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Crystal Zevon

Crystal Zevon is author of 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon,' an oral history of the life of her former husband and lifelong friend and co-conspirator

November 17th, 2011 9:00 AM

An 80 Year Old Occupier

Eve Tetaz from Freedom Plaza

My habit since I've been occupying Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C. is to slip out of my cozy sleeping bag at around 6 a.m. and head for the corner bakery where I use their sink to brush my teeth and wash my face (habits I hope I can continue to maintain, although sometimes it is hard to find the time, and of course, some of us aren't exactly welcomed by our neighboring establishments).  I then order oatmeal and coffee and settle in to sort through the hundred or so emails that always linger in my in-box, charge my phone and my iPad (we all know where every available electrical outlet is), and hopefully, do a little writing or transcribing the interviews I'm doing with occupiers.  Today, is no different, and I am currently at the bakery, rushing to get this posted because GA starts on Freedom Plaza in 20 minutes.  And, once again, it's a charged day with a visit to Senator Bernie Sanders Senate committee on cuts where we will present our own proposal from our own Super Committee hearings (on CSPAN, and the proposal can be found on the website ).  We also have a visit from Barbara Ehrenreich at noon, and a march in solidarity with the other DC occupation at McPherson Square to close down the Key Bridge, and then, of course, it's Student Walk Out day.  Anyone who thinks being an occupier isn't a job needs to think twice.

I had planned to write about our visit from S. Brian Wilson yesterday, and my conversations with him about the fact that many of the young occupiers don't seem to be making the connection between corporatism and militarism.  I vow that I will write about this, but I simply don't have time right now.  

However, I have been transcribing an interview with one of our greatest supporters whom you might have seen at the end of the video from our action at the Chamber of Commerce where we 'mic checked' Blue Cross/Blue Shield CEO Scott Serota.  Her name is Eve Tetaz and she's 80 years old.  She has been to jail many times, once for nearly a month, for speaking out against wars and injustice.  A judge once lectured her from the bench, calling her a terrorist.  In our interview from Nov. 5th (I'm working on a book- an oral history of this movement), there is a small paragraph that brought me, grandmother of twin 8 year old boys, to tears.  There are days when I wonder at my sanity, leaving my cozy condo and moving into a tent... but, Eve reminded me why I'm here, and after the rain and cold of yesterday, which continues today, I needed to hear this this morning and I'm going to share it with you.

EVE TETAZ:  You know, I'm 80 years old.  I don't believe that there is going to be any change in my lifetime.  Or, maybe in your children's children's lifetime.  But, Bill Quigley who is the director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who was the force that drew the world's attention to the prisons at Guantanamo, he testified at our trial in Las Vegas when we were arrested for protesting the use of the drones, and he said, that what we need to do is to see what is happening today through the eyes of somebody living 100 years from now.  So, that, when that person, when the children of that generation ask their parents or their grandparents, 'What did YOU do during October 2011, or the Occupy Wall Street, or any of the Occupy groups, 'What did YOU do?"  Then, the great grandparent can say, "I was there."     

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