Over at my blog, I’ve been talking up an idea and action, and I’d love to get FDLers involved to help: On Friday, November 25, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, let’s give to our local Occupy encampments what they need to stay warm for the winter. This is different than FDL’s Occupy Supply because it’s about those of us not occupying parks and other areas showing up at OWS sites to give aid and comfort. Check it out:
1. On November 25, people will gather in cities around the country where there are encampments of OWS protesters.
2. People who show up will have cold weather gear to donate to the protesters. This can be blankets, socks, sleeping bags, hand and foot warmers, sweaters, you know, the usual stuff, or anything you think can be used to keep the camping protesters warm throughout the winter. The items can be secondhand (and clean). New items can be purchased whenever, preferably not on the exploitative day coined by marketers as “Black Friday.” You can check out your local Occupy website to see what supplies they’re specifically requesting (and if they haven’t been raided and evicted by police).
3. If possible, it’d be great to organize as groups to make the donations. Organizers can post where they will meet up over at the Blanket the Earth Facebook page. For example, Atlanta supporters have decided to gather at 60 Walton St. NW before heading over to the camp. At FB, you can find people who are already organizing meet-ups.
4. Yes, donations at any time are great. But Blanket the Earth is not organizing as a group to accept donations of any kind. If you want to participate in the day, give someone who is going the items you’d like to donate. Also, I’m not accepting any monetary donations for this. If you want to donate money, that’s generous of you, and you should give to things like Occupy Supply.
5. The goal here is to show our support not just through the kindness of monetary donations, but by being physically present to demonstrate that we’re here for the protesters.
6. Yes, there is a chance that you may end up being the only person in your town to show up.
7. Organizers can also send me a message on how people can contact them in their cities. Write, as ever, to rudepundit_at_yahoo.com (and you can send me questions there). You can also post info here in the comments or you can follow and respond on Twitter to @blankettheearth.
8. Spread the word. Use your own social networks to get out the information. Let’s make sure the people who are the foot soldiers in this movement know that they are appreciated and that we have their backs. It’s a simple, idealistic, even naive gesture, yes, but why not walk over to, say, Niagara Square in Buffalo and give gloves and hand warmers to the supply tent.
There was an old saying from back in the days of when labor union members would be jailed for striking. It was a chant from the rank and file of unions and their families, in response to the chants of the jailed: “Remember you’re inside for us while we’re out here for you.” The idea was to keep the work of protest and activism going, even in the worst circumstances.
Let’s keep that spirit alive.