Sunday, December 25, 2011


A. "Every day the inhabitants seemed more worn down by the monotonous ritual of ... life: the faded clothing strung along tent-wires to dry; the queues at the feeding tents. ... they gathered around, wrapped in synthetic, flower-patterned blankets that had been handed out by ... volunteers."

(Tunisia-Libya border) from "Flee" by Nadia Shira Cohen, Granta #116 "Ten Years Later"

B. "While ... have a vocational sense of mission, there are perfectly ordinary people in (Obama's America) who find themselves wandering into a life of activism, as if by accident.

... 'Whom can I turn to? The state authorities would not help me. I felt I could only count on people, and so I made a video address and put it up online. ... And we gained even more support. ...'

... she had no illusions about the fate of the (movement). ... Fortunes would (still) be made. The real importance of the movement was its very existence and what it represented. 'Civil society is very young,' she said. 'The ... movement has united people of different kinds to stand up for their rights. That influences other movements and other people.' "

Resistance to Putin, The Civil Archipelago, by David Remnick, The New Yorker, Dec 19 and 26, 2011.

Friday, December 16, 2011


watch the video here (truncated)

Hi, My name is Messiah and I'm from the Bay Area.


watch the video here

 Sean Coyote: I am here, a member of Occupy San Francisco. I want to discuss the most important part of Occupy – the feeding … of the army! Yes, that is very important, we don't have anywhere to cook, we don't have anywhere to do anything, so we leave ourselves open to life. And life itself, push, and puts people in our way … that's the function, this very important category of function – feeding the army is very very important. 

So we have a man like this, who comes here, on his own time, to come and give back to life, who can cook something beautiful like this, this is gourmet stuff we get at Occupy, and that's why most of the cops are pissed of at us because they don't get gourmet food – exaactly!


watch the video here

Part 1: James
Part 2: James, Lucas and Dani on their families and friends.
James: I am a member of the Occupy Movement, since October 9th. What brought me down to the Occupy movement is the fact that I am a HIV positive person who is currently unemployed, I don't have insurance and it costs $3000 out-of-pocket expenses to get my medication every month. I don't know that many people who carry around that kind of money witht them on a regular basis and a lot of people don't have credit cards.

I also came to the movement because eof affordable housing issues. You know there are places like the Art Academy here in San Fransisco that as soon as a building becomes available that could be used for affordable housing, snatches it up and converts it into a classroom or a dorm. If we had less corporations in this city that are buying up places that could be affordable housing, it'd bring the homeless number down in this city 10-fold.

I've faced police aggression, I've been arrested three times in this movement, most recently when they raided our encampment at 101 Market St. They arrested me for crossing at a cross-walk with 14 seconds to spare on the clock. I wasn't even a part of the people being arrested … for not evcen jay-walking.
(Is jay-walking terrorism now?)

This movement has changed my life, in many ways, a lot of wonderful people, I've met so many people, prior to this movement I'd never … that there are so many loving people that want to see a change, want to see a movement that works in this country and this world... and it just means so much to me.

(Do you have friends and family who support you in the movement?)

James: I do. I've met a lot of friends here in the Occupation. A lot of my friends and colleagues that I've known for years are very much in support of this movement. My 14-yr old daughter in Texas, until recently she was with Occupy Houston. My friends, family is very much supportive.

Lucas: My mother is very proud of me for being here. She was I the protests in the 60s, protested the Vietnam war. She found out I was in Zucotti Park on October 15th and she was proud of me, glad that I was safe and at the same time happy that I was able to find a good place to sleep at Zucotti Park on a bench. My father is also proud of me, he agrees with what the movement is doing, wants me to stay safe, at the same time he is more concerned than my mother is, she knows I can take care of myself. My dad always tells me, don't get arrested, don't get hurt, whenever I tell him I am at one of these protests.

I was at the Oakland blockade a few days ago, stayed there overnight till 3AM continuation of the blockade which was a stipulation of Occupy Oakland's general Assembly statement. It said that if there was any police violence against the protesters at the blockade itself, on the 12th, then the blockade would be continued, and we did. As a punishment to the 1 percent for enacting police violence against other Americans.

Dani: Mi familia no es parte del movimiento, viven en una ciudad de Illinois que no tiene un Occupy, pero mi hermano, chico, de 16 agnos, es verdad, pienso que es chino, piensa que tiene que ser parte del movimiento igual que yo.

