Occupy I-5, Day 3. Occupy Olympia

Wednesday, November 30th
Occupy Olympia

After my brief visit to Occupy Tacoma, I drove another half hour south to Olympia. Someone at Occupy Tacoma had told me to go to the Capitol building from where I’d see the camp. I did that, parking near a grassy area where a large labor rally had apparently taken place earlier that morning. One of the people helping tear down the stage directed me northward to a path to the camp. Turns out Occupy Olympia’s camp is more than a stone’s throw, so I drove around, but not before taking a look at what was happening on the Capitol building steps.

While I was told later that there probably had been people inside, the scene on the steps was quiet. Continue reading

Occupy I-5, Day 5

A little catching up, Friday, December 2. Posies Cafe, Portland, OR.

I’m in Portland this morning, probably heading to Eugene later for the General Assembly tonight. On Wednesday, I visited Occupy Tacoma again and Occupy Olympia. I spent yesterday up in Longview, Washington, talking with some rank and file longshoremen, as well as a stop in to the Port Of Longview office and a meeting of the nascent Occupy Longview group. Continue reading

Occupy I-5, Day 3. Occupy Tacoma

Well, this is actually Friday, December 2nd, day five, but I’m catching up on the last couple days. I’ll post on Occupy Eugene, where I’ve been at this evening after I write up days three and four. I was actually on the road out of Eugene tonight, on my way home, when I decided that if I didn’t put my notes from this trip into posts, it wouldn’t happen. Once I get home, I’ll shift gears and the frame of mind from this trip will be lost. So I got a reasonably cheap motel room, went back to Occupy Eugene camp for a while to hang out with friends. Having drunk way too much coffee in preparation for a long-night’s drive, I’ll hopefully be able to catch up.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011.
I returned to Occupy Tacoma for a brief visit and to snap some photos in the daylight. Continue reading

Occupy I-5 tour, Day 2

Tuesday, November 29th

Occupy Seattle

I arrived at OccupySeattle today around lunch time, in fact just minutes after lunch ran out. They don’t have much of a kitchen, partly because there is no running water there and the health dept. has apparently been breathing down their necks about it. A local food kitchen donates scores of hot meals every day, so they serve that till it’s gone, along with daily breakfast and coffee.

Since the food tents are usually where the most people congregate, that is where I went first to get the feel of the camp. Just as the person in front of me was told that the food was gone, a middle-aged couple showed up and asked where to donate blankets and socks and other items. They were directed to the info tent, but not before I grabbed a quick interview. Shortly afterward, I got another story from one of the kitchen crew.

Occupy Seattle at Seattle Central Community College front lawn area

Continue reading

Occupy Interstate-5 Tour, Day 1 (part I)

Monday, November 28th, 2011, Seattle, WA

I lived in Bellingham, Washington back in the late ’80s. It was and is a gorgeous place, every piece of soil tree-covered, sitting on Bellingham Bay with the North Cascades visible in the distance. I first went there with my then-girlfriend, Val, who has lived there ever since. We had some crazy times in that town back then and my memories are almost all good ones. I’ve only been back a few times since I moved to California in 1995, but I always love it. The weather, though, with its seemingly endless drizzle, gets me down. I’ve been lucky to get some good weather most of the occasions I’ve had to visit.

I’ve got other friends here from my forest activism days in the Pacific Northwest and spent last night with a number of them, eating Thanksgiving leftovers and nibbling on ice cream with chocolate and brandied peaches (compliments of my friend Jennie from Finney Farm) to sweeten the conversation that lingered into the early morning hours. I had originally planned to get up early, do a quick report on OccupyBellingham and then dash to OccupyOlympia for a rally at the state capitol building today. Continue reading

Occupy Interstate 5, Day One, (part 2)

Monday, November 29th, 2011
Occupy Bellingham
Occupy Bellingham on Facebook
Occupy Tacoma
Occupy Tacoma on Facebook

I left Bellingham in the early afternoon and stopped in Mt. Vernon, half an hour to the south, at the food co-op for lunch and more coffee. After leaving Bellingham in ’89, I lived up the Skagit River from there, near the town of Concrete, where some friends and I co-founded a community land trust called Finney Farm that is still going to this day. Looking up the valley into the fog-shrouded North Cascades brought back a familiar longing. When the weather is nice, it is one of the most beautiful places anywhere. I knew the mountains were lurking up there out of sight. Continue reading