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Letters to the Editor

Occupy Ashland is alive and well

Last Wednesday's front page article can give the impression that Occupy Ashland has faded away into the night. This is not the case at all.

For a town of 22,000, the Ashland occupy movement has done quite well. As a regular attendee, I am happy to report that many great things have happened and will continue to happen. The general assemblies are still meeting on the plaza (Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.), committees and working groups have been formed and direct actions have been taken.

Various attendees have participated in addressing the issues of homelessness, foreclosures, Mount Ashland expansion, ending the Fed and revamping the money system, watershed issues and increasing local food sources. Various groups have shown up to offer their support: churches, Peace House, Jobs with Justice, MoveOn, and more. Former and current City Council members have been there. Most important is that we are working on building a sustainable community and all the issues that go along with that. Come share your voice, your ideas and your willingness to do the work that true democracy demands. While it can be very challenging, the cause is worth it. See www.occypyashlandoregon.org for more details.

John Stern


Occupy movement stirs joy and fear

The persistence and momentum of the "occupy" protests has stirred in me joy and also fear — not fear of the motivation or message of the protesters, but fear of the master's concealed lash, the fear of one who's known the existential dread of poverty and social and societal exclusion, who's grown up in an age when American liberalism seemed to exist only so that there could officially be two sides, one in which the first "leftist" president played Brutus to welfare, and the second had a brief congressional reign of complete inaction while millions of uninsured Americans waited vulnerable to unmedicated disease, while millions more languished unemployed as did our system of infrastructure for lack of a single compassionate command: "second New Deal."

To those who have the determined strength, means and/or humanity to move our country in a more progressive direction, I commend you as I would a brother or a sister. I'd also remind you that just as "the 99 percent" includes the middle class, it also includes we mentally and physically diseased, the homeless, the unjustly juried, judged and outcast. We huddled masses again yearn to breathe free.

Sean Lawlor Nelson