I am not a photographer so on occasions like this I go full auto on the camera so I can keep my mind on what is going on around me and think about how to capture it. I went by myself and had only the intention of capturing images of what was happening, I did have some trepidation but I am the sort to “just do it” I have heard a lot about this “movement”, all kinds of mixed messages about its origin and purpose. After going there and speaking with the people in the movement I have more questions than answers...
Here is what happened on my visit
As I approached this was my first shot. It was later that I realized the three on the bench were smoking.
I stepped back and caught the sign at the gate. That made me look up citizen …
This sign was just beyond the gate sign. This is part of the confusion for me … what is the Veterans for Peace organization doing here?
I started to walk the perimeter to get a feel and was greeted by this mess. If you look close the boys are still smoking in the background, no doubt for medicinal purposes because that is legal here in Maine..
The medical tent, it was right up against the mess hall in the next shot.
The mess hall ...stainless sink? They should use it. This is also where you can get the propaganda stencil for your tent.
This friendly person was passing out soup and asked if I would like to partake … I thanked him and declined politely
This is the “Ohm Dome” The Spiritual Healing Center
If you look close to the left of the door behind the drums is another Veterans for Peace sign. Did they fund and build the Ohm Dome?
A sign in the crossroads of the walkways named by the occupants as Intently Awesome Avenue, Boulevard of Dreams and Donation Alley.
This is Randy Santa Cruz the camp cook and head organizer. He saw my conversation with the other gentlemen and joined us. He is very friendly and told me he is an out of work ex-marine from Connecticut on unemployment. He did not directly tell me why he is in Maine. I did point blank ask him where the money is coming from to run his kitchen. His silence was diffused by his fellow ex-marine who pulled out three bucks and handed it to Randy and told me that is how it is being done.
This fellow who's name I got but forgot (sorry} was the one to approach me and asked what I thought. I told him that I did not think much of it. He told me these folks have been put here by the system and that they have no where to go and no hope for employment. I told him I did not think much of their tactics and they already have the tools to get what they want. He asked what I meant and I told him he has his vote. He became very animated and told me the vote counts for nothing and the entire system is rigged and there is no hope for a fair vote and the entire system has to be overtaken to effect change. The conversation then went to Prescott Bush and the conspiracy of his son and grandson becoming presidents. When Randy came over and told us he was an ex-marine this fellow said he was also an ex-marine and they Semper Fi'ed each other … so what are these ex-marines flying Veterans for Peace flags doing? I thanked them both for talking with me and continued
Yeah right Drama Free Zone … the whole thing is a drama show.
Relaxing after some hot soup
At this point I had seen and heard enough to know I was only seeing the tip of the ice burg. What are a group of ex-military folks doing organizing and inciting our homeless, idealist and some unfortunate folks in our parks? Who is feeding these folks 3 squares a day? Who is paying for water, electricity and those outhouses? Will they be allowed to start fires? Who will supply the wood? What will these unwitting easily persuaded minions be used to do? What is the mission? I thought this was just a group of idealist young folks railing against corporations but it is much more than that. There should be police on site and the city should conduct health inspections as well. In these hard times we should not have to afford the expense to police these encampments not to mention the hurt and drain they are putting on local merchants.
These folks have forgotten that they have the ability to aspire in our free country. They have the freedom in this country to do as Bill Gates did and create enormous wealth by building a corporation and profiting from it and then devote their lives to giving it away like Mr. Gates is doing … not to mention a trust that will continue to benefit people as long as it is run properly. Instead the folks in this camp are being fed a steady diet of “you are oppressed” “your vote does not count” “you are a victim” “the one percent have taken what is yours” … no good can come of that.
I may go back when it snows and I will ask more questions.