Sunday, October 02, 2011

Autism's Edges Visits Occupy Wall Street

Our girl hard at work at Occupy Wall Street.
After what appeared to be the arrest of a 13-year-old girl by the NYPD yesterday as she crossed the Brooklyn Bridge as part of the Occupy Wall Street-99% Movement, my own 13-year-old girl and I decided that we couldn't just stand by doing nothing. So this morning we headed down to Liberty Square to see what democracy looks like.

What we saw were families, teachers, healthcare worker, police officers, students, journalists, and lots of other people just like you and I.  What we saw were people tired of living in fear of foreclosure, in fear of losing health insurance, in fear of losing jobs, in fear of losing educational services, in fear of what the future holds for their kids.

As we walked past the New York Stock Exchange I tried to explain to our girl what the protest was about: that the reason money has been so tight for the past three years is that some people essentially made off with our money and our nation's wealth through a combination of speculation and warmongering.  I didn't get into the impact that all of this has been having on special education services, or on eldercare, or on bus services. I kept it simple: some people have been stealing our money.

It didn't seem to exactly make sense to her.  As we made our way down Wall Street she requested that we stop talking about it: too much language.  But when we arrived at the Occupy Wall Street encampment she enthusiastically joined in painting protests signs and captured her thoughts about plutocracy in a most straightforward analysis.

At Autism's Edges, we are part of the 99%.


Monica said...

I love M.'s sign!!! Believe me, she "gets it"!!!

audball said...

I think this is where we leave the comment: "Out of the mouths of babes..." Your M. is right on the money with her sign!

I took DD and DS to a Stand for Children rally at our state's capitol. I'm not sure how much they understood about why we were there (protect school funding) but they certainly saw the impact that a group of people with a common cause can make.

MothersVox said...

Hey Monica and audball! Maybe she does get it. I was interested this week when the NY Times had a piece about OWS as a teaching moment, chronicling families bringing their kids to Liberty Square. It does feel like an historic moment -- a turning point that our kids will remember.

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