some ideas, an action, and a vision
Posted at the portland.indymedia.org site:
Homeless and etc. are allies others will exploit
Man holding up line in grocery store
Flailing man on Hawthorne
An orrior-style actions
Homeless are allies others will exploit
If we don’t reach out to each other in radically excellent ways, we may find that those seemingly powerless (or so-called “worthless”) now could be manipulated to be given tyranny over us in the future. This of course isn’t the *best* reason to reach out to our fellow people, including homeless folks, but perhaps it’s a wake-up call. Where do you think fascists and tyranny gets its footsoldiers for its martial stupidity? Where do you think the 1980s “Contras” (against the Sandinistas) came from mostly?
(Do you think this sounds naive? Discuss!)
I’ve reached out to various folks over time, had them over, even gave them a place to sleep off and on (especially in the cold months), and while I find some to be “much too wild” for me to be around every day (in their drunkeness), these folks deeply appreciate. And i’ve noted that appreciation develop over time.
If we could realize the value of informally aiding homeless folks in our midst, we’d find the reflections to be surprisingly significant. Don’t throw money at the formal institutions, reach out in friendship! And, if you’re a neighborhood organizer type, what if various neighbors aided their fellow human beings in a *rotational* way??!
Man holding up the line
A few months ago i found myself in a line where a guy was seemingly surprised that his plastic (credit card) wasn’t working. He kept trying it, and wouldn’t give up. Tension was rising visibly as it appeared that the man was not only growing increasingly frustrated (and might resort to violence?) but also the management began showing up and appearing increasingly agitated (as if they were ready to aggressively escort him from the store).
Well, I was doing okay money-wise so I went up the line and asked him if I could help. No official title or anything, just another guy wanting to be fair with my fellows instead of what seemed to be about to happen. Well, it turned out that the stuff he wanted to buy totalled only $2.50, so i volunteered to buy it for him. Visible relief showed up in everyone.
(Question: what would an anarchist do and why?)
Flailing man on Hawthorne
I heard yelling over on this local road and since I was already heading there, found myself going right up to the guy and asking him what was up. No fear, and he felt that. He had been yelling at others with this: “I OWN YOU!” And they had fallen back. Was he completely irrational? i felt he was flailing from some kind of heavy stress. He was drunk and his mind was set on getting “help” in the only way he seemed to know: wait until the cops showed up and then a night in the can.
Meanwhile, not only did I interact creatively with this stressed-out guy, but another dude showed up; an older guy. He walked by the guy from behind in a kind of silly-seeming way. Asking him later, he said he had expected to get punched. Hell, i guess i half-expected it as well; but i felt like i was “defending” the community–except not in alliance with any formal authority, but in alliance with the idea of re-village-ing.
The cops did show up and that’s when I left, but had the local community had in place some kind of way to reach this guy…something like a local Shanti Sena calm space to go to… (yes, I know, i sound very greenhornish idealistic…)
A really fulfilling one at the Alberta Street Fair in July. Walked around with a “FREE HUGS” sign! And got so many hugs that i felt DRUNK with that energy. Someone suggested “we” start a MOVEMENT of such; i can see such being done on a rotational basis, as tho hugging strangers can be liberating, it’s also a little exhausting for we not used to having such connections with folks. (Anyway, I walked down the entire way like three times, so maybe it was my feet the most!)
Imagine x-country travel (human powered?) where “FREE HUG”-ers join with many other Great Spirited folks (folks wanting to share their great informal gifts) went into backwater places and etcetera and shared their humanity. Convergences of different spirited affinity groups not seeking to “speak truth to ‘power'” but “speak truth to people”!
Imagine a forest of hotair balloon Old Growth Trees accompanying.
Imagine slower and faster bicyclists riding. The fast bicyclists riding ahead and then returning to meet up with the slower bikers.
Come on over to our blog and share your ideahhhs!