As thousands of people across the country occupy their city streets to decry our current political and financial state, a movement is certainly growing. Occupy Wall Street, now approaching a month of protest, has spawned similar occupations on both ends of the country, as well as abroad.
But how does it effect us? Can FoPo be occupied?
Foster-Powell is the antithesis of Wall Street. For every shiny high-rise in downtown Manhattan, a foreclosed home sits vacant and in decay in Foster-Powell. And for every suit walking down Nassau Street, a carpenter, nurse, or student strolls down Foster in search for coffee, plumbing supplies, or a beer after work.
But when the stock market closes, and Wall Street lays dormant until the morning bell, FoPo’s pulse keeps beating, as gardens are tended, dogs are walked, and kids play at the park. And between the vacant storefronts and cracked sidewalks, a community thrives. And grows. And organizes.
The Occupy movement has spanned two coasts, caught national attention, and found supporters as far away as Egypt. In Portland, downtown streets have been claimed in unity with those occupying Wall Street, LA, and San Francisco. The movement’s members, although varied in both motive and focus, share a goal of disrupting the status quo, something that, at this point, needs to be disrupted.
While we do not espouse a political view on this blog, nor presume that any one view is common to the neighborhood as a whole, it is worth considering how we can stage our own “Occupy FoPo” movement. No one’s interested in setting up camps at Laurelwood Park, nor would it be practical or even productive. To go further, a political statement isn’t even necessary. But what we can do is own our neighborhood. Think globally, but act locally. Bike, walk, and jog the streets. Make your neighborhood a community. Support your local businesses. Plant a tree. Recycle. Support your neighborhood association.
Claim it as your own…
You don’t have go downtown to make your community what you want it to be. Start at home. Start in FoPo.