Why We Occupy: Cowboy

Name: Morgan Villarreal A.K.A. Cowboy
Age: 20
Hometown: Bay City, Michigan
Home Occupation: Occupy Bay City / Occupy the Tri

What makes you part of the 99%?:

Had a job, but lost it due to corruption with in the company.

Why do you Occupy?:

I want to help change the government and our future. I want to help to get corporations out of washington and stop the 1% from robbing the 99%.

Tell a hopeful or inspiring story:

I hope that one day, we will change our country for the better, and leave all the corporate lobbyists in the dust. That our future generations will have all the freedoms, not just as an American citizen, but as a human being. I dont want them to live in a country, or a world, that regulates everything they do. I want them to be free, with out fear of indefinite persecution, or not being able to take care of their family cause they are working at a wage that barely outs food on the table.

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Why We Occupy: Lindsea

Name: Lindsea
Age: 24
Hometown: Livonia, MI
Home Occupation: Ann Arbor, MI

What makes you part of the 99%?:

I am part of the 99% because I, like many others in America, have not been getting my voice heard for social and environmental justice. I am frustrated with the all the struggling of myself and those around me. I cannot, and those around me cannot, live by this myth of the American dream and pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. In addition, the freedoms in this country are forgotten, instead we have these ideas of freedom shoved down our throats to the point that we are not free, we don’t even remember what it means to be free anymore. When corporations have larger voice in the government than the people elected officials are trying to represent, we have inequity. I join the 99% to fight this inequity and to strive to be truly free.

Why do you Occupy?:

I occupy because I question authority with a critical consciousness. I occupy for redistribution of power. I believe that many have been engaged in consciousness raising and as a result, more people are realizing how inequitable and unjust our system has become. These systems also have gone beyond oppressing people, they oppress Earth and her animals as well, and the capitalist system is responsible for this as well. I also occupy so others can also occupy. I occupy to fight capitalist patriarchy which, in my opinion, has created this unjust system of inequity. Capitalist patriarchy has led to very few in power at the top of the hierarchy, with their own selfish interests in mind. I’m not an economist, but I know well that trickle-down theory of economics does not work. I would hope to see changes happen from the ground up, informed by and for the interests of the people. Participatory democracy is what many are calling for, and I join them in this call. To me, this is what democracy looks like. Empowerment of the masses is on the horizon.

Tell a hopeful or inspiring story:

I went to a rally for occupy in another city with some strangers who are now friends. During that time, a friend of mine was yelling “Down with King Synder.” A passerby asked “What are you up with?” I think this idea of positivist activism is an important one to bring to the movement. While it is important and normal to be completely and utterly outraged at the status quo of this nation and world, we have to remember “What are we up with?” Revolution is supposed to be beautiful and aesthetic, this is why Emma Goldman is credited for the quote “If I can’t dance it’s not my revolution.” Social change is to be fun and beautiful, and that is what I hope to bring to this movement.

Why We Occupy: Kent

 Name: Kent
 Age: 27
 Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI.
 Home Occupation: Occupy Ann Arbor/Occupy for All
What makes you part of the 99%:

I’m about to turn 28 years old and I’ve been a part of the work force for half of my life, bouncing from one crappy job to another. I went to college straight out of high school and discovered at the time that it wasn’t for me. Little did I know that it would be one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I’m now taking Community College courses, hoping to get the necessary degree to be able to get a job with any kind of living wage. A job that most likely doesn’t even exist. I’m happily married and I’m the “father” of two dogs, all of whom I can barely afford to care for, let along provide any type of future for. I haven’t had health insurance for over a year and I just recently returned to work after being unemployed for a year and a half. I’m quickly sinking further and further in to debt as I fall behind on bills, rent, and anything else that could help me scratch my way through the world. I am part of the 99% because while I feel like I’m suffering, I know there are those that have it much, MUCH worse than me and I don’t know how they do it. I’m thankful for every single thing that I have and it kills me to watch professional athletes have lockouts for more money. How many millions is enough? All I want is a future for my family. All I want is the “American Dream” I was promised all those years ago. I would give anything for that.

Why do you Occupy?:

For many years, I’ve been ignorant to what was really going on in the world. I blamed myself for my inability to succeed and only through the Occupation movement did I realize that it might not have been entirely my fault. That those opportunities didn’t really exist. I occupy for all of the people that have to suffer to try and have any kind of life. I occupy for my family. I occupy for my friends. I occupy for everyone around the world that can’t get what they deserve. I occupy for you. Whoever you are, no matter where you are, if you are reading this and you believe as I do, you are my friend and I will keep fighting until we get what we have long since deserved. Thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you continue to do. Never give up.

Tell a hopeful or inspiring story:

This isn’t a story, persay, but the description of one of the most amazing human beings I know. I met her in 2004, married her in 2009, and have never let her go since. My wife Kat is my hero. Every single day she amazes me, despite facing some of the biggest trials and tribulations a person should ever have to face. For most of her life, she has suffered from unbearable migraines, along with a host of other health issues. In 2010, we found out that she was diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma. For those that aren’t Doctors, it’s essentially a non-cancerous brain tumor. It’s something that will never go away and will affect her for the rest of her life. We may never be able to get rid of the migraines and, though we remain hopeful, we may never be able to have children. This would normally be a devastating story to some, but my wife is the strongest, bravest, most incredible woman I have ever met. She doesn’t let this take the wind out of her sails. Instead, she attacks the world head on and she fights the good fight every single day. She is kind, thoughtful, considerate, and she’s my hero. She supported me while I was unemployed. She is currently the primary caregiver for our family. She introduced me to the Occupy movement. I am thankful for her every single day and will be for the rest of my life.