Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Attention Occupy Cheyenne: Here's the plan for Monday's Martin Luther King, Jr., Day march

This is a copy of the status update I sent to my fellow occupiers on Occupy Cheyenne:

My wife Chris and I attended the local NAACP meeting Monday night at the Laramie County Public Library. Chris chairs the planning committee for Juneteenth, the annual summer celebration held in Cheyenne’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Park. Rev. McDowell gave up 15 minutes in the NAACP agenda so I could talk to the membership about Occupy Cheyenne.

I spoke about our street actions and protests. I talked about our General Assemblies and the work we did on the declaration. I read the first two paragraphs of the declaration. As I read, I thought that there was little in the declaration that Dr. King would disagree with.

I then told the group about our plans to participate in Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Day (known in Wyoming as “Equality Day”) march from the Depot Plaza to the Capitol. I told them that our plans were to bring signs that were respectful to Dr. King but also carried a message from Occupy Cheyenne.

Several members spoke out against the sign idea. They felt it would distract from the commemoration. Rev. McDowell, president of the local NAACP chapter, suggested we talk to the actual organizers of the march, Love & Charity, about our plans. I plan to do that before the march.

My suggestion is that we forget about the signs and attend the march. How many of you have participated in the local MLK Day march? It’s well attended but the numbers could be better. Rev. McDowell and others spoke last night about the crucial nature of the 2012 elections. Equality is threatened on all fronts, but especially in Wyoming with its Tea Party Republican-dominated Legislature. Unnecessary cuts will be made to programs crucial to the 99% while legislators will busily be turning over the store to their benefactors in the energy industry.

The NAACP members support our goals. They were interested in hearing about our actions. They were very interested in participating in the action we plan for the first day of the Legislature, although I had few details.

On Occupy Cheyenne's Dec. 10 action, we were allied with union members in Wyoming AFL-CIO affiliates. As far as I can tell, we’re one of the few Occupy movements in WY and CO that have done this. Other alliances would be welcomed. Attend the MLK Day march, meet some of your fellow marchers, introduce yourself as a member of Occupy Cheyenne, attend the soup and crackers luncheon after the march at the Allen AME Chapel, attend the “Youth Salute” to Dr. King at 4 p.m., at the Second Baptist Church. And there’s also a full slate of events this weekend.

See you Monday at noon for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day/Equality Day march.

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