Have you ever flown by rocket ship beyond the Black Magellanic Cloud? For years, Vera had longed for adventure and thought she had all the tools to meet it. Now that adventure is actually before her, she cannot seem to muster the courage of a cosmonaut. Vera is heading to a planet entirely populated not by men or women as we know them, but by massive upright lizards. Who can say that these creatures, with their strong jaws and immense hands, beclawed and wrapped in the armor of their thick reptilian skin, will not develop a taste for human meat?
But Vera is the daughter of seasoned galactic travelers. Both of her parents are translators for the United Planets. Surely the polite and peaceful ways of the interplanetary diplomatic corps are up to the task of survival?
In 2011, in a free display of their constitutional right to assembly, people across America, and in countries around the world, occupied public space. Though they were a heterogeneous group, all displayed a general dissatisfaction with the radical inequality of our country. All displayed the opinion that America had run afoul of its founding purpose. Five years later, we can hardly say this feeling has left us. The vitriol of the present election surely is the dark side of what was the buoyancy of the Occupy movement.
As a means to draw attention to a cause, the tactic of occupation is unimpeachable. The Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota are at present occupying space to protest a pipeline scheduled to be built under the Missouri River upstream and within hailing distance of their reservation. They have been encamped in small numbers since early spring of this year and beginning in July, when work began in earnest, have swelled their numbers to around three thousand with Native allies and others from around the country joining them. They have plans to stay encamped somehow through the frigid Midwestern winter.
The following interview is excerpted from the book Why We Occupy, a collection of interviews taken in Liberty Plaza in downtown Manhattan during the time of the occupation. Why did the people occupy? What were their purposes and goals? Of course, they will have to answer that themselves.