Peaceful. That’s how I describe the scene here at Occupy-OC’s Fullerton encampment. Set in the duck pond section of Hillcrest Park on the banks of a concrete creek, this tidy tent city is a reflection of the residents who inhabit it.
Everyone I met on a sunny Tuesday morning greeted me with a smile and friendly hello. And everyone had something to say.
This is the group that has taken the time to negotiate the terms and conditions of their various long-term overnight Occupations. The results to date speak for themselves.
Just off a long, successful encampment in Irvine, they moved to Fullerton. Their original location was remote and hidden. Leveraging an opportunity to improve their situation, Occupy-OC renegotiated the terms with the City’s enthusiastic support. The group is now set up in an improved location with high traffic flow in a high visibility area. And there’s a handy parking lot on one side that provides easy access for visitors.
This group is happy to be attracting new folks to the site as the opportunity to share their story is one reason why everyone’s here.
Determined to keep the Occupy OC-Fullerton group on a positive trajectory, Phil Edwards is convinced that education and training is an essential aspect to growing the movement. He is personally outlining a plan for teaching PEACEFUL resistance. His ideas include the promotion of positive linguistics which means that the individual residents and their signage project an uplifting and inspiring message. Judging by the overall feeling here in camp – I think he’s on to something significant.
The Occupy-OC group is active in other parts of the County. Successful initiatives over the month of January include a one-day Garden Grove City Hall takeover (complete with tents) to protest the closure of a low income mobile home park (and the insensitive relocation of its residents), the occupation of a foreclosed home in Irvine, and occupation of the County Courthouse in Santa Ana (OC County seat). Now the group has their eyes on an even bigger goal – a pact with the Orange County Supervisors. They aim to win their support for future endeavors.
No doubt they will do it – and so much more. After all, the strategy of occupying the minds and HEARTS of Fullerton and of Orange County is a PEACEFUL, one day-one event at a time process.
Morning dishes drying in the sun. Sign-holders posted at the street. Small groups in conversation. All is well in Fullerton.