My family is not part of the movement, they live in a city in Illinois which doesn't have an Occupy, but my brother, younger, 16 years old, you know, I thnk it is cool, he thinks he has to be a part of the movement, like I am.


watch the video here
  Daniel: Soy de Illinois. He estado parte de este movimiento para dos meses, empeze en Seattle. Era una lucha grande por que muchos policias.
Como te han tratado?: Muy mal, a la policia no les importa a quien dagnan, me pegaron con una bicicleta, en mi rodilla, y tuve que ir al hospital. I got stitches for that! 
 Hemos estado aca para dos semanas, pero en Seattle para dos meses.

I'm from Illinois. I've been part of this movement for 2 months, I started in Seattle. That was a big struggle because of lots of police.
How did they treat you?: Very badly, the police don't care who they hurt, they hit me with a bicycle, in my knee, and I had to go to the hospital. Me pusieron puntos por eso!
We've been here for two weeks, but in Seattle for two months.


watch the video here
I got drawn into the Occupy movement by a cross-country roadtrip. I was fortunate to see about 25 camps around the northern edge of the country, including Zucotti Park and the rally on Times Square on October 15th.
Issues: Housing, food, homeless people's rights being ignored. Immigration is a big one, people should be allowed to come into this country and do the work to get legal to work. Education: College is getting more and more expensive, when people get out of college they don't have a job to even get to pay back the loans.
Congress is being purchased by corporations, that's unacceptable, as an American I don't think my vote counts any more because I don't have any money. They just buy votes, auction off Presidents.
Occupy movement has the potential to bring create real change, I think it is going to take a lot of work, focusing. I love them very much and feel a part of the movement and I think we can pick a candidate for 2012.
Food banks should be bailed out from taxes going to the Government. Give food to everyone asking for it. Food is such and easy thing to produce and give away to people that need it. Everyone needs food and some people don't have it. Millions and millions of dollars are spent on putting movies together, they can't spare like a hundred bucks for a local food bank so they can buy bread for people? Money hoarding is the destruction of humanity.
People should be able to care about other people's children. Poor people have kids they can't feed, can't afford even clean water and milk for their babies and that's unacceptable. If a mom drinks dirty water it will pass to the baby through breast milk, the baby gets sick and lives an unhealthy life because of poverty. Poverty is destroying lives and that is not OK!


Sauteed onions, garlic, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, olives, roasted red peppers and herbs
 browned Italian sausage, with dash of sake.
 Add tomato sauce, simmer
 serve with pasta at 101 Market
 See the orderly lines and the HUNGRY people waiting patiently
 Food for ~50 people, 8 lbs of dry pasta cooked, with vegetable marinara and meat sauce
 Michael serving the sauce.
 People came back for seconds, AFTER they checked that everyone there had had firsts. Top-knot = Javier.
 Swim team holiday party and the endless fascination of middle America for free food.
 Food for 50 wasted ...
 I was guilty as well, these were french beans with SUGAR!! ack ack, hasn't anybody heard of Diabetes type II! A hundred time as many people will die of ensuing complications as will die of anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. But, I was still guilty of over-serving myself. Had to save room for those adults only rum muffins!
Suppose I'd proposed, not that we skip our holiday party, but that we do and share our holiday party in some soup kitchen, with the homeless ... see why I am such a popular guy?

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This picture is soooo poignant, it makes me misty-eyed!
But perhaps you had to be there, shelling out the 30 bucks to feed 60 people.

A Mother's Worst Nightmare


What mother would expose her children to such risk, or want to see this happen to her children?
Maybe we need more of that maternal love, the mother grizzly fighting to protect her young, the mother hen collecting her chicks under her wings, all that maternal instinct devoted to protecting one's own young ... like the soccer moms in their minivans yammering on their cellphones, rushing from violin or ballet to swimming or gymnastics, never math, looking left for oncoming traffic, but not looking right for crossing pedestrians, other people's children. (Walking on the sidewalk with my kids, crossing a road at a stop sign in suburban Western New York, I was asking for it.) We need that maternal love!

Or, maybe not! Perhaps what we need is paternal love: more abstracted, less personal, a willingness to protect at all cost not just one's own children, but also those of others.

Then perhaps we wouldn't need OccupyWS to ensure a better future for ALL our children.


