The faces and voices of Occupy - Page 4

A mechanic, a nurse, a leukemia patient, a cat owner, and a pair of queer activists: Don't believe the hype, they are occupiers too

|
(33)
Jessica Martin: "My mother stood on the steps [of the Lincoln Memorial] in D.C. with Martin Luther King."
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

In the gray areas lives our emerging autonomy and interdependence — an autonomy not contingent on capitalism's insistence on utility. We are not useful. We are not legible. And in that lack of utility and that illegibility, we are not controllable. Because we do not have one demand, but rather a cornucopia of desire. We're making our fabulous fucked-up world for ourselves, with each other. We always have. (Morales and Goldberg)

Li Morales and Molly Goldberg are members of SF Pride at Work/HAVOQ, a San Francisco-based collective of queers organizing for social and economic justice.

 

The mechanic

reZz keeps Occupy's tires filled

Photo by David Martinez

On a Sunday afternoon at Occupy SF, Bike Kitchen volunteer reZz exported the education-oriented bike shop's mission — and its tools — to Justin Herman Plaza. There he stood, fixing alignment on the wheels of passers-by and occupiers — for free. "Occupy Bike Shop," as he and other volunteers have come to call the service, has been tinkering out in the plaza two to three times a week.

"It's been lovely," he said later in a phone interview with the Guardian. "I've purposefully been in a place where it's open to people in the encampment and people who are passing by. People who stop want to see the occupation in it's most positive light." reZz wouldn't consider camping out at Occupy, but that's not to say that he doesn't truck with the movement's message that public space can — and should — be repurposed.

An avid biker himself, he thinks public bike repair is a great re-envisioning tactic. And fixing poor people's bikes sends its own message. "This year's junk is an invented need," he said. "We're falling into debt because we think we need a new car every year. Part of the idea of fixing people's bikes and showing them how to do it brings us away from the artificial scarcity whereby the robber barons and capitalists insist we have to struggle against each other instead of working with each other." (Donohue)


The medic

Miran Istina has cancer — and helps others

Guardian photo by Yael Chanoff

It had grown dark, and the OccupySF camp was restless as many signs pointed to a raid that night at 101 Market Street. But 18-year-old Miran Istina sat calmly on the sidewalk, medical supplies spread over her lap. "As a medic for OccupySF," said Istina, "It's my job to have a well-supplied, well-organized medical kit."

The tall, wide-eyed teenager, who spends some of the time in a wheelchair, is not just a medic at camp. She has done police liaison and media work as well. And she has a remarkable story.

When she was 14, Istina was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Her family had purchased her health insurance only three months before, and the cancer was in stage two, indicating that she had been sick for at least one year. So the company denied her treatment, which would include a bone-marrow transplant, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, on the basis of a pre-existing condition.

Comments

In 2002 I and others helped pass a resolution in San Francisco bringing far more dignity to animal companions by having city documents refer to those who care for animals as 'guardians' rather than mere 'owners'. The cold term 'owner' gives our animal companions the status of objects or possessions, instead of giving them the full deserved respect of individuals with rights and independent personal lives.

It would be great if you all at the SF Guardian could also honor that evolution in the use of language which gives greater respect to our animal companions.

thanks

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 23, 2011 @ 2:10 am

I am a dog owner. I love my dog. Having said that, I dont agree that she has an independent personal life or that she has the same civil rights as a human being.
She is completely, utterly dependent on me for even the most basic needs.

There was/is no need for the city to validate my relationship with my dog - period.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

was also depicted as an evolution in the use of of language. This is one of the funniest comments I've ever read in the SFBG. Thanks Eric! And Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Chromefields on Nov. 23, 2011 @ 11:57 am

Your crass, juvenile, drunken-frat-boy level assault on every comment that has anything to do with decency and fairness on this site, is pathetic and disgusting.

Posted by Estel on Nov. 23, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

Luna is actually deaf, not blind! Just thought I would clarify that. Also, she is a very sweet kitty. =]

Posted by Two Horses' Niece on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

Just don't sit on her.

Posted by Two Horses' other Niece on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

Luna is actually deaf, not blind! Just thought I should clarify. Also, she is a very sweet kitty. =]

Posted by Two Horses' Niece on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

is from Orwell's novel 1984, Estel. You should read it before you comment again. It's an essential tool for understanding liberalism's penchant for conformity and intolerance.

Posted by Chromefields on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 11:18 am

And unlike yourself, I understood what I read.

1984 is a cautionary allegory on the rise of totalitarianism and fascism. Its commentary on liberalism is the warning that it will be deceptively adopted as sheep's clothing to hide totalitarianism and fascism.

I have indeed read and understood my subject before commenting.

