The #OccupyPortland Interfaith Guild of Chaplains
Notes from Sarah (#OccupyThanksgivingPDX recap): Mic check! It was quite a weather on this year's Thanksgiving day, but many people came amidst an occasional 25-35 mph wind and heavy rain. Thank you! And also the news crew from KOIN, KPTV and KGW, as well as from the #OccupyPortland Livestream, and a mention in The Oregonian and KATU!
Initially I was concerned that we might not have enough food -- but it turned out otherwise. Even around 5 p.m. we had two picnic tables full of really good stuff, as well as more-than-enough supply of paper plates and such. At the end, they were delivered to Right2Dream Too (R2D2) -- thanks to Nathan, who has a car -- as we were unable to get either the OP food team or Food Not Bombs.
We saw many of our active member chaplains, who hadn't seen each other in the same place for over a couple of weeks now, as well as both familiar and new faces. People came in waves, with new food coming in throughout the event, in part thanks to the publicity provided through the official Occupy website and the food team telling donors to bring food to the Wallace Park instead on Thanksgiving. We are also honored to see a group of Occupiers from Wall Street visiting us briefly. One of the Occupiers noted how small the Zuccotti Park actually is.
While most of the crowd had left by 4 p.m., we thought it was a good idea to have this event running until much later -- since there is virtually nothing open after early afternoon on a Thanksgiving day, and there may be people in search for food (the truth: there is nothing around dinner time). A few people did indeed came and went, perhaps aided by the late-afternoon tweets that have been RT'ed by quite a few, and then I saw a couple with a stroller (and I heard "meow! meow! meow!" from the stroller!), apparently unaware of this event. They said they were just kicked out of the place they were staying and were about to find a sleeping spot that was shielded from rain and wind. Most of leftover items that were already opened and half-eaten went to this couple, and the turkey scraps to the meowy cat, who was more interested in smelling my leg than the turkey at first. The cat looked like a Maine coon-tabby mix, so was big and had big eyes and a big head.
The mock Thanksgiving GA did not happen -- mostly because people were already deeply engaged in conversations.
We hoped that this event would re-capture the sense of community that was ever-present in our former Alpha and Beta camps. For the most part, this event has been a success beyond my earlier projection.
Thank you everyone.
Now #Occupy Black Friday!
What is new with the IGC? Can I still become involved? As many people of faith look into this part of the year as a time of reflections (for example, Advent, which is considered a penitential season according to the Christian liturgical calendar, in preparation for Christmas) and community, we are also looking into ways to bring awareness of the issues behind the #Occupy movement as well as to bring the community together across diverse spiritual traditions. We are always looking for more involvement, especially by those who can be actively engaged around #OccupyPortland actions and events. As the #OccupyPortland movement is planning on several actions and moves over this holiday season, we also would like to be ready for actions and be flexible to the latest developments as they occur. We will be resuming the weekly planning meeting on Thursdays at 3 p.m. starting December 1. Contact Sarah if you are interested.