Approaching the "OccupyCupertino" site, the "Quinlan Community Center", which coincidentally happens to be directly opposite 10200 N Stelling Rd, which is where you should be sending your donations!
 First sight of the unwashed masses! I would add "illiterate, drunken and demanding". Please note the mis-matched gloves, the dreadlocks and matted hair hiding under the Rastafari woolen caps.
 HaagenDazs ice cream!? Remy Martin?!!! My daughters and I don't get that at home!
 Huddling down for the night!
 This is what a $10 donation will get you - NAMING RIGHTS! That's right, for a measly $10 donation you can have an unkempt, unemployed, unwashed, unsober, unliterate vagrant anarchist social disrupter named after you. We haven't run out yet, but they are going fast, and prices will go up after the New Year, so get yours NOW!
 Oh no! Watch out, the cops!
Of course, instead of just doing what the nice police-person has so politely asked them to do, they cower! Why? The police are here to protect us, if you aren't doing anything wrong you have no reason to fear, you will not be hurt!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



On Friday, Dec 9 th, I tried to take food to the site at 101 Market St. I'd planned on meeting a friend for lunch and then had a meeting that mid afternoon, and it would have been difficult to keep food hot and safe for that long. So I brought drained cooked ramen (24 pkts.t), 3 lbs of cooked vegetables and about 4 gallons of the flavoured soup, along with a camp stove, thinking I would just heat the food on the spot.

Firstly, there were SFPolice "No Parking" signs all around the area for blocks. So I thought I would just stop my car for a minute and offload onto the sidewalk with the help of some the Occupiers. Within less than a minute, two cops were on top of us, shouting at me, "You can't park here, you can't stop here, leave right now." in decidedly impolite tones. Luckily we'd managed to get most of the food out, and I just set whatever I had on the sidewalk and drove off.

When I returned to the site, it quickly became clear that there was no way to unobtrusively heat up the food there without risking getting it all confiscated: The cops had barricaded the 30" wide section of the sidewalk behind the pillars of the Federal Reserve, squeezing about 60-70 of the Occupiers onto a 10 foot wide stretch of the sidewalk between utility closets, hydrants etc. About 30 fully armed cops (OK, no kalashnikovs or other sub-machine guns, but all with sidearms, batons, the usual stuff to protect the citizenry from a Soviet invasion.

I walked around for a few blocks to scout a location where I could heat up the food, but there seemed to be cops everywhere I turned - mostly moto-cops riding on the sidewalk. I tried to stop again at 101 market to pick up the food and cooking stuff, and this time within 15 seconds there were two motocops on me, again the same, "gentle and polite" yelling. In consultation with the others I decided to bring the food the next day. 

On the first of those parking trips "Big Mike" had accompanied me in the car, and I was just being my usual chatty self, asking him how it was going etc. He responded in monosyllables, and at my prompting explained that he was just really tired, hadn't slept in days, the cops would throw them all into prison at between 2 and 3AM, then release them late the next day etc. After how thwarted  and anxious (well, not anxious, nervous and frustrated) I'd become after just a few minutes of interaction with the cops, it was hard for me to imagine how the Occupiers had been surviving for months under this continual low-grade harrassment e.g., midnight barricade construction police exercises through the middle of the camp, nightly arrests, and some them were still trying to engage the cops in polite conversation!


The next day, Saturday, I heated the food up at home and drove the hour to the site. While driving there, I noticed limos and SUVs double parked on King's/Embarcadero near ATT Pork Park (referring to funds used for its construction), and also on Mission St, within two blocks of the OccupySF site. As soon as I pulled up and got out of my car at the site, there was already a Police car in the adjacent lane, blocking traffic, yelling at me to get out of there. So again, I drove off, walked back for help from about 4 people to bring the food over and then we hung around a bit while people helped themselves, folding paper plates to make bowls for the soup.

Here are some pic.s:
 maya cutting apples
 frying the spices in butter
 Elsa picking up bits of lemon rind (from Heather's mom's lemons) for the applesauce
 Maya cooking

 Elsa picking the spices for applesauce
 People served themselves
 and were happy after eating!

Free miming lessons from an Occupier.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


This is Meagan, I don't know much about her other than the following:
She is a Stanford grad
Works as a waitress
  (Meanwhile, some talking head is probably saying: "The economy is improving, the DJIA is going  up", and 
we have BoBobama's balderdash, in used car salesman tones, "...we've turned the corner because the rate at which the economy is going downhill is not accelerating as much as previously...")
Volunteers in the kitchen for OccupySF - I actually haven't seen her eat anything yet.
Her principal role is on the finance committee, and other working groups.
Does not get enough sleep, let alone money to pay rent comfortably.
Found ways to involve M (9 yr.s) and E (5 yr.s) in usefully organizing the kitchen.
Took them with her and walked through the camp distributing evening rations.


