected and given comfort by our movement.  We are the 99%, and we do not take that lightly.

It would be helpful if more advocates for the "unhoused," the uncared for, and the uninformed would take the time to meet us and join in our efforts to create the better society we envision.  We are (Un)Occupied, and we welcome you to join us.  Watch for us in neighborhoods near you!

November 16, 2011 at 11:05 AM in Guest Blogger, Occupy Wall Street | Permalink


(Un)Occupy Albuquerque will be coming to my neighborhood Thursday, November 17 from 6 - 8 pm. We're going to meet at the Sawmill Lofts (corner of Bellamah and 19th) and include my neighbors in a General Assembly. We're going to hear my neighbors' concerns, issues, ideas ---- and demonstrate how the consensus process works.

The public is welcome to join us.

Posted by: Lora Lucero | Nov 16, 2011 9:55:23 PM