The Alaskan Occupation
What does #S17 mean to me, and why would an Alaskan care about Occupy? These questions come up a lot in my life. There’s validity to the questions. After all, Alaska has a Republican stripping it of union rights and our northern shores are being prepped for drilling. States like Alaska are the reason there’s Republicans, after all. We are rich with resources to be exploited and sold around the world. While this occurs, our state sits in surplus while making cuts to education and law enforcement. So who should care in Alaska?
The question gets even harder to answer when the public points out that my state represents the creation of a political nightmare, Sarah Palin. My state gave the country a VP pick because we, as a state, were too lazy to throw her out as she used her position to fly her brats around the country on the dime of the tax-payer and squirmed through Trooper-Gate. Why should any fair-minded Alaskan care?
Well, let me tell you why Alaska, and every other state needs to care - needs to pay attention. We need to care because the finest moments of our history were prefaced with civil unrest. We need to care because Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn worked their entire lives for a moment, a moment when the everyday hero would put down their tools of destruction and instead lift up their heads and wonder “Why am I doing this?” We need to care because those who have had no struggle have controlled our rules and laws long enough, and those who have always had to struggle might finally have a chance to rest.
We need to care, my brothers and sisters, because our children are at risk, our old and wise are at risk, and our poor and hurt are at risk. We need to care because two ways of thinking will meet tomorrow morning, and only one way of thinking will be allowed to evolve - whichever movement receives the most care.
We need to care because the young are finally inheriting the earth, and it is nearly impossible for those youth to screw up this planet as badly as their parents have. We need to care because everything good and righteous and true is at stake, and all it will take to realize this a group of like-minded individuals who care, no matter what town they live in.
That is why I care, even though I live in a state with abysmal voter turn-outs and drunken nights of “Who Gives a Shit?” That is why I care even though I am alone in Alaska.
That’s what September 17th is to me - it’s my entire future. It’s the reason I get up to teach, and the reason I cannot sleep soundly at night. That’s Septermber 17th.