In an RV emblazoned with signs such as "Release Bradley Manning" and "Info Collection Task Force Unit for Wikileaks," Occupy Wall Street's Janet Wilson is proving that authorities might evict Occupy from streets and parks, but cannot keep it off the roads.
Janet lives up to her billing as a "mobile extension" of the OWS Protests in a trip that started in Seattle, WA on November 4, 2011, zig-zagged across America to the east coast... and is still moving. Her 31-foot billboard nicknamed "Our V" has visited 30 states, over 100 Occupation sites, and has covered 17,000-plus miles.
Why in the world is she doing this? Why leave the safe and tiny community of Gig Harbor, WA, to travel from Occupy site to Occupy site -- oftentimes trailed by police cars? (Tasked with what? Impeding "agitators" and preserving "Homeland Security?")
Parallels can be drawn to any number of historical figures that have preceded her -- ranging from as benign as Steinbeck in his Travels with Charlie, or as frenetic as Kerouac in his On the Road adventures. Like her, they had decided that if you are going to make a difference you first have to pull out of your own driveway. (She has a lot of miles ahead of her to even come close to Woody Guthrie's claim of having traveled "45 of the 48 States.")
She has been welcomed enthusiastically along the way, a "Queen Bee" cross-pollinating each Occupier site with ideas that she brings from her last stop... and then picking up new tips to take along to the next town and gathering.
Ideas such as the ones shared by an aging "draft dodger" in Pittsburgh who regaled the van's occupants with stories of what he/they did in the '60s to cause change, or by Philadelphia's Ret. Police Captain Ray Lewis when he discussed ways in which to confront police intimidation, or in the warm conversations at that city's Quaker center which provided food and shelter.
Why, again, is she and her entourage doing this?
"We are seeking economic and social justice for the 99 percent of us who cannot buy a politician. We expose injustices as we travel throughout the U.S. We stand in solidarity with the rest of the world who know 'another world is possible.'"
You can follow her "Vlog" on that site or via Facebook's Occupy The Roads page.
Want to hear her in our own voice? Tune in to a "15 Minutes of Fact" interview on WGRNradio.com.
Whose Roads? OCCUPY'S roads. Whose "V?" "R' V!