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Why We Occupy 

After two weeks living in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, I have set up camp in the Occupy Bend Village. While the larger cities of our bioregion appear to have more steam out of the gate, I was pleased to see the numbers present in Bend, considering the per capita involvement. Occupy Bend is off to a good start, but many people have confusion, judgments and expectations of what these occupations are about. Occupy Bend needs more inquiries and more participation.

We are people from all walks of life. People of all ages, races, religions, political thoughts, backgrounds and experiences and we are coming together and learning a new language. This new language is one that embraces disagreement and encourages discussion about very serious issues that plague our neighborhoods, our towns, our counties, our states, our nation and our global community. In a globalized world, we must recognize each of these communities in the decisions that we make. At the end of the day, we must not only reach consensus about our smaller issues, but someday about the larger issues of society. This movement is the beginning of the consensus process and interpersonal growth that very well may achieve that.

One theme that is recurrent among participators is that they are dissatisfied with the system and done being disengaged. We are also tired of avoiding the tough issues as they continue to multiply and magnify. The world is hovering near 7 billion people and it is time for us to look at a new way of doing things. In my opinion, I think everything about the way we currently live needs to be questioned and analyzed. Personal agendas need to be left at the door and compassion for humanity and our planet need to be on the table. The old way of doing things is antiquated; we are running out of resources and left with dwindling lands and discouraged spirits. We have to bring new ideas, new tools of analysis and solutions to the table. I think the majority of people are dissatisfied with the system. The system is broken. It is time for us to do something about it.

For me, these Occupations represent this more dynamic change. These occupations are our plea calling for a paradigm shift. This revolution is not just in Bend, or Oregon, our bioregion, or our nation. This movement is worldwide and actually quite strong abroad. The people of the United States need to stand up and show the world, as well as each other, that we stand in solidarity with the global 99 percent. We are the 99 percent. It is time to denounce our apathy individually and truly get involved in direct action. Humanity needs to address the plagues of atrocity that our corporatocracy has created and the harm that these corporations continue to inflict on humanity and our planet with no accountability. The Bend Village is forming to represent our community in these discussions. All voices need to participate and be heard.

-Mel Sweet

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