The People’s Park

I had written a few weeks ago about Occupy Providence and their offer that they would vacate Burnside Park if the city ponied up a day shelter for the homeless. I did have a touch of pride that they had pulled together a succinct demand. I was prouder still of the Mayor’s response which was to say that there were places for the homeless to go during the day and that yes, they needed more and better but that the city would not be blackmailed into rushing into something not planned well. Because blackmail it was. Not to mention, I suspect, an attempt at Occupy PVD to redeem their reputation after the repeated bad behavior of the group towards the homeless. None of this changes the other question about how, when the homeless had a tent city on unused, public land the state moved so fast with a court decision about the illegality of camping on public grounds and evicted them and that ruling seems to have been set aside for the tent city in the public park.


Today, I had to go downtown to the main bus depot to catch my ride. The depot is right next to where Occupy has set up. They have decorated the fence with a variety of signs with slogans etc. Today, I noticed a new one. A banner actually, set up near one of the park’s entrances, painted on a bed sheet and the message on the banner made me see red.


The banner read, “Welcome to the People’s Park! Love, Occupy PVD!”


My immediate reaction was, “It’s not the People’s Park, it’s Burnside Park and up until Occupy moved in, people used it freely and often and it was a long time gathering spot and safe place for the homeless. Now, people don’t use it because it is not theirs anymore, its trashed, you have cost the city $10,000 (and probably more in unseen budget costs) that will effect someone in need and the homeless have been driven out. “


People’s Park my ass. The arrogance. The entitlement. The absolute lack of empathy or consideration of any part of the community beyond themselves has just really gotten to me.


There is a part of me that is contemplating having a small sign making party with like minded friends and posting our signs right next to the Occupy one’s on that fence that say “Everybody is somebody’s 1%.” I wonder how long the signs would stay up before Occupier’s took them down from the fence surrounding the “people’s park.”


c.2012. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved. 


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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