Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy PDX and Portland Marathon - To Each According to Need

Two things I cherish are happening in the same time right now -- the Occupy Wall Street movement against the excesses of corporate power, greed, dishonesty, and corruption, and the Portland Marathon.

I totally support the Occupy movement -- I have spent a little time as a participant in Occupy Portland and hope to do so again -- and while I am not running it this year, I also love the Portland Marathon and hope to see it go smoothly and safely for all.

For Sunday morning, I hope Occupy Portland picks up and moves just a few blocks away and continues as before. By design, there is no centralized authority to which to appeal, but I did find a communique from an official-enough looking web site, OccupyPDX:
Occupy Portland wishes to welcome Portland Marathon to Lownsdale and Chapman Squares on this beautiful Friday morning. 
We look forward to working together to ensure that our events run as smoothly as possible. 
This outcome is achievable only through civil discourse and is rendered impossible by threats or use of force. 
Therefore, we are eager to discuss with Portland Marathon the constructive ways we can help and support their event while we remain in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.
Meanwhile, the Portland Marathon is saying much the same:
We understand the intention of those protesting at Occupy Portland. We will find a compromise that meets the needs of both parties. We are working closely with the City and representatives from Occupy Portland to reach a solution.
Perfect. That's all anyone can ask. Please do that, and find that.

By way of further background, I note that OccupyPDX is (loosely) located at miles 25 to 26.2 of the run, and that means the following: everyone coming in will be at his/her limits if not beyond. There is no 'dodging obstacles' by that stage of the race. There is no 'oh, I can see these people just ahead so I'll just alter my path a few clicks to the right' -- that sort of adjustment approaches to physically impossible. An out-of-place pebble can create disaster, let alone people 'occupying' the course.

Meanwhile, notwithstanding all the bleating to the effect that 'these protesters don't have a message,' we are a movement rather than a message, and the movement is directed at upholding the primacy, rights, and power of human beings over and against assertions of corporate power. But if it's a unified message you want, this statement, as read by Keith Olbermann a few nights back, will do well enough as a starting point.

1 comment:

The Duchess of Cookies said...

I've wanted to join in the protests, but being the SAHM of a toddler puts a stopper on that. I saw on the news this morning the call to still help in some way. So, Thing2 and I baked a bunch of cookies and after picking Thing1 up from school we went downtown and delivered them to the protesters and have just returned home. Doing my part to change the world "one freshly baked cookie at a time".

=o) I think they thought I was nuts, but those cookies went fast!