Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
Dec 3/Dec6 - These were the days when positive, supportive events like the Critical Mass rally would be sidetracked by an aerosal can / paper cup throwing incident (in which the wrong person was arrested). When OSD marches to the local SDPD station would confirm that the SDPD had succeeded in transferring the brunt of OSD outrage away from the bankers and politicians(where it belonged) and onto themselves. Which was exactly what their masters, the aforementioned, wanted. Dec 9 - On this day I went to my first homeless feed(something I still do). I don't go to eat as much as I go to speak with the people there. Their recon eyes and cynical words provide me with a wealth of information when it comes to the day to day operations of the 'Hogs at the Trough(politicians)" there at civic center plaza. Located at the Lutheran Church on 3rd and Ash, a couple of blocks away from Freedom Plaza. The church was a well known feeding station for many of the homeless OSD members. Several people I spoke with told me that the SDPD was increasing their already heavy handed treatment of the homeless. As one homeless person said to me, "Occupy is putting the homeless on blast." Of course it wasn't OSD that was making life miserable for the homeless. It was the harassment by the SDPD(two cops who deserve dishonorable mention for their heartless treatment of the homeless are Clayton and Thompson. Burn in hell guys). Of the many dynamics that played out during the OSD movement, the way that the SDPD was able to separate the majority of the homeless people downtown from OSD was one of the most crippling to the movement. One of the original goals (at least I thought) was bringing attention to the plight of the homeless, by giving them the food and medical attention denied them by gov't incompetency. At first this appeared to be working but constant SDPD undermining took it's toll. One homeless OSD member recounted to me, "The cops go down to the East Village homeless camps and they pick up all the craziest, most drugged out basket cases they can find. They pick them up and take them to Freedom Plaza. Where they know their just going to cause us more problems. Those are the people that the media focuses on. It chases away a lot of good people who want to help." Of course the SDPD wasn't the only culprits involved in the demise of The Occupy Movement in San Diego. They were aided and abetted by questionable tactics employed by the OSD themselves. Among them were; Dec10 - John K is arrested while on a hunger strike. This man and his handful of followers would create a schism in the OSD movement between himself and the Afghan/Iraqi war veterans that could not be resolved. Dec 12 - Port closure in National City. This answer to a call from the more militant Oakland Occupiers alienated a lot of labor groups. Including the powerful Teachers Union which had been regularly funding the movement. Dec 15 - Murrietta occupation of foreclosed homes. Some of the most die hard OSD'ers left for Riverside County when Freedom Plaza was in most need of every body it could find. In my opinion none of the three actions described above benefited the OSD. In fact, just the opposite. Dec 22 - The American flag that OSD had been flying in Freedom Plaza came down. Accounts differ but apparently an SDPD police officer took it upon himself to call the OSD's use of 'Old Glory' unpatriotic. For some skewered reasoning he proclaimed that his seizure of the American flag from fellow Americans exercising the democratic right to voice their opinion would be a most patriotic act on his part. The result was a scuffle amongst Americans over a symbol that should have been respected enough to keep them from fighting but it wasn't. One of the things that struck me hardest during the OSD movement was just how poorly educated the SDPD is. There aren't a lot of brain surgeons or rocket scientists in that bunch. As a matter of fact I engaged in much more intelligent conversations with the homeless than with the armed neanderthals of the SDPD. But that makes sense. The powers that be can more easily control their attack dogs if the dogs are dumb. Dec 23/Dec 24 - A group of young Afghan.Iraqi war veterans showed up with an American flag, planted it and defiantly challenged Lansdownes goons to take it down again. The SDPD put their tails between their legs and backed down. Unfortunately, the SDPD didn't have too take down the Stars and Stripes again. Since it turned out that some of the Afghan/Iraqi veterans weren't to keen on standing flag watch. I was told that they basically abandoned the flag there in Freedom Plaza. When I heard this my mind immediately flashed to a conversation I had with one of these young Americans on the day the Occupy veterans were given a booth at the Veterans Day function in Freedom Plaza. It wasn't so much a two way conversation as a one way, invective laced rant against the flag and the gov't it represents. What stunned me most was that the ex soldier spewing these angry words was a young gal. A good looking girl whose venomous language didn't at all fit with the pretty face that was unleashing the tirade. She said that the American flag I was holding in my hand was a cheap piece of cloth made in China and nothing else. It didn't represent freedom, democracy or anything remotely like that. She said this country was beyond help. I don't agree. Our nation might be on life support but it ain't dead yet. As I read today's headlines I can't help but think that if the USA ever goes Syria. That is if a peace movement ever gets turned into a bloody civil war between gov't soldiers and their disgruntled comrades in arms, I could easily see that gal amongst the rebel leaders. So fierce were the flames of anger and disgust for our gov't that burned in her eyes as she derided the US and its Hogs at the Trough (politicians). December 2011 was not a good month for the OSD. But I still remained upbeat because there were two upcoming events that I was hoping would revive the momentum I felt had been lost in the past thirty days. One was the Rose Parade scheduled for January 2nd and the other was the California Democratic convention which would be held at the San Diego convention center. "Coffee's Ready, Gotta Go...!!!