by Josephine Johnson

So, you all know I live in Eureka, California, yeah? Ok. And recently my foggy burg by the bay garnered national press for our local Occupy encampment. Like many places in this great nation, folks here are camping in—occupying—public spaces in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, and though many local HumCo folks are supportive, some just ain’t havin’ it. Which is perplexing given that most here—not counting the big-time growers— are the 99%. Most here, like the rest of America, are being squeezed from the middle class. If you’ve read this post, then you’ve seen the nice pics and graphs depicting the not-so-nice trends and facts about the withering American middle class.  So, recently a reporter from local News Channel 3 visited the Occupy Eureka site at  Humboldt County courthouse. And this is what happened:

Yeah. Feels kinda like a Christopher Guest mockumentary, doesn’t it?  Not everyone supports the Occupy movement here, and Ms. Lambert certainly has her HumCo fans. But wait! It gets funnier. I mean really silly. Lambert’s report inspired this ditty by Andrew Goff (oh you KNOW Dylan’s all envious…):

Pretty funny, eh? And, unlike Ms. Lambert (bless her heart), it’s not unnecessarily cruel or patronizing. For sure, kids across America’ll be howlin’ this tune at bonfires, singalongs, summer camps and backyard BBQs for years to come. Why? Because it has poop and pee in it, of course!

And how ’bout this one?

Occupy image, multi-track audio, Goff the goof, oh my!

Firedoglake, Verum Serum, Gawker, the blaze and probably lots more—all scatologically fixated! I mean, sheesh, we’re in the midst of the new millennium massive economic meltdown, worse than the 1930s according to some—we all need something silly, funny, hilarious to lift us from the grim economic facts and future facing us. Let’s laugh! This is funny shit—I mean stuff. This is really, really silly stuff!

Or is it? Maybe not to local law enforcement. This morning (Monday, November 14, 2011) at 4:50 am the Eureka Police Department and Humboldt County Sheriff’s office raided the Eureka Occupy camp. I don’t think anyone was laughing then, especially not the occupiers since they were all sleeping. I learned of the raid a few hours after it happened. Andrew Goff reported it on the North Coast Journal blog. I’ve cut-n-pasted from the original, but check out the site, too.


Occupy Eureka Wiped Out (PHOTOS)

… at least for now.

The most elaborate encampment constructed on the Humboldt County Courthouse lawn by Occupy Eureka to date — a society that lasted from Friday afternoon until early Monday morning — has been removed by the Eureka Police Department.

Monday morning, the police taped-off area was heavily protected by EPD officers. New fencing was scheduled to arrive later in the day.

EPD Interim Police Chief Murl Harpham estimated 25 arrests were made in a raid of the camp that commenced at around 4 a.m. today. Harpham restated his stance that protesting was allowed.

“If they want to protest, they can protest on the sidewalk,” Harpham said.

Protester James Decker said that last night’s raid saw occupiers “Mark” and “Andrew” tackled by officers.

To compare and contrast, here’s the setup Occupy Eureka maintained from Friday through Sunday:

Friday, November 11, 2011 Eureka Occupy camp

Friday, November 11, 2011 Eureka Occupy camp (photo A. Goff)

Monday, November 14, 2011, Occupy Eureka site

Monday, November 14, 2011, Occupy Eureka site (photo A. Goff)


After reading Goff’s report and seeing the photos, I was compelled to go to the HumCo courthouse to see for myself.  I know the folks down there because I ride or walk past the encampment almost daily. They’re respectful, cheerful and easy to engage in conversation—yeah, they’re my neighbors, dang it. So I went. And discovered that all of the people I usually talk with had been arrested. Yeah, 25 people—poor people, as in folks in poverty, poor people— were arrested and thrown in jail for occupying the courthouse lawn. Why? I can’t help but think that the higher-ups, the powers that be, began to grow weary of the negative national press, that city officials and local muckety-mucks started thinking about how silly (come on, comical!) Eureka must be coming across to folks beyond our protective redwood curtain. That all this bad press might affect tourist dollars or something. (Like people can afford to go on vacation these days…) So they pressured local police to enforce  local ordinance. (Eureka city code bans camping within city limits.) Just a theory. In any case I am certain Eureka uppity-ups have NO sense of humor. None. No funny ha-ha. Maybe an enema would help? Work it all out, get the funny flowing again, yeah?

When I went to the courthouse today I took my camera and spoke with the few people fortunate enough not to have been arrested. Mostly, their words to tell the story.

One more song! No poo, no pee—enjoy!