The Politics of Living on the Streets
The July 30th Forum, Living on the Streets With Occupy, was arranged as a panel of five people. Sara Page began the panel with some background facts regarding homelessness in San Francisco. Ayat, Deborah, and Robert discussed their experiences of living at the occupy encampments and their opinions about the politics of living on the streets. The panelists asserted that the taking up residence in the camp and rejecting mainstream culture were part of the same political act of refusal. The controversial idea of being “homeless by choice” was put forward as an explanation of their participation, an alternative to the insane industry of Corporate America.
Sarah Menefee, poet & poor people's activist, contributed to the conversation by talking about herself as revolutionary and giving the listeners an inspiring and emotional speech about why this movement is the most important movement of her lifetime.
In the small group discussions people talked about how those from different economic circumstances can come together to make political change happen. In the broader discussion, the question of the relationship between homelessness as a choice versus homelessness as a circumstance attracted the most attention.
The night ended with panelists who participate in a weekly poetry group near OSF camp sharing work followed by another inspiring finale in speech given by Sarah Menefee about the revolutionary consciousness.