6 – My heart is under the barricades

By Lydia

A very small park in Berkeley has been barricaded with shipping containers stacked up high and high and high in the sky. Many people were injured and jailed in the process. I’ve received messages from friends asking me to play outside the barricades and I have to tell them I can’t. My body is not one that can run from the cops or sit out on the street in the cold for hours. I stumble my way to work in the morning and can’t really tell how far away the ground is or how close I am to the trees lining the streets. 

I believe maybe the old hippies at the park are having a harder time than I am, I know one that is almost blind and one that only has one leg. I don’t understand why I can’t snap out of it. It is so hard to heal when everything is falling apart around you. 

Imagining a free world, like so many anarchists like to sit around doing, depresses me to no end. People’s Park was one place that I was able to see through the cracks of the system into a beautiful world where people truly cared and protected one other. 

When I was better I benefited greatly from the community at People’s Park, I ate Food not Bombs, worked in the garden, participated in large and intense consensus meetings, shoveled massive piles of wood chips, attended a nonviolent civil disobedience training, attended a protest shield use training, met friends, played music on the stage and more and more. My experiences at the park and with the people will be with me forever.

I called my mom on the phone in October when the genocide started and asked her if she had always felt like the world was ending or if it was just me and she told me about the day she heard that the Berlin wall fell. Attempts to control a population are as constant as a people’s fight for freedom. 

We have now seen how afraid they are of us. We are so much more powerful than they have allowed us to believe.