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Students in the Mix

occupyblogFRESH DIRT > Local students speak their minds at Occupy Santa Cruz

Tuesday night, Nov. 15, was a big night for many protestors occupying the land around the Santa Cruz Superior Courthouse on Water Street. Everyone seemed slightly on edge about the prospect of cops coming through at any point to take down the dome that sits in front of the courthouse steps. Nine people were prepared to chain themselves to the dome when that time came, including fourth-year UC Santa Cruz student Tom O’Leary, who has been camping out near the river by the courthouse for the past few weeks.

“The geodesic dome is the most important structure in the camp because of what it represents,” O’Leary says. “It stands for unity and solidarity. Each separate joint that makes up the framework of the dome symbolizes each occupation that is going on right now.”

Other students there were excitedly talking with each other, exchanging stories about what the Santa Cruz police had recently done to try and break up the camp. Second-year Austin Bruckner, a UCSC student who doesn’t camp at the courthouse but comes out as many nights as he can, tells GT about his recent arrest in the early morning prior to Tuesday night.

“I was walking by a squad car in the parking lot [of the courthouse] with a friend and all of the sudden this officer comes out and accuses us of tampering with the car,” he says. “He then forcefully throws me against the car and cuffs me. I was detained for 10 and a half hours.”

Bruckner and other protestors are trying to gather footage from security cameras to examine the event more closely. Like many of their fellow protestors, they seem very focused on standing up to the police.

“[The police] definitely try and intimidate us when they drive by and walk through. It’s all psychological. It’s also a big distraction,” says Cabrillo student Nicholas Adams. “The things that really matter about this protest are educating people and getting the message out there that our community is safe and positive.”

Bruckner believes the movement is meant to be an example of a “more compassionate and more democratic” society.  “Unfortunately, we lost a lot of support recently because of fights that have broken out among some of the people camping here and also because of the presence of drug dealers,” he says. “We need to repair the damage now. People don’t feel too safe about coming out here anymore and we could definitely use more representation.”

As another squad car drives by, the protestors call out to it, yelling obscenities such as “F*cking pigs!” By now, it’s two in the morning, yet nobody shows any sign of losing energy. They are committed to staying in front of the courthouse.

As the cop drives out of sight, O’Leary smiles at me, as if to say, “Bring it. We aren’t going anywhere.”

 

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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