It’s Valentines Day, and Occupiers are showing our love. In New York, OWS held a bed-in and kiss-in against elected officials in bed with Wall Street. Others joined with social and environmental justice groups to break up with Bank of America for profiting from unjust foreclosures and the destruction of the environment. After Occupiers in Tacoma were unjustly tazed by police after shouting down presidential candidate Rick Santorum during a speech against same-sex marriage in Washington state, Occupy Austin brought same-sex couples to ask for marriage licenses in the Texas capital. Across the world, we encourage supporters to break up with their banks – Occupy Los Angeles is even marching to banks to break up in person.
Love is not a commodity that can be purchased. We show our love by fighting for a better world.
We show love by resisting foreclosures to keep families in their homes. Today in Chino, CA, Occupy LA is figting to save the home of an active-duty soldier by disrupting the foreclosure auction after Wells Fargo is trying to leave his family and children homeless. Thousands of supporters helped Occupy Nashville save the home of a local 78-Year-Old Civil Rights Activist. Occupy Minneapolis has also pledged to save a third home in response to the National Mortgage Settlement.
We show love by resisting economic policies that will make life harder for 99% of us. Hundreds of thousands gathered in their respective squares in Portugal, Greece, and Spain to protest austerity measures devastating working people. In Athens, students occupied schools and mental health service providers who were sacked occupied their workplaces.
We show love by taking care of each other and our communities. The Occupy Eugene Medical Team occupies their city and brings doctors to serve the community every Sunday. Later this month, Occupy Orlando is holding an All Share Weekend where they will be giving away food and other items and marching with civil rights organizations to show “people care, community shares.”
We show love by fighting alongside workers who are losing their jobs. Last week, several members of Occupy Atlanta were arrested while shutting down a Chase Bank branch in protest of economic inequality. Yesterday, as Occupy Philadelphia protested Comcast on the same day, Occupy Atlanta joined with unions and labor groups to Occupy the AT&T headquarters in an effort to save hundreds of jobs. Despite several arrests, they continued their protest outside AT&T today.
We show love by building and defending systems that provide for our collective needs. Occupy Newark was served with an eviction notice. After 130 days, Occupy Houston was evicted. Occupy Maine was evicted after 4 months. But Occupy Honolulu survived its seventh eviction attempt and passed 100 days of continual occupation. Encampments at around fifty other cities in North America alone also still stand strong. Occupy the University of California-Berkeley set up tents, and students in Maryland and Massachusetts set up networks to support their Occupations. Shortly after their forced eviction of McPherson Square, the DC government passed new regulations criminalizing Occupations. But Occupy DC is anything but defeated. After thousands joined the labor community to march in protest of a right wing conference, Occupy DC set up tents in front of Merrill Lynch yesterday.
We show love by growing solidarity between different social justice movements. Today, students from across Pennsylvania held a Valentine’s Rally to Fall Back in Love with Public Education. Yesterday, Occupy Seattle marched with port trick drivers on strike. In Frankfort, KY, Occupiers joined a massive protest against the environmental and social consequences of mountaintop removal coal mining on local communities.
We show love by defending one another from police violence. Today, Occupy Portland followed Oakland, San Francisco, and others in protesting against police brutality and state repression. Recently, Occupy Oajkland also held a community forum on police actions. In New York, Occupy the Hood organized a community speak-out against police violence in the Bronx.
We show love by standing with revolutionaries fighting for democracy and economic justice across the world. Last weekend, Occupy Portland became the latest Occupation to march against more wars abroad and to say No War on Iran. OWS in New York marched in solidarity with occupiers fighting mass eviction in Pinheirinho, Brazil. It is the one year anniversary of uprisings in Bahrain that helped kick off the Arab Spring that inspired OWS to take action, and protesters continue to face massive and deadly repression. In Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere in Arab world, protesters continue to suffer extreme violence for demanding freedom from oppressive structures.
This spring, there will be even more opportunities to show your love! Here are just a few dates to keep:
Feb. 20th (#F20): Show love for prisoners and communities impacted by the prison industrial complex with the National Day in Support of Prisoners.
Feb. 29th (#F29):: Show love for the 99% by Shutting Down the Corporations
Mar.1st: Show love for students at the National Day of Action in Defense of Education.
May 1st (#M1GS): Show love for Occupy, workers, and im/migrants by organizing for a People’s General Strike!