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Meme: IOccupyBecause and 7 ways you can too

English: Day 7 of the protest Occupy Wall Stre...

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During  Thanksgiving week a twitter hashtag popped up entitled #IOccupyBecause. This hashtag has since blossomed into a meme. Traffic for the hashtag itself has slowed down and morphed into #WhyIOccupy; however it can still be seen popping up from time to time. The question is, why do you Occupy? Here is my answer in long-form.

#IOccupyBecasue I believe

(Luke 19:13). The king calls ten of his servants together and gives them each ten minas. Then he instructs them: “Occupy until I return.”

The word occupy in the Greek is pragmateuomai. To busy ones self in trade or banking, to increase or be fruitful.

#IOccupyBecasue I see gross inequity

I was involved in a conversation recently where the subject was a married woman who owned a restaurant and was in deep financial trouble due in part to spouse loss of job and interestingly, a $5 million dollar house they had purchased. Was a house that grand really necessary for two working professionals?  What if they had purchased a $1 million dollar house? $4 million dollars to spare is a lot of dough. That sum might have kept the restaurant open during the financial crisis, saving the jobs of the restaurant employees. The restaurant did re-open according to the teller of the tale but at what cost to the employees?

How many people could have been employed at a modest $40,000 per year and for how long? Answer: 100 people for one year; half that rate? 200 people, $20,000 per year {gross figures, simple math, no taxes on anybody}

What about a college education? According to a USNews website article published in 2010, “The average annual tuition (plus expenses) at a private nonprofit four-year college is about $35,000.” So simple math again, 32 people could receive a four year degree. How many were employed by that restaurant again?  The teller of the tale did not know. The restaurant owner did reopen, eventually and the spouse was again employed at some point. This is an understandable example of inequity, Wall Street corporate and mortgage company bonus scales are beyond description.

#IOccupyBecasue I see brutal suppression of rights

Zuccotti Park, OccupyPortland, Occupy Seattle, OccupyUCDavis, OccupyLA are all examples of law enforcement brutality. Each is linked to coverage, decide for yourself if you have not paid attention to those pesky protesters, yet.

I do not stand on a corner or march, I am usually photographing and of course I write. So, if you are not occupying yourself  or you are wondering what you can do to help restore social justice and create a more equitable society we have the following suggestions:

  1. Find an occupy group in your city, county or state. This link leads to a twitter list of over 200 groups and individuals active in the North American occupy movement: Occupy!cons/occupy
  2. Use the same list or Occupy_USA list to begin making connections to other occupiers.
  3. Donate. Small monthly donations to your local Occupy movement; food, time, gifts-in-kind such as print cards, or paper, hand warmers, hot coffee, pass out flyers, teach a class or basic medical supplies if your local is in jeopardy of a police interaction.
  4. Donate to support independent journalists via wepay.com, more information.
  5. Write, photgraph, video action in your own area
  6. Tweet Occupy today, all day, everyday.” was a tweet which came across OccupyIcons tweetfeed this morning. Re-Tweet occupy news to help amplify and extend the reach of the messages of the Occupy movement locally and nationally. This act of participation is very important, once you get the hang of it . . .
  7. Choose a videographer or a live GA and live tweet what you see happening for the benefit of those who cannot be present.
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