Occupy Tucson & the Story of the Donut Hole Auction on the Court House Steps.
No FireDogs, not the stupid little balls they call donut holes when they are for sale. The actual holes. The empty space you acquire in the middle of a donut when you purchase one.
Donut holes being symbolic of the empty space created in former homeowners lives once the travesty has played itself out to its preordained conclusion which path they stepped upon the minute they first talked to a mortgage rep to get prequalified for a loan. What these prospective homeowners were actually doing was stepping up to be measured as the next mark in a veritable grist factory of fraud and then fed into the grinder via the conveyor belt of rogue mortgage originators, criminal enterprises masquerading as Too Big To Fail banks securitizing the “product” for sale to the next level of suckers. Then of course manufacturing “naked” derivatives out of thin air indexed to the original fraudulent enterprise. These naked derivatives became the blackhole that was referred to as toxic assets back 3+ years ago when the Powers That Be still spoke about such things in public.
Now in the midst of a worldwide depression brought on by this massive fraud people are losing their homes not because they got scammed into a fraudulent scheme, but because of the damage done to economies across the globe. They have no work, and for most…..if they do……it is not at a “living” wage. In America, the Main Stream Media propaganda machine is telling us these clearly worsening economic conditions are a jobless recovery. Yeah riiiiight.
RealtyTrac projects foreclosures will rise 25 percent this year to 1 million homes. Last year, lenders took back 804,000 homes.
All told, 210,941 U.S. homes received a default notice, were scheduled for auction or were repossessed by a lender in January, RealtyTrac said.
We are now in the fourth year of this carnage. Millions of American families have lost their homes, millions more their jobs because of this largest economic crime ever perpetrated……..the donut hole.
Get the symbolism? Even the Tucson Police Department officers who are always caught in the middle and forced to respond to demonstrations by our Direct Action Working Group doing flash mobs at banks, or our Foreclosure Resistance Working Group actions, get the symbolism now. At the first donut hole auction on the courthouse steps back in December, it took them a couple of minutes. The cops thought at first that the use of donuts being auctioned might somehow be a sideways snarky dig at them. Once they got it, they laughed (perhaps embarrassed by their own insecurity), and for all intents and purposes, tacitly condoned our tactics. They let us be. Previously Occupy Tucson’s activities had been viewed as being solely disruptive of a legal activity because of our protests of the foreclosure auctions. Citations resulted. The donut hole auction gave us a “legitimate” activity to “Occupy” the same space and cause the same disruption, without directly engaging the bidders or the auctioneer, and after all, the courthouse steps are public space.
A warm and grateful Hat Tip to Sherry whose mind created the original thought bubble which contained a donut hole joke. Sherry is a Tucson Occupier who is in her seventies, has been an intermittent overnighter, a stalwart member of the IT Working Group, and a general delight as a human being. I once found myself, much to my consternation and disbelief, apologizing to Sherry because of the intensity of a debate she witnessed between myself and a PDA member preaching the poison of LesserEvilism and “Veal Pen” politics. I made Sherry cry, and found myself apologizing to someone with whom I had not even been speaking. She is truly a gentle soul, and I am a better person for having gotten to know her.
Also a Hat Tip to William “Billy” Lolos, a Tucson Occupier who has chaired the above mentioned working groups, and enabled the Foreclosure Resistance Working Group to become a resource at many different levels, and a group that is now moving into policy and legal arenas to compliment their direct action(more on that in the future). When I first met Billy months ago, he was all passion. Literally bubbling over with passionate passion, but mostly rambling in discourse. Now to engage with Billy in conversation is to learn something each and every time, and to be inspired. The passion has not ebbed, but is now tempered with focus, and knowledge, and protest experience. Billy has become a dangerous implement for Occupy.
As an aside I wish to share one last personal sketch with you FireDogs. He goes by “Midnight”. He has been with Occupy Tucson since day one. When first I met him he was filthy, and never wore shoes. Worse, he shunned social interaction, literally recoiled from it; and for quite awhile he never spoke. Occupy Tucson embraced him nonetheless, with love and acceptance. Before we knew it, he was cleaner and actually contributing in ways that mattered even though most were menial tasks. Midnight has participated in all four encampments, and in between those he was one of the “Hard Grounders” sleeping on the sidewalks in the middle of winter nights and carrying protest signs on those same sidewalks during the day. Last night, at our Wednesday GA, for the third time, I was given the gift of witnessing Midnight facilitating a general assembly meeting. He knew the procedures, was working the crowd, knew everyone by name, utilized complex sentences composed of polysyllabic words, and found humor and elicited laughter from the group at every turn. I had known that he had been steadily improving, returning from whatever solace he had sought within and retreated to, but I hadn’t seen the full extent of this miraculous recovery put on such joyful display. Myself, and a few others who had witnessed the whole of Midnight’s journey back to us, exchanged silly knowing grins as we stood in the circle of the meeting while delighting in his performance……..at the center……..of the encircling group.
Were nothing else to come of the months of effort so far spent, and the months to come, Midnight has made all of it worthwhile.
For the second time this week I ended my day with Occupy Tucson having to take someone to the emergency room. In both cases these fellow citizens had avoided seeking the care of a doctor until they could avoid it no longer, this of course because of the financial component involved and lack of health insurance. One needn’t look far to maintain their motivation these days. It is a crime that human beings are subject to the deprivation of their very humanity by fascism, runaway capitalism, plutocracy, whatever you choose to call it. But here in America, and please forgive the jingoism, I find it particularly obscene……because it is completely, utterly, unquestionably, unnecessary. My anger burns bright within, God help me turn it all into motivation, and creativity, and positive results.
Stay Strong and Take Care of One Another.