Friday, October 7, 2011

A plea to the public, too

Hey guys,

It's your friend, Liz Rapuzzi. You may know me from such fun times as the University Montana, the Shoreline public school system, Evergreen or simply through mutual friends. I'm writing to ask a really big favor from you all. I don't think I've ever asked a favor from you, if I have my apologies and you can ignore this. But I'm writing to call in a big favor on the strength of my friendship with you. I wouldn't be asking you this favor if it weren't so gosh-darned important to me. So bear with me. Please.

If you've seen my facebook feed in the last week, you probably already know that I have been energized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, and more specifically am involved in Occupy Seattle, currently located at Westlake Park downtown. I am not a conflict-driven person, usually. I very much ride the fence between reform and revolution because I like to think of myself as a pragmatist.

As a Greener I have seen my fair share of protests and usually feel the same way most folks do about them- it's the anarchist black-bloc element screaming 'Fuck the Pigs' rhetoric that has me running far far away even if I agree with some of what they say. When I first heard about Occupy Wall Street, I was intrigued, but assumed it would much the same...radical folks already involved in activism who are more about egos than effecting real change. I'm writing today because I want to let you know that I've been down there at Westlake and I've met people, and this is different. It really is.

Don't think of Occupy Wall Street as a protest, think of it as a conversation. I am genuinely worried about the state of our country and want to have conversations with my community about how they're feeling. We are a beautifully diverse country and far too often we self-segregate based on notions of commonality that separate us from our brothers and sisters in humanity. Now is a time when we can say that we have more in common than ever before if only we recognize it- we are all struggling to avoid debt, to make a decent living, to have health insurance and to live that American dream. Age nor race nor gender nor religion nor politics can take away the fact that the people of this country are struggling. Even if you and I are doing okay, we know people who aren't. And it isn't that some people deserve more than others, it's that the financial system and its inextricable influence on politics has become corrupt.

Even if you do not believe this, even if you are unsure, I am asking a favor. Tomorrow at Westlake Center there will be a rally and march for the Occupy Seattle group. I want you there. You will lose nothing by coming down and meeting people. I hope, in fact, that you will gain something-a sense of community and a sense of relief. It's nice to know that you're not alone in this world. And you're not.

There is no committment necessary- if you come down and leave feelingthe same about it as when you started, that's fine. This is an exercise in patriotism- I love my country and want to connect with everyone in it. Please join me tomorrow at Westlake Park and give me five minutes of your time. It is with sincerity and conviction that I make this plea and I hope it does not fall on deaf ears.

In love and solidarity,

Liz Rapuzzi

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