My First Day at Occupy Dallas
A Bunch of Dirty, Lazy Hippies? Yeah, Right.
I arrived early in the afternoon for my first trip to Occupy Dallas, bringing with me a few blankets, tarps, power strips, and some miscellaneous stuff. As soon as I pulled up, even before I shut off the car, people were smiling and waving at me. I got out of the car, and asked where I could drop off donations, and soon had several people helping me carry stuff to the proper tents. Then I stopped to talk with a number of people, and right away they asked me to lead a workshop ("teach-in") the next week. They certainly know how to make you feel valuable, regardless of what skills you possess!
Occupy Dallas Does Not Look Like This
As I walked around this camp, it was pristine. There was not a single piece of litter on the ground, anywhere. Full trash bags were neatly piled up by the curb waiting for pickup; partially full trash bags were positioned every thirty feet or so. Nobody smelled; a few people looked like they had gone several days without a bath. Everyone I talked to was exceedingly polite and well-mannered. If it had been in different surroundings, I could have imagined myself at an upscale cocktail party. People offered to get me food, water, show me around, talk to me, and in general made me feel very welcome, and they seemed grateful for both my donations and my time.
There seemed to be about 60 tents, about a hundred fifty permanent occupiers, and an extra hundred to hundred fifty people out for the day.
I spent most of the time there staffing the library tent, which was pretty quiet with an occasional visitor. All the books were arranged in Dewey Decimal order on plastic shelving, and the library tent was well-lit, although some of the researchers had various resources strewn around their area, just like my student carrel looked when I was in graduate school.
Occupy Dallas Does Not Look Like This Either
The food was vegetarian/vegan and plentiful. Although I didn't eat except when they were handing out leftovers, several people offered to get me a plate. The food looked and smelled fresh and wonderful!
There was a music tent, an art tent, a media tent, a kitchen tent, a library tent, a clothing tent, and probably more that I didn't see. Everyone I saw was busy: building solar ovens, making signs, writing, teaching, and sharing ideas. Even those with dissenting views were treated with utmost courtesy.
So Where Is The . . .
- Trash: neatly piled up in bags.
- Drugs: no evidence of drugs.
- Smell: the camp is not smelly.
- Sex: I didn't pry into people's private tents.
- Laziness: I didn't see any. Everyone was busy.
- Hippies: there were some there that one might have counted as hippies. There were a lot of veterans, a lot of people walking around wearing regular clothing, and some smartly-dressed people were there too.