October 15, 2011 was another day of growth at Occupy Boston. I mean in every way possible. Normally, I avoid crowds, especially when one is encircled by police. But this day was the right time for a first person experience of Occupy Boston.
People are calm and helping each other.
There is organization, agendas, and rules of conduct.
There is education, food, and spiritual services.
Visitors are welcome.
The occupy is not easy or comfortable.
Expressive signs are supported.
People who espouse unsupported agendas are encouraged to ask the General Assembly and abide by the G.A. decision.
During my time at Dewey Square I observed all this first hand, up close. The photo below with the blue arrow shows a crowd around a Baptist preacher who had the unfortunate task of following a fire and brimstone preacher (second photo, man on the right) who alienated people by preaching intolerance toward those who hold different opinions than his.
As I understand it both men showed up with their bullhorn and just started preaching. Fairly quickly a group of 20 people formed around them and in unison shouted “Equality for everyone” over and over. Shortly thereafter drums, trumpet, and clarinet joined in and effectively drowned out the first man. Recognizing the futility of continuing the first man stopped to the cheers of the crowd. The second man (gray sweater) picked up the bullhorn and proceeded to read from the bible until a woman (blue sweater) was able to engage the preacher in a conversation of sorts.
After several minutes of listening to a passionate religious harangue by the preacher. She was finally able to ask the preacher to consider the possibility that his method of delivering his message to this audience was inappropriate and that he may be better off calmly speaking to people without his bullhorn. The crowd approved with a spontaneous reply of YES! as the preacher put down his bullhorn.
Personally, I am proud to have been a witness to one part of our Constitutional Democracy in action.