More with Less

Eric Robertson

            Do More with Less

            I'm going to support the general strike on Wednesday, Nov. 2. I hope you will too. The more I think about the crack down on Occupy Oakland, the more it gets to me. Of course, it's illegal to set up tents and camp out in public parks, but these are extraordinary times.

            The Oakland Police Department could have stood in unity with the protesters. They could have let the tents stand for a whole year assigning beat cops to patrol the area for the amount they must have spent on the army they sent in to tear it down.

            They could have negotiated with the protesters to have public health violators/vandals/violent people disciplined within their own ranks or by OPD.

            The police, who are part of this 99%, should stand on the side of the protesters, not tear gas them, not shoot tear gas canisters at their heads, and not throw concussion grenades into groups of people trying to help an injured person.

            I will walk non-violently with protesters on Wednesday carrying a sign that says "Peaceful Protest for a New Fucking Tax Code."

            I work in an elementary school that has no P.E. teacher, no librarian, reduced or cut training for new teachers, a part-time nurse, and increased class sizes from 20 to 30 students. The list could go on.

            I'm not afraid to make more with less. I rise to the challenge. I know our countries wealthiest, second wealthiest, third wealthiest on down the line can afford to make more with less too. In fact, some of them are calling for it themselves.

            I am not asking for more money in my pocket. Public school teaching is the most money I’ve ever made and I’m quite happy with it. (I don’t have kids). I’m asking that we serve people who are a)sick (this includes the drug addicted and mentally unstable) b) homeless c)jobless and that d) we serve the planet and living creatures and stop fucking it [them] up. I believe we can do this and e) have a balanced budget and pay down the debt. I know how, and even enjoy, tightening my belt when it is for a good cause. Join me and demand that we all do more with less. Don’t buy the trickle down economics bullshit. If you believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps then let’s getting to pulling folks because we are all walking around with our ass showing.

            The young man whose head was cracked in Oakland could be anyone of us out there walking. The people who came to help him and got their eardrums ripped by the percussion explosive thrown into their ranks could be anyone of us too.


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About Eric Robertson

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Eric Robertson is the author of Whatever Comes of Not Knowing. Former longtime resident, journalist and organizer in the Tenderloin he now teaches first-grade and lives in a house with a yard. Robertson's stories draw on observations of life in the inner city and on his early years growing up in the South.