MOSIER — Even as the hours ticked down to Occupy Portland’s Sunday eviction deadline set by Mayor Sam Adams, a handful of rural protesters on Friday quietly wrapped up a weeklong camp 70 miles to the east…. As Occupy Portland emerged as one of the nation’s most news-making spinoffs of the Wall Street occupation of New York City’s Zuccotti Park, Occupy Mosier may have been the country’s humblest…. Set in a park-and-ride greenspace in an apple and cherry growing hamlet of 433 at a bend on the Columbia River midway between Hood River and The Dalles, organizers dubbed Mosier the smallest town to host an Occupy encampment.
Occupy Wall Street may be getting the most press. Occupy Portland may be the biggest protest in Oregon. But it’s not until you head east out I-84 from Portland and get to Mosier (just east of Eighteenmile Island) that you really get a sense of how deep the Occupy Wall Street movement has woven itself into contemporary pop culture.
There won’t be any tear gas, nor police wearing riot gear. Most of the locals are probably wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, Wall Street is a 2,829 mile drive from Mosier. It’s not like anyone’s really going to notice what’s happening in a small village along the Columbia River in Oregon, right? Perhaps so, but when you see what’s happening in Mosier, you begin to understand that the movement that started in Zuccotti Park has trickled all the way from Manhattan to tiny little Mosier.
It’s doubtful that anything that happens in Mosier will have any impact at all, but it’s symbolic of the depth and breadth of dissatisfaction with the current state of our union. It’s beyond impressive when you come to realize that the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has spread from coast to coast and around the world, has trickled all the way down to Mosier, OR. In Syria, the government is attacking and killing citizens who dare to stand up and demand democracy and freedom. Here in America, despite all the problems we have (and there’s no shortage), we can still organize, march, and protest. Whether in Manhattan, Miami, or Mosier, Americans can make themselves heard without fearing for their life or their safety.
At least in Mosier, no one has to worry about the Mayor issuing an ultimatum demanding that protesters move out by tomorrow morning.
Welcome to democracy in action.