Sara and Kassia took me to Lee park last night where the Occupy Cville protest is in full swing. There is a tent city of perhaps a dozen tents in the park, with a food tent up and couches and chairs which have been rescued. The mood is upbeat and the conversation fascinating. I did not make it to one of the General Assembly meetings which are happening regularly, but i think i will go back on Thursday nigth after Willows in town performance.
The most interesting part for me was the conversation i had with Victoria who had been at the camp for a number of days and identified as a conservative republican. This is unusual for Occupy participants and i tried to explore her political beliefs, which she was more than willing to talk about. But the more i explored, the more paradoxical her beliefs seemed to be. Not in a contradictory or inconsistent way, but in a not what one thinks of as a conservative republican. What tilted her belief set in an unusual way was her faith basis. She identifies as a christian, and this makes her much closer to the anarchists in the park, than most of the folks listening to Rush Limbaugh. She is fine with gay marriage, because it creates more families, she believes that people should help the poor and that they will always be amongst us. She prefers “social blessings” to “social justice” and at the same time was critical of policies which were hetero-normative. To which i pointed out that very few conservative republicans are worried about heteronormacy.
The Tea Party has set up an encampment at McGuffy park not far from the Occupy folx. Victoria was interested in organizing visits and discussions between the two encampments. I had to admit, i was not excited about discussing anything with the Tea Party folks until this radical idea emerged. Perhaps we are on the verge of a revolution.