Hey guys. I wanted to write to express some concern (probably a result of my own insecurity, so excuse me haha)
I greatly admire the people who stood up for ON and were willing to get arrested last weekend. However, while the phrase, "I am ___ of the 29," was catchy and inspiring at first, I think we need to be careful. Firstly, we should remember that other people not in the original group were also arrested on the second night. Secondly, It's almost starting to sound like we have people who stand out, people who are more important, than others. I would really prefer if people would stop to referring to The 29. I respect them and admire them, but I think the best approach would be to emphasize that it was a sizable *group* of people who got arrested. Actually two groups (with some overlap).
Sometimes, it's easy to feel like you're not doing enough. Should I have been willing to get arrested? Am I a coward because I didn't stand up to the state of TN? Are the people who stayed out their just as late to make sure the police didn't do anything shady also not important? And even though I'm not out there occupying 24/7, sleeping in the cold, dealing with the homeless every day and night, am I not helping? People keep saying they've been out there for days and weeks, and they've got more experience being out there than I do, that's true. But should you keep emphasizing that fact? Making people feel bad for not occupying with you? Am I a cowardly, weak person for preferring to keep working during the day and helping by giving money, food, and time for outreach? I think it's crucial that we really emphasize all types of support. Marches, nonviolent political disobedience, etc. are obviously a big part of our movement. However, I'm getting the since that ON is becoming kind of cliquey, with some people seeming more important than others. I think we should avoid such rhetoric and should get back to emphasizing that everyone is equal and is equally important and plays an equally crucial role in the movement. I want to help. I love this movement, the people in it, and the goals. Sometimes, I just feel like I'm not doing enough, even though I feel like I'm doing what I can within reason.