As I had mentioned, up there in Oxnard we werred able to connect with the Oxnard Occupiers and the president of VFP 112, Joe. An awesome elder, he is also very heavily involved with the Native American Veteran Association (NAVA) and is instrumental in the social justice movement in Oxnard and Ventura.
It was he who transported us to the Occupy Venice meeting after a nice day in the park. I am particularly interested in the motivation First Nation Peoples have in joining the military. After all, why would a young brave in the the 1930's or 60's be compelled to join the US Army which had previously decimated your people not more than 50 years ago? I mean really, the indiginous people of America had been involved with the "Indian Wars", and I recall some of my best buddies in the Army were Navajo and Hopi kids.....andd man they were discriminated against.
So Old Joe (cue Johnny Cash's "Ballad of Ira Hayes") was kind enough to grant me a short interview for the Occupy Oxnard Public Access, and we chatted about that abit, as well as the usual Veteran's fare.
SO. We end up in Venice, and the meeting is held at a very kind and pro-active gentlemans' home, his name is Clark, and he shares the house with his girlfreind and buddy (Susan and AC).
They hosted us over Christmas, and we had a BLAST, sharing media and Occupy stories.
Occupy Venice is STRONG. VERY involved in the struggle of the homeless and marginalized.....Clark is sort of like the counter part (or combination of)
Pirate Mike and David Solnit. A master builder, we were amazed at his home and projects....the guy is a monster. KICK ASS media capabilities and craftsman, OccVenice has for the past 3 years created amazing floats for the Rosebowl Parade....
Really, Occupy Venice has been in the biggest fricking parade in America. This years theme is Fracking, and they have built a very AWESOME oil derrick float, please support Occupy Venice!
Much like our own beloved OSF, the local "movement" has boiled down to a couple dozen committed individuals who are carrying the rest of the city. But it's all good. Once again check out their FB page and websites!
This brings us to LongBeach, where there was a very interesting situation. Their Civic Center makes SF's look like nursery school. Liberty and I werre able to breach an abandoned office complex, very interesting indeed.
The place had been untouched since 2010, and yet a block away were dozens of homeless people, shivering in the cold. We busted the locks on 3 of the 4 floors and opened multiple channels of egress in the perimeter fence.
To our pleasant suprise, and good fortune, 100's of beers and bottles of hard cider (cases of the stuff) were discovered on the second floor, along with computer moniters, TV's, furniture, 100's of High school ID cards (?) of different kids from different cities, clothes.....sheesh, all KINDS of stuff! TONS of shit, radios,books....ahhhhh but the CASES and CASES of liquor...yikes that had to take the cake.
Hmmm of course, we spent the night there, and jeezis, if only HomesNotJails had a hold on the place....so yeah we crashed there, and then in the morning, we spread the "Good News": A huge, entire business complex full of beer and clothes...yeah Long Beach home bums, right there, across the street, liberated for you by the two dudes Marching Across America.
Just to get the ball rolling (as they say) we brought a couple cases to the Civic Center and told them about their new digs, should they decide to "nut up" and take the thing for themselves. Really this place could EASILY shelter 1500-2000 people. We did our best to spread the word about community organizing (its not just for the "housies") and passed out some copies of my pamphlet "Getting What You Want" (have ya read it?)
We now find ourselves in Anaheim, on the way to San Diego by way of Newport Beach, where I hope to hook up with Jordan. (my wayward and goddess like daughter). Stay tuned, sorry this was such a short and incomplete report, but there is much work to do!