Occupy: Not As Soglin Says

Posted May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:27 AM by

I can’t believe how irresponsible Soglin is being in talking about the Occupy site. I wish he had visited it to see for himself and taken the time to meet some of the people staying there and find out about who they are, so he’d know how absurd his statements are. As I talked to some of the city staff, joking that they should point out where the hazardous materials were that they were afraid to touch, it became clear to me, the Soglin was just out of touch. As furious as I am about his false statements about sexual assaults and the site being hazardous and his scattering of people back out into our parks and neighborhoods and streets,  I’m going to ignore that for now – and show you what really happened the last few days.  The community he was hell bent on destroying.

THE SITE
I should have taken more pictures, but here’s just a few. Notice, no needles or hazardous waste in any of my pictures. Even if I had taken more photos of the site, I doubt I could have found any. I was there many, many times in open toed shoes and never felt threatened by the alleged hazards or bodily fluids.

This is them turning this structure into a boat . . .

THE CONFUSION
Over the weekend, the police were sticking by their word, that people had to be out by noon on Monday, apparently the word from the court didn’t trickle down through the ranks. Doesn’t really inspire confidence. Captain Gloede was there first thing Monday morning to assure people that it was just miscommunication. Here’s some of the silly things the city did to spread the word that people had to be out.

They put these signs, laminated, on each tent . . .

Even the boat got an eviction notice.

In fact, it got two.  One for being a structure, one for being a vehicle.


THE RALLY
Outside
I should have grabbed a picture as I walked up, but there were about 100 people there around 1:00. People from the site and supporters from the community.  Do these look like violent drug users and their supporters?

The message for the Mayor.

The people, supporters and Occupiers.

It ended outside, when the noise became too much, so we went inside so we could hear the speakers.

Inside the Lobby

Singing and Dancing inside the Lobby of the City County Building

Outside the Mayor’s Office

This is the 69 year old retired person who was arrested later in the evening.

As I left the city county building to go back to work, I was amused by this that was greeting people entering the city-county building.

THE TEAR DOWN
Removing the heat source, and a place to dry your clothes and blankets after the rain.

See?

How do you carry that pile of your belongings with you? Or do you just leave it behind?

Or, all this food, which was donated to the local food pantries. Wrap your head around that. Homeless people donating food to the food pantries because even tho they may be hungry today, they can’t carry it with them.

THE ABSURD BEHAVIOR
How many supervisors did the city need to send to watch all the work being done by the people who Occupied? How much money per hour is being wasted here?  (That’s the department heads for Fleet Services, Streets, Building Inspection – Parks was also there earlier.)

Same old playbook. Bring out the street sweepers to intimidate people (like Mifflin St and Freakfest) and get them to leave even tho that is what they are already doing. Again, how much money did this cost? And is that really the image they want for our city, sweeping the homeless away?

Although the structures were taken down a day early, the city was in a hurry to flex their muscle, so they threw away materials that were intended to be recycled or given to Habitat Restore.  It’s mostly wood that was piled there to be removed by Wednesday at noon, as the court instructed.

And, then there is this issue which is why the hazardous waste/bodily fluids issue is so obnoxious . . . and something to think about as people disperse back into the parks . . . and the council gave the park rangers authority to write more tickets.

THE END OF THIS SITE, FOR NOW
A day early . . .

Why is the news reporting this morning that the city is going back out to clean up the site today?  What’s left?

WHAT’S LEFT? WHERE DID PEOPLE GO?
It was a rough day yesterday. At one point, I made one of the “tough guys” on the site cry with a pretty small kind gesture. At which point, I started to cry . . . being uncomfortable, he quickly found someone else on the site to come hug me! :) There were a lot of tears yesterday. As I asked people “how will I find you now” I got different answers from different people. Earlier in the day, it was mostly “I don’t know”. A few people had phones that were still working, so I made sure to get their numbers. Others told me the place in the parks they had picked out to camp where they wouldn’t be bothered. I told some people where I worked so they could find me when they went to the Luke House for food. As the morning wore on, people’s plans changed and some made plans to stick together. I obviously didn’t talk to everyone I wanted to cuz some had left already. But, last night, after a surreal day of the Occupy site, the absurd city behavior, the donating food from the homeless, the Homeless Services Consortium meeting where most people had no clue what was going on at the Occupy site and they asked me how many people were honestly looking for housing, and the City Council meeting where they didn’t know that our community got $350-400K more in money for the homeless or probably what it was being spent on and also gave park rangers the ability to ticket homeless people . . . after that bizarre day, I walked out of the city-county building and you know what, I ran into one of the Occupiers sitting on a bench. He told me why he didn’t want to go to the shelters, safety and cleanliness issues and he thought if he went it would count against his 60 days for the year, and I told him I didn’t know because the paper reported one thing, the Porchlight staff reported another at the Homeless Services Consortium and I was actually confused at this point. But, we shook hands, I got his name (I recognize the faces, don’t know all the names) and told him I’d be back to let him know what I found out . . . hope he’s still around there and found some shelter from the rain last night and has a plan for the upcoming thunderstorms.


Categories: | Dane | Madison | Media

Forward Lookout's Comment Policy - use a real e-mail, if not an actual name. We don't share your e-mail with anyone.
blog comments powered by Disqus