My Second Visit to Occupy Dallas
Why I Went Back to Occupy Dallas This Time
A friend of mine picked up some empty water jugs the day before to refill for Occupy Dallas, and I had two large bags of winter clothing and some more blankets to drop off. In addition, I needed to set up a liaison with the kitchen staff and various donation tents because I represent a group of about ten people who pledged to support Occupy Dallas with donations, teach-ins, signs, and warm bodies, either to march or to staff various facilities. This time, I also brought my 77-year-old mother with me, who expressed a wish to see Occupy Dallas for herself. I had visited the camp several days earlier and talked with many people there.
Have You Personally Visited an Occupy Protest?
If you have visited your local Occupy protest and stayed more than a few minutes, were you:
Upon Our Arrival at Occupy Dallas
When we pulled up to Occupy Dallas this time, to drop off the blankets, water, and clothing, my mother and I were met by several very friendly people who helped us unload the car and put everything away very neatly and efficiently. The whole camp was very quiet and extremely organized. We dropped off our supplies and everything was neatly put away within a few seconds of its arrival at the tent. Several people I had met on my first trip greeted us, including one person who confirmed that I was scheduled to teach the upcoming weekend.
My Mother's Reaction
My mother walked around the entire encampment and was, frankly, shocked. I don't quite know what she expected to see, but when I took her back home, she could not stop talking to everyone about how courteous and helpful everyone at Occupy Dallas was, and how organized and efficient the camp was. The other thing that impressed her was that everyone was clean, well-groomed, and quiet--in fact, the noise level reminded her of an office. Everyone was busy doing some task they had taken responsibility for, and going about their business without getting in anyone else's way. She remarked that even at Boy Scout and Girl Scout camps (and she has been on many a Scout campout!), there was not the sense of order and discipline that she observed there. Her visit made her even more determined to support the Occupy Dallas movement.
The Lesson My Mother Learned at Occupy Dallas
Please, do not take anyone else's word for what went on. If you want to know what happened, talk to the people who were there. Do not believe what you see on television, read in the papers, or hear on the radio; there is no substitute for first-hand experience of a situation! And don't talk about the Occupy protests to others unless you have seen it firsthand. My mother says anyone who has not been to one, and comments on the protests is necessarily a liar, because they do not know for themselves what is happening there and what the protest encampment is like.