Occupy Suburbia: 99% @ Rte 99

I live in Elk Grove, California, a suburban enclave of Sacramento… if not middle America, at least middle California. Its a town where most kids are driven to school and soccer in minivans or SUVs. Most are too busy with their daily lives and trying to hold on to underwater mortgages to join ‘occupy’ movements in Sacramento or San Francisco. That doesn’t mean the movement has been completely ignored.

There was a post on the Elk Grove Patch and another on Elk Grove News.net.  News.net didn’t get much traction but the Patch attracted a bunch of comments. Unfortunately, the first set the tone for many to follow (squabbling).

I think this would be fun. Oh,….. wait….. I have a job and actually contribute to society. People that protest like this are lazy and not helping their community. They need to get out and help at places like Loaves & Fishes or minister to other homeless people or, at a minimum, do something for someone less fortunate or are down on their luck. If you can’t be productive and provide a positive influence in your community, move to New York.

But there is obviously support for OWS even in suburbia:

I’m fed up with Wall Street and Corporate Greed. I support the protestors and if there is a protest held in Elk Grove, I may even join them. I am also working but that doesn’t mean I can’t join a protest, I will just have to work it around my work schedule. I’m self-employed and my work has dropped off considerably. Also I lost my home to foreclosure, thanks to the Corporate Greed of US Bank.

I tried contributing, noting that I’d be much more comfortable meeting at a local coffee shop and drawing up a top ten list than standing around at an abandoned mall or picketing a local branch of a Wall Street bank. But the discussion moved to how legitimate the Tea Party is, so I posted on a third forum, Elk Grove Online.

I should have guessed… hundreds of millions gather on Facebook and that’s where the virtual action has been taking place. They’ve already planned a march to a bridge that crosses Highway 99.

Highway 99 is the main artery of commerce through the city of Elk Grove and Sacramento. On this highway, truck drivers and commuters travel both north and south through our communities! The highway stands as a symbol of the economic struggles of our state and the division that separates us as a community! Travel up and down the highway and you can see the effects the Wall Street crash of 08 has had on us here in Elk Grove. One need only go as far south as Grant Line Rd. to see the unfinished Lent Ranch, also known as the Elk Grove Promenade. Mixed in with this disaster are claims of flawed and possibly fraudulent promises by the then elected officials of the city (http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2010/02/bankrupt-elk-grove-promenade-developer.html). The Highway/Freeway cuts across the state like a giant ribbon directly through many of our states largest communities and in many instances separates communities much like we are separated by politics!

Yes, 99 cuts our community in half. I like the theme so far: The 99 at 99. I’ll check it out. I’ve got an SVNACD meeting in Palo Alto starting at 7:30 am the next day, so won’t be able to participate in an all-night General Assembly but at least I’ll learn more about what my neighbors feel about “occupy” and the “99%.”

Elk Grove Police Department spokesperson Jim Kang said the department had been in touch with organizers and was sending officers to the event to “monitor the situation and see that things are peaceful.” At least I won’t be the only one there.

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