Perhaps you should go beyond learning to read, and now learn to think...

Posted by Estel on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

is that liberalism doesn't use language as discussed in the lunch room scene of 1984.

And also that liberals can never be authoritarian?

At the time of the writing the various members of the left were doing intellectual back flips around the various Stalinist pronouncements and antics. For example it was common for western "intellectuals" to follow the show trials and explain them away, or partake in anti or pro Trotsky-ism for whatever reason based on Kremlin directives.

Your understanding of the book is touching.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

The fact that you see no real distinction between liberalism and Stalinism, tells us all we need to know about your capacity for political thought, and your analysis of the messages of '1984'.

Posted by Estel on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Goldstein

Goldstein was a stand in for Trotsky. The book can equally stand in for the goofy right as it does for the left, like Hofstadter's...

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/jfk/conspiracy_theory/the_paranoid_mentality/th...

... where you can find left wing 9/11 conspiracy theorists trying to cite him about just the right. Your ravings about 1984 being just about the fascists and whatnot are plainly wrong.

I take it you have never read Homage to Catalonia, where Orwell spends a lot of time on his loathing of the goofy left for it's intellectual swinging. You see he was upset that so many of them were so caught up in the movement that they would be apologists for anything.

You also have zero grasp of the left in that era, many were apologists for communism, and took sides in the Stalin/Trotsky issue, just as the goofy right in some countries were rooting for various fascists.

You're playing a game of definition where you get to define away all reality to suit your biases at this moment in time. Have a rap session with professor that told you that not agreeing with their political opinions is factual wrong.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

and/or what I don't understand, bears no resemblance to what you have just typed up in your tiny minded diatribe.

And regardless of Orwell's very real disdain for the many absurd vagaries of the left, these simply were not the emphasis of the novel 1984. Animal Farm is a far better example of the Orwellian critique of the left that you are blithely attributing to 1984. Unlike a one note ideologue like Rand, wonder of wonders, Orwell actually wrote different novels for different purposes and explorations.

As to your own rantings, you are absurdly painting the left with one reactionary brush as some mythical 'liberal' hoard of boogeymen. Juvenile. (And I note that you actually abandoned the 'liberal' misnomer as soon as I called you on it. Indeed, it is notable that the term 'liberal' does not even have the same meaning in Europe, that you were erroneously attributing to Orwell's attentions...)

In any case I'm not interested in debating political philosophy with someone who is on the sophomoric frat-boy mentality level that has been occupied by smart ass windbags like William F. Buckley, Jr.

I've got better things to do with my time.

Posted by Estel on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

And by the way, I must clear you up on one point, because you have it so ludicrously wrong that I feel compelled to.

Goldstein was not a 'stand in' for Trotsky or anyone else.

In 1984, 'Big Brother' created the fiction of 'Goldstein' in order to manipulate the public; this in just the same way that Ronald Regan and all U.S. presidents since have shifted from 'communists' to the mythical middle eastern 'terrorist' as the perpetual enemy of the state in order to enable both endless war and a draconian surveillance state without end. (Precisely the same function of Big Brother's 'Goldstein'.)

So Goldstein wasn't meant to represent anyone real at all.

The fact that you have such a simple elemental point of 1984 so confused, when even Wikipedia gets it, shows well that you don't have anywhere near the intellectual capacity to pontificate, as you are so narcissistically attempting to do, in your responses.

Posted by Estel on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

from the link

Not long after the novel's appearance,[1] a number of contemporary commentators noticed that the biography, appearance, writing style and political thought of Emmanuel Goldstein closely paralleled Leon Trotsky's. In 1954, Isaac Deutscher wrote that "The Book" in 1984 was intended as a "paraphrase" of Trotsky's The Revolution Betrayed.[2] In 1956, Irving Howe described Goldstein's book as "clearly a replica" of Trotsky's The Revolution Betrayed, writing that the parts that seemed to be imitating Trotsky were "among the best passages" of the novel.[3] Harold Bloom described Goldstein's book as a "parody" of The Revolution Betrayed, noting that Orwell was deeply ambivalent about Trotsky.[4] Christopher Hitchens has likewise written that the character is based on Trotsky.[5]

Posted by guest on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 1:22 am

Orwell drew upon aspects of Trotsky for aspects of Big Brother's fictional portrayal of the -imaginary- 'Goldstein'. Your totally specious assumption that 'Goldstein' was a real -character- in the novel -based- on Trotsky and serving as his 'stand in' is absurd.

Orwell was drawing from his experience to create metaphors in his work that gave ironic commentary to real life situations, such as the Stalin regime's demonization of Trotsky.

