Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We Do Our Mite—The Rally of the 99% in Support of the Occupy Movement

Sue Rekenthaler, chair of the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Woodstock; Rev. Jenifer Slade, Interim Minister; and Lisa Jacobsen           

Well the weather cooperated, giving us as nice an autumnal evening as we could wish.  By my count over 50 folks assembled in front of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Woodstock last night for the Rally of the 99% of McHenry County in Support of the Occupy Movement.

The news of attacks on Occupy camps around the country—Berkley, Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, Oakland (again), and the mother ship of Occupy Wall Street in New York City—lent urgency to our gathering.  It was important that even here in McHenry County we stand up and be counted and lend our voices to a movement that cannot be killed.

Speechifying was at a minimum.  We used the Peoples Microphone to share a few remarks.  There were calls for regular demonstrations in front of Tea Party and Fox News darling Congressman Joe Walsh’s new office on the Square in Woodstock every Saturday morning at 11 A.M.  And my old friend and veteran activist Ann Legg shared her call for regular weekly Occupy McHenry County rallies on Lake Street in Woodstock in front of Wal-Mart on Saturdays from 1-2 PM.  The busy activist could do both!

Lisa Jacobsen eloquently shared her story of being one of the 99%.  A successful professional just a few years ago she finds herself at age 55 out of a job with no prospects on the horizon, without health insurance, her investments largely wiped out in the market crash and eaten up for survival, her house worth much less than what she bought it for, and is now in foreclosure.  Just one of many stories.  Several folks brought signs with their own stories.

A carload of supplies were collected for Occupy Chicago and will be driven down there later this week.  I saw canned goods, lots of warm clothing, paper goods, and other items from their list of needs.

This morning we got excellent coverage in the local daily, the Northwest Herald.  We were featured with a photo on Page 1 and the front page of the Community section including a great photo of Carrie MacDonald and her three month old daughter Annika.  It includes very nice video was posted on the Herald web page, which features far too much of me. 

Lorrie Burns's young 'uns guard some of the donated supplies on the Church steps.

Lisa and Tom Jacobsen center, Waddel son and father on the left.  In background between Lisa and Tom is Frank McClatchy, a Democratic candidate for Congress.  If he wins the primary, he will challenge Rep. Joe Walsh.


  1. Go Occupy Woodstock! Patrick, I am sort of casually tracing the threads of the movement, and I find a ball of steel wool there, suggestive but not coherent: Marxists, Socialists, Wobblies, SCA members, Folkies (all over it like white on rice!), homeless folk, Civil Rights Movement vets, union people, and a lot of ordinary middle class citizens who are feeling something like class consciousness for the first time. It's 1968 all over again, but we're better prepared and less crazy.

    Holler at me when you can. I'm excited, despite- even bacause of- the coordinated effort on the part of the mayors to drive their Occupys inside. Phillips must be laughing his ass off up there...