I am innately shy….not prone to stepping out in the public eye. I wanted to be involved in the Occupy movement, but it took the stories of other FDLers to encourage my enthusiasm…..and I wasn’t sure that my community would/could be organized to Occupy anyway.
Imagine my surprise when while driving to drop some bills at the post office I saw a big “Occupy Oxnard” sign in our city park.
I dropped the bills in the slot and circled back around to the park and walked over to the crowd of mostly older white folks. People were very welcoming and enthusiastic. We had speakers before the march. A Rabbi who had walked with Martin Luther King, Jr., for civil rights encouraged us to continue the good work and reminded us that MLK was about social justice for all. Several older folks spoke about marching against the VietNam war and how that had empowered them for a lifetime.
A member of our City Council spoke about the need to reach out to the Hispanic population….almost 70% of our community. A member of our School Board encouraged us to speak out against the devastation of NoChildLeftBehind and other intrusions that are damaging our school systems…..and also taught us how to say “This Land is Your Land, This Land is Our Land” in Spanish…..and he’s a white guy of Irish descent.
We had a contingent of young Oxnard Police to assist us as we walked on Oxnard Boulevard (Pacific Coast Highway).
When I sucked down my shy and joined the group there were about 25 people…..by the time we were ready to march there were about 100. It’s a start.
I thank the many FDL folks who encouraged me by their own actions. And, yes, I’ll be out there again and will bring friends and neighbors.
If you know California at all, you’ll be amused that my son-in-law told me that he saw that there was even an Occupy Lompoc group going on.
If you haven’t overcome you own inner shy, do it!
When I first came to FDL those many years ago I had to ask, “What does ‘DFH’ stand for?” Walking with the Occupy Oxnard group, I feel that I finally earned my cred as a DFH. And I will never give it up. I stood up and I’m glad that I did.