Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Occupy Tucson: Solace in the city

Bob Zavoda at Occupy Tucson. Also shown
are peace keepers in front of kitchen and
information center at Armory Park downtown

Tents form a circle at Occupy Tucson
Armory Park downtown

Occupy Tucson satellite site downtown.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

TUCSON -- Pigeons make their way across the grass as people visit outside the information booth at Occupy Tucson. There is a sweetness here, where green apples are on the table next to a large gourd carved for Halloween. When dinner arrives from a distant kitchen, the aroma of lasagna fills the air on the lawn of Armory Park, outside the senior center.
There is talk of donated solar panels and the morning appearances in court. There were about 300 citations for occupying this space. Pleas of not guilty were entered at the arraignment.
In the middle of the courts downtown, there is a new Occupy Tucson satellite camp. Sitting around the park table, young people talk about political theories, and what occupying this space means to them. One young man arrives with chocolate chip cookies. There is talk of where to charge laptops and where to shower.
Bob Zavoda takes a cardboard sign in hand and stands on the busy downtown corner as passerby honk horns.
"This is what it is all about," he says, referring to the sign he is holding. "The corporations are taking over."
The night before, walking between the two camps, there was the stillness and quiet of downtown Tucson. A local ministry was serving hot chocolate and hot chicken soup out of the back of their car, just as they have done for the past six years.
In the night, a row of people sat outside the library, sipping their hot drinks.
"It is like a big slumber party," says my friend, laughing, as we walk again between the camps in the Tucson night.
Another friend, O'odham, is one of the peacekeepers at Occupy Tucson at night.
On the bulletin board, there is the face of Tucson. There is an announcement for the migrant walk on Saturday to San Xavier. Walkers will carry crosses bearing the names of migrants who have died in the Sonoran Desert.
Friday night at Armory Park is family night, with parents and children planning to camp out.
"What about the citations?" I ask. No one has the answer yet.
Around the corner, at Shot in the Dark Cafe, where an Occupy Tucson benefit concert was held, occupiers drink ice tea and coffee and use the wifi. A sign in the window says simply: "Occupy Tucson."
As usual, at 10:30 p.m., Tucson police issue their citations, after another long day where police appear to be extremely bored, watching people at Armory Park.

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