The afternoon of her release, still finds time to return my call and thank me for my help, and asks about M and E.


I would like to thank the OccupyWS movement for standing up for us, even for those of us who mistakenly identify with the 1% and do not want to be fought for.

A lot of people have been very supportive since I started doing this and want to find ways to help: DONATE - CASH, BOOKS, BOARD GAMES, COMPUTER EQUIPMENT, PAPER, OFFICE SUPPLIES, TENTS, SLEEPING BAGS ...

Some of the comments that have come my way since I started this:

1. "I am not sure I completely agree ..." I stopped listening at that point. I try and imagine what it would be like to have been a black during the 60s and saying "I am not sure I completely agree with Dr. King ...". But I forget that these are the 40% who think they are in the 1% !

2. "Why are they protesting now with Obama as President? Where were they when Bush was President?". Ummm, excuse me? "Where were they?" WHERE WERE YOU?!


Bottom line at the top!

Not including various assorted expenditures (gas for car, gas for cooking):
so far $85, but this includes supplies for at least 3 more meals. So feeding 250 meals for $85, not a bad return (the smiles) on investment . One reason I became committed to feeding Occupy is that they feed everybody who shows up, and that includes a lot of the local homeless.

Update on Feb 13th 2012:  Total expenses so far
Food: $85 (Not including the vegetables from my own garden)
Gas: $15 per trip X 6 = $90 (This includes the trip I'll make tomorrow Tuesday Jan 23rd.)
Utensils/plates $20 per meal X 5 meals = $100
Jan 27th (MoveIn day) $30 food + $15 gas = $45 (200 meals - 8 large aluminium trays)
Feb 4th $20 food + $15 gas = $35 (100 full meals)
Feb 12th $30 food + $15 gas = $45 (70 full meals)
Feb 19th $30 food and $15 gas = $45 (70 meals)
March 4th $30 food and $15 gas = $45 (70 meals)

Cost per meal: ~ ($85 food + $ 90 gas + $100 plates etc)/ ~300 =less than a buck!

Total donations:
Dec 2011 MM1 $10
Dec 2011 M2 Life Coach $10
Jan 20th M2 Life Coach $25
Jan 20th Nikunj Jhaveri $50
Feb 4th cash: $2
Feb 4th Rajesh Aji: $20
Feb 12th cash donations at GA: $45 (When I left $52 had been collected in a donations jar, with amounts ranging from 25c to $20. With Leila's permission, I took $45 towards gas money, which is an unrecompensable expense from OccupyHungerOakland's budget.)
Feb 12th: 50 lb.s of lemons and oranges gleaned with Nick's help from a neighbours garden. The oranges were the only fresh fruit available on Feb 12th and were quickly devoured (as were my Vangibhath and Puliyogare) and the fabulous lemons (I was eating the peels raw!) were distributed to the cooks to make either lemon tea or jellies/jams.
Feb 12th: I collected 20 lbs of produce to cook for the next time.
Feb 19th: No cash donations: forgot to place cup. 30 lbs of produce to cook up.
March 4th: Krishanu Bannerjee: $50
March 4th: Cash donations $17 towards gas (We collected $33, another cook and I split the money for gas.)
March 4th: 40 lbs of produce: flowering broccoli, mustard greens, arbi, potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli.

I will be very happy to receive small donations (~$10, feeds 15 people) to cover my costs. If you do donate, it will, it already has, fed people who are either homeless or are standing up for you.

No accountability: most of you know me and can take my word.

I'll buy a private jet and three cups of tea with all the excess cash, seems like the thing to do lately.






Wednesday, December 7, 2011


The ingredients for meal number 3:
Beans, Chorizo, hocks, tocino    - slooooow cooked for potage 1

Pumpkin from our garden:

to be sauteed in garlic before going into the pots.

This person nabbed the greens trying to get away.

What kind of greens were they? Why, collard greens of course!

canned frijoles for potage 2, spices not shown
empty bowls

happy person 1

soon to be happy person

Meagan - kitchen lady and so much more

happy person 2

Happy peeps 3 and 4.
 These are the real people you'll be feeding if you can find a way to contribute.