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Thanksgiving Light Brigades &c

Posted in Austin, Firedoglake, Life, Occupy Wall Street, and Published

WALMART & a frowning Walmart face in lights
Kit O’Connell (far left) and the Austin Overpass Light Brigade on Thanksgiving, 2012

Thanksgiving was a full one for me! Occupy Austin gathered at the ROOTS EcoVillage, a small permaculture cooperative launched by occupiers, for a massive potluck feast. There were almost all the holiday favorites, and more food than anyone could eat, and every time that a new wave of people would arrive there was a collective groan as we all reached for our plates and decided to check out the next course.

Potluck table overflowing with Thanksgiving foods
Occupy Austin Turkey Day Massacree 2012

After that it was off to Walmart for Black Friday (Thursday?). Not to shop, of course, but to join the natonwide protests. I wrote about my experiences with the Austin Overpass Light Brigade and direct actions inside Walmart stores over on Firedoglake:

Overpass Light Brigades across the country joined in support of Walmart workers and the Organization United for Respect (OUR Walmart) on Thursday night, as they took part in what the Nation called the largest US strike ever against the world’s largest employer. Using Facebook and other modern methods of mobilization, Light Brigades from at least a half dozen cities worked almost simultaneously at different Walmarts around the nation.

I attended a protest at a Walmart in South Austin. Though it was called by members of OUR Walmart, I wasn’t able to verify that any workers walked out anywhere in Austin, though there were reports of walkouts in Dallas. It was hard to blame the workers, given reports of widespread threats against worker walkouts. At the location where we gathered on Ben White in Austin, Texas Rangers were present. Rangers have a very long history of being used for strike-breaking. A Ranger, along with a group of Walmart managers, monitored protesters the entire time we were present. I was threatened with arrest for taking their photo while on Walmart property.

Read more on Firedoglake.

For those of you who have read some of my older entries, the lover I referred to as Pet moved back to Houston last weekend. We got to spend some time together before she left, and she’s visiting next week, but it was still sad as it was a door closing on one part of our relationship and I am sure both of us have some regrets.

You hear the aphorism ‘live life with no regrets’ from time to time, but real life is messier than aphorisms. The idea that we should go for it and chase our dreams is often a worthy one. Yet things don’t always work out the way we planned them to happen, and I know I’m mourning the death of that imagined alternative outcome.

Yesterday I tried Austin’s Counter Culture Restaurant, which is becoming justifiably famous for its vegan comfort food. I’d eaten at their food cart back before they opened a brick and mortar restaurant. I’m not sure why I waited this long to try their mac & cheeze but I’m in love.

There’s a lot to do in the garden (thanks to Texas’ ridiculous growing season) and so I’m going to get out in the sun for a while.

On Tuesday, November 27 at 11am PST I’ll be hosting a Firedoglake book salon with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!  to discuss her book The Silenced Majority. Join us to discuss politics, Occupy, journalism, and so on.

Light Brigade photo by Jack McCabe, used with permission. Food photo by Kit O’Connell.

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