Occupy Boise Member
Here in Boise, Occupiers have several local issues they have decided they’d like to address. One issue that has been discussed is the decision to build on the “Hole” downtown. For many of us it was a revelation the CCDC was subsidizing millions in public money towards the construction of a new Zions Bank building. It will surely have living and business space besides just Zions, but I think there is more to that point; Zions also recieved TARP bailout money, and they currently entangled in some kind of legal actions against them. Is this really a wise investment for CCDC? Why don’t we do something drastically cheaper and just put in a park! Some of us see no reason to build a multi-million dollar building at a time when the economy is contracting. Especially when this money is being diverted away from other areas, such as education, city, and county governments.
On the national level Occupy Boise shares the same complaints and interests as every other Occupier out there. With so much discontent it is hard to see what a “victory” would look like, and I find myself doubting if it is even possible for political or legislated solutions to work towards such an end.
For us, Occupy represents our own complete lack of faith in the system. I think for now, that is powerful enough. There have been a number of positive messages and plans growing out of the Occupied discussions. We have working groups addressing the homeless and unemployed issues here in Boise. Others are interested in our education policy, and hope to be more engaged in our local political theater. There are talks of “occupying” local businesses that condone the kind of practices we prefer in the hopes that we can persuade our little community to support those causes over other outlets. Community building is just another goal for some of the diverse community that exists at Occupy Boise.
The biggest lesson I have learned from the scope of this public uprising, and from my personal experience with Occupy Boise is that every one of us needs to remember the way we live, the things we buy, our day-to-day actions all contribute to this network of businesses and government. Such an understanding causes one to confront our role as consumer, as producers, and to invest our efforts into strategic actions that will benefit those in our community. Vote ‘no confidence’ and support our local businesses and institutions.
One of the biggest moves so far has been the slow migration of Occupiers financial accounts from large banks to local banks and community credit unions. I spoke with my long-time bank manager upon closing my savings account. I had to explain that while I have no complaints, and wished no harm on the employees and their branch, I had to close my account because I understand that my money helps that bank do business, and I cannot support their actions any longer. We had a candid conversation about what it meant, both symbolically and realistically. That is the other thing about the Occupation. We are having these conversations. Everyday. Everywhere.
But I am from the creationist camp. I acknowledge the failures and the unsustainability of the current system—I have to—but if it is at all possible, I’d like to focus on a solution–one that requires quite a bit of personal responsibility. I want my efforts to focus on what is possible, and how we might make it happen. Mostly I am concerned with the way we might again be confident in our community, and our place within it.
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