Saturday, October 29, 2011
Zombies and Occupational Hazards
Tonight Erika and I pulled it together and rolled down to Cesar Chavez park for a good old fashioned zombie walk. It was an Occupy Sacramento gathering with a Halloween flavor. We did not have make-up to wear but I thought my beautiful mug matched with my normal limp would be enough to pass me off as a zombie.
I had expected to see more people there considering the fair temperature and the growing enthusiasm of the movement. I came down to the park two days ago but it was quiet and I was in between gatherings. My mother had called me two weeks ago and told me that her and her friend had gone down twice to Occupy Los Angeles and that they were going to New York the following week for the real thing in Zucotti Park. She is doing considerably well financially and she is no spring-chicken as far as her age goes, so I knew I had no excuse for not getting down to the local park. I knew I couldn't support this movement just by writing and tweeting about it.
We, the zombies of Occupy Sac, gathered in the middle of the park and made our way toward the K Street mall and on to Old Sacramento. Along the way there were organizers and cheerleaders helping to keep everyone on the same page. We chanted limericks and hooted for honking traffic. Erika kept up the pace better than me so I was impressed by that. Overall the crowd was in good spirits and aside from some loud chanting, we weren't intimidating or disrespectful to anyone, or to our surroundings. We managed to stop at all crossings, not block intersections, leave trash, or damage any property. After reaching Old Sacramento we turned back. My bad leg was going numb and my zombie stagger was becoming a little too convincing. We made our way back over to I street and only two blocks from the car I tripped on uneven pavement and fell completely on my bad leg, into a tree. I know how comical it is to see someone fall, so I too am laughing, except for the actual pain. Erika helped me over to some nearby steps where I was able to sit. My leg was almost totally rubberized and I could barely feel my foot. Finally we got back to the car and I let Erika drive home. Four pills of Ibuprofin have taken some of the edge off, but how it feels tomorrow will be the true tale. Though I took a hard knock on harder concrete, it was worth the experience. Whether or not Occupy Name Your City creates lasting change or not, it has raised the social consciousness and awareness a notch, made a few all-too-cozy types a little uneasy, and brought international solidarity to the middle-class wherever it still exists.