Goldstein was a representation of the Stalinist PORTRAYAL of Trotsky, NOT of Trotsky himself. That difference is absolutely fundamental, and is key to the entire meaning of the novel.

But you are course are too crass and absorbed in shallow trivial thinking to recognize the difference.

I wouldn't be surprised if you -still- don't recognize it, even though I have just spelled it out for you...

Posted by Estel on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 2:34 am
har

You keep changing your deep understanding of the book to fit the moment.

Posted by guest on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 9:23 am
No

You simply don't have the capacity for complex thought.

Posted by Estel on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 10:41 am

Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.[1] Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. The phrase was coined by Leon Festinger in his 1956 book When Prophecy Fails, which chronicled the followers of a UFO cult as reality clashed with their fervent beliefs.[2][3] It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology. A closely related term, cognitive disequilibrium, was coined by Jean Piaget to refer to the experience of a discrepancy between something new and something already known or believed.

Experience can clash with expectations as, for example, with buyer's remorse following the purchase of an expensive item. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise,[1] dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. People are biased to think of their choices as correct, despite any contrary evidence. This bias gives dissonance theory its predictive power, shedding light on otherwise puzzling irrational and destructive behavior.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

No wonder your posts are so laughable, your inability to comprehend what you read is... (OK, it's a newweek, be nice)....sadly lacking.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

@chromedome

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

But what's amusing is watching Estel's frenzy of self-serving exegesis brought on by the mere mention of 1984 (which she's read more than once), even as she claims to be too busy to make her point to the unwashed rabble. Now, pull that blanket over your knees and reheat your hot-water bottle, old fella. It's getting cold outside.

Posted by Chromefields on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 11:38 am

I was sadly humored as I read the article of Occupy Wall Street only to realize that these people are nut jobs. The article this site has been promoting is only fabricated with lies. Miran Istana is a figment of Mandy Chappell imagination and the story of her being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia is just as fictitious as the time she printed an ultra sound picture of a squirrel to show it off as her own pregnancy.

She has not been diagnosed with any cancer nor been denied any insurance from any company. This is just a depressing attempt to gain any attention, negative or positive from anyone that will give her the time of day. She means well, but the only examination she needs is one for her mind.

Posted by Former Teacher on Dec. 05, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

I was sadly humored as I read the article of Occupy Wall Street only to realize that your readers are sorely mislead. The article this site has been promoting is only fabricated with lies. Miran Istana is a figment of Mandy Chappell imagination and the story of her being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia is just as fictitious as the time she printed an ultra sound picture of a squirrel to show it off as her own pregnancy.

She has not been diagnosed with any cancer nor been denied any insurance from any company. This is just a depressing attempt to gain any attention, negative or positive from anyone that will give her the time of day. She means well, but the only examination she needs is one for her mind.

Posted by Former Teacher on Dec. 05, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

You are absolutely correct in everything you say about Mandey. I thought I was the only one on-line that new the truth and was trying to expose it. I am blown away that single-minded people don't care about the truth as long as the lie will continue to grow their cause. Shame on you occupiers that would use Mandey this way. She really is a sweet but very misguided young woman. Please DON'T encourage her by supporting her made up story.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

The Guardian got it wrong because they just interviewed her (Miran Istina, aka Mandey Tewalt, aka Mandey Chappell) and didn't check their facts. There was no place to comment on their article, so no one corrected them and it just got re-blogged, re-reported, and re-vomited up every where. Before Miran Istina's facebook page was deleted, you could have read through it all and seen the truth.

Posted by Dionne on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

Let's assume for the sake of argument that what you say is true and her portrayal of her life is metaphorical, rather than mundane.

It's still a powerful statement. A deep message.

So who cares.

Everyone makes their own contribution, in their own way.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 1:29 am

A made up story is not a powerful statement at all.

Posted by Dionne on Jan. 15, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

Everything in that piece on her is a lie and a figment of her imagination - and the Guardian bought it hook, line and sinker.

You idiots.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 08, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

I know she is lying. I know the truth about everything and i am sad to say she ended up breaking up with me over the fact that i knew the truth.

Posted by mandy's ex on Jan. 29, 2012 @ 2:38 am

Does anyone have some proof she is a liar?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 8:23 am

Miran AKA Mandey's MySpace page is MySpace.com/vampiras_kisses

There is no proof that she's lying. But it is suspicious. Also last night her twitter account said her sister had taken over tweeting and that Miran's heart had stopped beating 6 times, but she then started to recover. This morning Miran tweeted as herself that she was out of the hospital but going back because of blood in her vomit. Odd that someone would have their heart stop six times and be released hours later. I call bullshit.

Posted by Kim on Mar. 25, 2012 @ 10:47 am

Also from this author