Lana

I’m originally from Tennessee. I moved to New York 6 months ago. Why did I come to New York? I had an opportunity to come here. My life wasn’t going anywhere in Tennessee. It’s a lot easier to be homeless up here than it is down there. I’m not from a rich family. I guess that’s a big deal.

The only reason I get it is because I’m a white girl with a nice ass. If I were someone that was homeless, an older man with missing teeth, I wouldn’t get half as much as I do.

I had a job when I was 16 at Food City. It’s the best I’ve ever had. I’ve been spanging out here for money. If I wasn’t here, I would probably be spanging on the streets at 34th or 14th street, trying to make money that way. The only reason I get it is because I’m a white girl with a nice ass. If I were someone that was homeless, an older man with missing teeth, I wouldn’t get half as much as I do. It’s all about personal prejudices that people have against other people. It shouldn’t be that way. It’s not fair at all. If you’re not wagered into things, then you’re not going to get anything. If you don’t know the right people or have enough money it’s very difficult to get anywhere.

It’s not economic equality, that’s not what I think. A lot of people are saying that here, but I just think it should be equal opportunity. If everyone had economic equality, everyone’s going to get the same thing. People that sit on their asses and do nothing shouldn’t get anything in return. Everybody should have that equal chance to get the good job or to go to the good school. It shouldn’t all be based on who you know and how much you have. It should be about who you are, and that’s not how it is here. It’s turning into a very fascist place… it’s turning into a police state, obviously, with what’s going on here with the violence.

Well, being involved, a lot of the people here have become a family, and it’s very nice. It’s like we’ve built our own society inside the park. Before the tent got torn down in the raid, everything was functioning great. They say we had a health problem, we had a sanitary problem, and it was a fire hazard that we were here, but we had mops, we had brooms, we were cleaning every fucking night. We had everything set up, and a working system. We had a kitchen, we had a sanitary section, we had a fucking hospital right there. Everything was fine until the police came and raided us. Now, the only reason that this is not a fire hazard, being barricaded in here, is because they are here. They’re allowed to step in and tell who’s not allowed in here. Everything was perfect before they came in here. We had a functioning society and could have done well. That’s what I had here, and I think that the more they interfere with us, the more of a difference we’re going to make. We had bad publicity until they got bad publicity. Now they see them beating us it’s a different story.

I feel like I belong to something for once, and I’m not just on my own trying to make money to feed myself everyday. That was what my whole life was until I came here, and now I can focus on reading a good book or talking with friends and having a good time still, supporting what we do, instead of being a loner and trying to provide for myself on a daily basis. I feel secure here, until the police step in. We were making a difference and getting along. Isn’t that what a protest is supposed to be?

It wasn’t, “Oh, you have money, so you can buy this.” It was, “Oh, here take this and help us out in return sometime.”

It was all good energy. Everything. It was amazing. We had the drum circle down there providing good music for everybody. Everybody was giving, and everybody was providing for each other. It wasn’t, “Oh, you have money, so you can buy this.” It was, “Oh, here take this and help us out in return sometime.” It was like we were just one big family together. And for people who have never had a family experience, this is what that was. It was beautiful, and everybody was so happy. Even if we disagreed on things, we were still part of one big family, and it was beautiful. We’re still trying to do this, but we have so many people against us now. The police, they say they’re part of the 99%, but they’re also the rich people’s army, and that’s what’s trying to break us apart. The people that are still here, and the people that are going to sit outside of Bloomberg’s mansion today at 2 o’clock, we’re still trying to keep each other together, and that’s what this is.

I’d like how we had Zuccotti. Without the tents… If we could make the whole world like Zuccotti was, everybody be in a family environment and still break off and do their own thing, that’d be perfect. But from this point, we’re just going down hill. Barack Obama was supposed to be the big difference. He was saying “Change” but… I mean, I respect him so much for what he wanted to do. He tried but… we’ve dug ourselves so deep in America. That would be what my five years from now would look like, is a society like how we had it going. We supported everybody. Even if they disagreed with us.  We were offering things to the police officers that were beating us at night. It’s a relationship of love. If everybody could love each other, and provide for each other when they know we don’t have, it would function okay. But right now its more of the 1%/99% everybody’s talking about.

My name’s Lana.

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