Though Occupy Wall Street camps may have been forcibly destroyed in a nation-wide coordinated attack, the offshoots of Occupy Wall Street are still going strong by engaging in direct action campaigns throughout the country on a variety of 99% issues.
Strike Debt recently abolished over $14 million of personal debt. Occupy The SEC received numerous citations in the implementation of the Volcker Rule. And now Occupy Madison has helped a homeless couple get a home for Christmas.
For many couples, the thought of living together in a 96-square-foot house sounds awful. But for Chris Derrick and Betty Ybarra, it’s a Christmas miracle. That’s because Derrick and Ybarra have spent the better part of a year braving Madison, Wisconsin’s often-harsh climate without a roof over their head.
They’ll spend this Christmas in their own home, thanks to more than 50 volunteers with Occupy Madison, a local Wisconsin version of the original Occupy Wall Street group in New York. The group, including Derrick and Ybarra, spent the past year on an innovative and audacious plan to fight inequality in the state’s capital: build tiny homes for the homeless.
But wait, wasn’t the corporate media’s concern troll attack on the Occupy Movement that they weren’t specific enough? That nothing tangible was presented?
Well what is more tangible then giving the homeless homes?
The “Tiny House Project” began the same month. The plan was for volunteers to build micro-homes that still include living necessities like a bed, insulation, and a toilet. The homes are heated via propane and include a pole-mounted solar panel to power the house’s light. The total cost: $3,000, paid for by private donations.
Rather than building the homes on a particular lot of land — and thus adding another expense — the houses are mounted on trailers which can be legally parked on the street, as long as they’re moved every 48 hours. Parking on the street may not even be necessary after Occupy organizers successfully convinced the Madison Common Council recently to change the city’s zoning laws so the homes could be parked on private property with permission.
Abolishing personal debt, helping to write tougher financial regulations, giving improvised homes to the homeless then changing zoning laws to allow their use – clearly these Occupy folks just don’t understand what it takes to get things done. Very Serious People in The Village are right.
Unfortunately one thing that is true about the limitations of the Occupy Movement is that DC is still determined to sow suffering throughout America and the world with massive war spending, bankster bailouts, and the continued effort to build an all encompassing Surveillance State to promote corporate power.
The Occupy Movement can’t do much about that, at least not yet.
Photo by Justin Bianchi, used under Creative Commons license