Miami Dispatch: 11/19

Who Needs Sleep?

| November 2003

MIAMI -- I wake up too early, after only four hours sleep, still charged with energy from the ritual. I go downtown to the Wallflower Gallery to give a permaculture workshop for the Green Bloc's Solutions Forum.

It's 1 p.m. I'm tired, so tired. I do fine on five hours sleep but only four last night was pushing it. It's been a long, good, oddly calm day. The permaculture workshop is fun to do and I get to show a short video Donna made about the Green Bloc and slides of our ecovillage in Cancun and of some of the City Repair projects in Portland where they transform intersections into plazas with benches and community bulletin boards and giveaway boxes and amazing sculptures. We just begin a conversation about where the skills we learn in these mobilizations could lead -- into transforming communities and claiming spaces, neighborhoods, villages, regions, as the Zapatistas have done in Chiapas or the Movimiento Sim Terre in Brazil. And I would love to stay all afternoon, go out to lunch and go on talking about community building, but we have a meeting for the Pagan Cluster. So a group of us walk over to the community garden, through the poor, destroyed neighborhoods that surround us. Christy, who is local, tells us that once this was a thriving African American community, until they built a freeway through it and urban-renewed it into oblivion. Many people pass us; all seem friendly but most also have glazed, drugged eyes.

We get the cluster fairly well organized. Lisa and I have formed an affinity group of two, No Rest for the Wicked, we call it. But we decide to join in with the Vermont group, Burning Love. Lisa will buddy up with Charles, because they both move fast and are all over the place, collecting information, negotiating, if necessary being liaison to the police. Nobody in Burning Love wants to be my buddy, because they know if there's trouble I will run toward it. I ask Andy to be my buddy. We often end up together on the street. While Charles and Lisa are slim and quick, we're both big and solid and slow, but we will wade into the midst of the fray, and shift the energies.

We go back to the convergence center after a brief lunch of Cuban stew and chicken gizzards, and lie down for a moment. Donna tells me that food figures heavily in all my updates -- but truly it's a challenge to find time to eat, so every snatched meal feels like a small triumph. Just be grateful I don't record every time I take a pee -- which is even more of a challenge in the convergence center, with two toilets for a thousand people!

After the cluster meeting, we have a spokescouncil, the last one before the action. It goes well. Truly, there is nothing much left to decide, except to approve the action plan. Sara and I sing the new song my brother and I have just written:
'Come take back the streets, come one, come all,
To the Witches and anarchists masquerade ball.
For the power of the Empire is doomed to fall,
At the Witches and Anarchists masquerade ball.'

The action is as planned as it can be. I come home and nearly fall asleep writing this. As always, this close to the beginning, it seems like we don't have the numbers we'd hoped for, that we have a dumb and possibly suicidal action plan, that I'd rather be home gardening. Lisa says, 'I'm not doing this any more.' She says that at least once every action. I'm calm: I feel ordinary and relaxed. At one moment, I think it will be a miracle if I'm not in jail by the end of the day tomorrow. In another minute, I'm thinking tomorrow will be calm and possibly dull, an ineffective anticlimax to our weeks of work. But in any case, my own eyes are glazing over as I type. Wish us well tomorrow -- today. And good night. May we be in the right place at the right time in the right way, with the protection, the magic, the health, the energy, the wisdom to due the work

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