Occupy Poughkeepsie Explained

Satellite protests following the lead of Occupy Wallstreet have emerged over the last month and a half in a documented 900 cities Internationally. At Happy Hudson Valley we reserve the right to abstain from taking a political stance. Doing so would threaten the happiness mold that we strive for. That being said, we can't ignore what is going on in the world especially now that Occupy Poughkeepsie has taken up residence in Hulme Park bringing the Occupy movement to the Hudson Valley.

In keeping with the philosophy at OP I shall remain nameless. Well, no actually I'll call myself Rhinestone. Reason being: I'm joined by Echo 1, Echo 2, Indigo and Crusty. They're withholding their names because their cause, as they put it, is one of universality. We are the 99%. That's not to say they want to speak for you, rather to you on the subject of system and support. And, the  former are best served by principles not personalities hence the pseudonyms.

I spoke with the attendees and asked them what message they want to get across to a divided public. The answers, though varied carried nothing less than a desire for change - sincere and immediate. Everyone's personal reason for being present be it spiritual, political or fundamental was vastly overshadowed by a common desire to make the work site functional. In essence, a community. Some of the occupants have been camped out here since the site launched on October 15th. Others are dodging in and out in between working and attending class. One girl, a full time students has 3 jobs and comes to the site to sleep at night. Her story is common among personalities here, proving the point that these people are a working part of the system, not a wrench in it.

Similar to Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Albany, OP has adopted a leaderless model with primary focus on open exchange of ideas. All are welcome to voice their opinions - however different - in an open, judgement free arena. No single person is in charge for long. Tasks are delegated on a volunteer basis. General assembly meetings occur twice daily and the group comes together for dinner at 6:30 each night. Almost like a family.

"Don't kid yourself, this isn't fun sleeping out in the cold night after night. Nobody enjoys not being able to take a shower or wash their face when they want to. It's inconvenient and unpleasant, but it's a beautiful kind of personal witness on the part of the people who do it."

Occupiers are upheld by a platform that is vast and personal to each of them. But, in a way it is a celebration of a democratic system our democratic system which enables and encourages demonstration such as this. A flexing of the civic responsibility the likes of which has not been seen since perhaps the 1960's. The commonality of this international movement is that it's happening. What is yet to be seen in terms of "what's next" will potentially attempt to define a generation.

If you have frustrations or you want to change something or improve your interaction with other human beings, if you want to create a better exchange in terms of the way we treat one another then come and hear what we have to say. Be heard.

Join Occupy Poughkeepsie for a community building rally and parade Saturday, November 12th at noon. Takes place at Hulme Park. The event promises to be family friendly : music, general assembly speakers and a pupper theater presentation by Redwing Blackbird are all planned. Occupypoughkeepsie.org We are the 99%