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Life is Living and Occupy Wall Street

Life is Living and Occupy Wall Street


Yesterday, I volunteered to table at the Life is Living Festival  in Oakland. The festival is held in cities across the country, and brings together local artists, green businesses and residents of under-served communities. The goal is to create new methods of leveraging the talents and resources of artists and businesses in order to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods.

The first thing that struck me about the event was its authenticity. The people who were attending weren’t simply looking to party, but were actually interested in strengthened their communities.  There was a sense of empowered optimism very similar to the attitude of those attending Occupy Wall Street and the other demonstrations that have sprung from it.

I believe we are at a crucial point in American history. Americans are finally realizing that we deserve more – we deserve to be healthy and to be able to get a job and make a comfortable living. This certainly seemed to be the case among those at the festival.

The second thing that struck me was the number of people who had heard of People’s Grocery. PG is a food justice organization and urban farm, working to increase access to healthy food in West Oakland. To those in the food justice movement, PG is quite well known. But my experience at the festival told me that within the Oakland community, residents recognize the value of the work being done by People’s Grocery. People want to eat healthy foods – the problem is affordability. People understand that our current food system is unjust and inequitable, and they are beginning to feel that they can change it. My experience at the Life is Living Festival was very encouraging.  Americans are rediscovering their voices and starting to assert their rights to a basic quality of life.

Read more: Eating for Health, Food, Global Healing, Health, Uncategorized

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


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12:51PM PDT on Mar 21, 2013


12:59AM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Thanks for the article.

10:26AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Thanks for the article

6:18AM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

Thanks for the article.

1:43PM PDT on Oct 22, 2011

The other night someone "removed" all the food from the Occupy Tucson kitchen. Fortunately, we have access to a great deal of fruits, veggies, breads and the like, of which we donated to them.

I am pleased to report that as of Friday all is well and the occupiers are once again well fed and vowing to stay.

1:28PM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

Thanks Sarah.

3:47PM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

Marian D, To those of you who have expressed your concerns, I have not witnessed any of these alleged acts of which you have cited.

There has been some individuals who have sought to harass the police, and citizens, others have allegedly committed vandalism, though I have not witnessed such.

I do know the police intelligence has attempted to infiltrate the ranks of concerned citizens, these people of the 99%.

There has been the overnight theft of all the food supplies by persons unknown. We are currently securing replenishment, so they may enjoy a well earned meal after a day of informing other that they too have rights in America and exercising their own.

4:01PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

Re: Marian D's astute comment: thank you.

Such actions sound to me like the enemy saying "if you can't beat them, join them."

They are probably well paid for those mortifying actions.

And the people get the blame

3:57PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

How do those camping out guy go to the bathroom?

I don't think the city brings in portable toilets.

There's no woods to hide in?

1:10PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

Thanks, Janine. I feel the same way. Word is, the there are people amongst the protesters who are getting paid $22.00 an hour to harass the honest people who are actually working for a living. Some of the things caught on camera: someone defecating on a police car, women baring their breasts and couples having sex. Yeah, they sound like people whose example I would follow--NOT!

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