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Posts Tagged ‘foreclosure’


Here is Middle America at 7 a.m. waking up in Boston’s financial district after a cold, rainy night in a tent — and wondering why its college degrees have not led to jobs. It’s not Hooverville. But I think it represents something real.

There is actually a wide array of causes represented. No obvious central theme has emerged. End the War, Tax the Rich, Socialism … .

Every day I get tweets from the Equal Exchange coffee trike. With the Occupiers of Boston, the curiosity seekers, the media, and the police, there has been a steady demand for coffee. Today’s message was  “EEFreeRange EE Free Range Cafe: So busy I can’t get a tweet in edgewise! Trikes are at Charles/MGH and Dewey Sq. Come see us!”

At the Washington Post, Ezra Klein is trying to figure out what it all means. He decided it probably does mean something after he started reading a Tumblr blog called We Are The 99 Percent. He describes the blog as all “grainy pictures of people holding handwritten signs telling their stories, one after the other.

‘I am 20K in debt and am paying out of pocket for my current tuition while I start paying back loans with two part time jobs.’

“These are not rants against the system,” Klein continues. “They’re not anarchist manifestos. They’re not calls for a revolution. They’re small stories of people who played by the rules, did what they were told, and now have nothing to show for it. Or, worse, they have tens of thousands in debt to show for it.” Read more.

In the afternoon I went over and read a few signs. Would love your comments on this one: “I couldn’t afford my own politician, so I made this sign.”

It’s 11/6/11, and I just learned about another great source of Occupy signs, at Mother Nature Network. Check out “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one” here.

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Here’s an interesting thought for harvest time.

In the NY Times, T. Lynne Pixley writes about Kelly Callahan and other Atlanta residents who forage for food among the many neglected, foreclosed properties in their neighborhoods.

Walking her dog in her neighborhood, Callahan saw “plenty of empty, bank-owned properties for sale.”

She also noticed that the “forlorn yards were peppered with overgrown gardens and big fruit trees, all bulging with the kind of bounty that comes from the high heat and afternoon thunderstorms that have defined Atlanta’s summer. So she began picking. First, there was a load of figs, which she intends to make into jam for a cafe that feeds homeless people. Then, for herself, she got five pounds of tomatoes, two kinds of squash and — the real prize — a Sugar Baby watermelon.” Others have joined in. Read more here.

I was interested to learn about “foraging” in Atlanta because I had recently read about a related activity in Vermont, called “gleaning.” Gleaning is a bit more out in the open. Farmers who are finished harvesting their crops give permission to gleaners, usually volunteers, to pick over what’s left and take it to families in need and to food pantries. One group engaged in this effort is the Addison County Gleaning Program. Read about it here.

It turns out that there is a lot of food that would otherwise go to waste. So it seems good that the food benefits someone.

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