Originally posted on my tumblr, on which I'm following the Occupy movements in upstate New York as closely as I can - http://mangiaratti.tumblr.com
On Saturday, October 15, the Global Day of action, about 300 people showed up to "Occupy Binghamton," a protest that is part of a grassroots movement organized by a large group of people, including Binghamton University, Broome Community College, and the union AFO-CIO. The event began at the park located at the corner of Court St. and State St. in Binghamton, where participants gathered to hold signs for an hour before having a general assembly and citizen speak out.
Cars passing by honked their approval. Some participants could be overheard remarking to each other, "Don't honk, join us."
Click to read more and see photos.
Having just returned from Occupy Wall Street - NYC, I have learned much about the capacity of people to cooperate and connect. Finally, I see the end to the tunnel of citizen apathy, diminished expectations and assured mutual self destruction. Finally, I see young, old, able, disabled, fortunate and unfortunate sharing, caring and working in the streets for a sustainable future. It is wonderful to witness and more wonderful to participate in.
The permit to occupy Liberty Park (Zuccotti Park) didn't include P.A systems or megaphones. Thus, people use people to transmit speakers' words and phrases during General Assembly each evening. The speaker stops often for various parts of the crowd to echo the last spoken clause, before resuming. The crowd reverberates the words and soul of the speaker. We are joined, listening carefully, responding carefully, caring considerably.
If a person wishes to speak or interrupt, he or she or she/he yells out "MIKE CHECK, MIKE CHECK, MIKE CHECK". The crowd noise invariably lowers, and the new speaker begins to lead the discussion. Interruptions are infrequent, but honored. The mutual respect is palpable.
Each morning at nine, representatives from the various "working groups" sit cross-legged on the concrete under a large red sculpture that to me resembles a spinning gyroscope. Members of the clean-up crew weave around sleeping bodies and this small forum of consensus elected reps. Here too, one hears a muted "Mike check, Mike check, Mike check". In this case, the caller can't hear the current speaker and signals to the person to speak up. Courtesy abounds here. Many working groups report - Coordinating, Internet, Sanitation, Art and Music, Outreach, Logistics, Disabilities, Public Relations, Financial, etc. All are given opportunity to share their concerns, aspirations and daily accomplishments, but kept on point and within time constraints. These people are organizing for the long haul, but keeping the short term problems center stage. They sense time has arrived for them to build a movement from the ground up and are taking their role in it seriously.
It is time for us, however we can, to "MIKE CHECK, MIKE CHECK, MIKE CHECK" and take our time to speak out or, at least, make sure we hear and transmit the messages coming from this growing movement. We all can do something, here, there, at work or at play to keep the momentum growing. Wall Street is finally getting nervous and it's not from regulators in NYC or Washington, DC. It from activated citizens who are standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the streets worldwide.
The "99%" have more power than the "1%" who own most of our country. We just need to collectively exercise that might through non-violence and focused action here and now.
Susquehanna River has a History of Flooding
by The Associated Press
An aerial photo shows the flood waters around West Branch of the Susquehanna River and Susquehanna River merging into one in Sunbury, Pa. Nearly 100,000 people from New York to Maryland were ordered to flee the rising Susquehanna River as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped more rain across the Northeast, closing major highways and socking areas still recovering from Hurricane Irene.
read the rest of the article at http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/news/articles/Susquehanna-Ri...
Endwell Resident Among 15 Human Rights Activists Facing Trial for Nonviolent Direct Action
the White House in Washington, DC
Washington, DC – Endwell resident Jack Gilroy is among 15 human rights advocates who are scheduled to go on trial on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 for engaging in nonviolent direct action at the White House in Washington, DC. Gilroy was one of the “White House 27,” a group of human rights advocates who staged a die-in on the White House sidewalk on April 10, 2011, to call on President Obama to shut down the notorious School of the Americas (renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) and to put an end to the U.S. militarization of the Americas. Gilroy and his 14 co-defendants are facing the criminal charges of “failure to obey a lawful order” and “blocking and incommoding.” Despite facing a criminal trial, Gilroy is not intimidated.
I walk in Recreation Park on Binghamton's Westside every day. Lately I have been noticing a outburst of mushrooms in greater variety than I have ever seen in one place. There are 8-10 different kinds of mushrooms or "mycelium" as the scientists refer to it.
Mycelium Running in Rec Park: Mushrooms are thriving in Rec Park in Binghamton NY
I met a Ukrainian woman picking the mushrooms as I was photographing them. "These very good to eat. This one poison. This one not poison, but not so good to eat." I was in awe of her practical knowledge and her foraging for food, as her ancestors in the Ukraine probably have for centuries. Then she said, "It's not hard, just look on internet." OK, I surrender my sterotypes!
Mycelium Running in Rec Park-2: Mushroom growing in Rec Park
What's most interesting though is what this growth means to the ecology of the Park. Paul Stamets is a passionate environmental advocate and mushroom researcher. You can go to http://www.YouTube.com and search on his name and listen to several of his lectures. One is called "Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World." He explains that mycelium sends out little hair like root systems that can have a healing effect on earth, breaking down toxins, and opening pathways for plants, bugs, healthy bacteria, etc. He has done demonstrations of totally degraded construction soil contaminated by oil that have been restored by introducing mushrooms.
Mycelium Running in Rec Park-3: Unusual mushroom growing in Rec Park Binghamton NY
Stamets encourages people to spread mycelium around, especially in vacant lots or poor soil. One technique that I have tried is digging up the roots of the mushrooms to get those little hair like roots, not the mushroom itself, and then growing them for distribution around town. I use damp pieces of cardboard with some roots between each layer. The mushroom sandwich needs to be kept damp for several weeks. When it's ready you will see streaks of white "running" up the cardboard. Then "infect" a site, which we did at the Laurel Community Garden for instance, so that the mycelium can start running where it's needed.
Mycelium Running in Rec Park-4: A large variety of mushrooms are growing in Rec Park.
Detail from C-SquareConsider the Square. The current show at the Cooperative Gallery assembles diverse artwork in 6, 12 and 24 inch formats into groupings with surprising results. One collection (detail shown) connects different media all done in red.
Curator MaryRose Griffin invited all gallery members to submit works in squares and then created collections, one exploring textures, a concept, or color.
The Exhibit is open for two more weeks at the Cooperative Gallery 213 State St. It is open Fridays 3-6 pm and Saturdays 12-4 pm through July 30th.