16 Feb., A day without immigrants

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There’s an Asian buffet not far from the office that I visit almost every week. I have my news sites routed through the Feedly app, but I didn’t look at it yesterday. For a couple of months I’ve been getting takeout at the restaurant. There’s enough time to grab a few items and get back with a little time to spare before I have to start working again. So I left at about 11:30 to go get lunch. The first thing I noticed when I got in the parking lot was that it was empty. Normally the front and one of the side parking lots are nearly full. On Thursday there was nothing. My initial thought was that I had arrived at some really odd time and there’d be maybe two or three people in there eating. I get to the door and there’s a sign saying

CLOSED
SORRY FOR THE
INCONVENIENCE
FEBRUARY 16

Before I left I had noticed in Facebook’s ‘Trending’ sidebar something about the ‘A day without immigrants march,’ but I didn’t click it. Honestly I assumed that it was some sort of counter-protest held by the President’s supporters. It just seemed like some group bigoted showings-off that people who seem like sore winners would put together.

When I got back to the office I typed into Twitter, ‘Evidently there’s something called ‘A day without immigrants. Looks like Austin is getting its douche on today.’ I mentioned it to a coworker who told me what was really going on. This was actually a good thing, but it wasn’t universal. After I got off work I called another restaurant to see if they were open and the manager said that he’d gotten several calls asking the same thing but didn’t know why. I explained to him what had been happening.

The thing is, I’ve become so jaded with people that I often expect the worst from them. In this case this was a gesture to demonstrate just how much of what we enjoy here in America comes from people who weren’t born here. The fact that some businesses stayed open and their owners and managers didn’t know about the protest tells me that we’re going to need more reminders of this truth in the future.

Immigrants are part of our culture and always have been. We need to show our appreciation, not take people for granted. Especially now that things have become so clearly uncertain.

Occupy Austin Update

I left work about 3:30am again. As I passed by City Hall I saw roughly the same number of protesters. Most of them were asleep on the steps, which is what spurred the arrests. There was one guy in what I’m guessing was his Halloween costume. He had long hair and a short beard and was wearing a long white Mediterranean-style tunic with a dark green toga and was carrying a trumpet. I couldn’t tell whether he was going as Christ or the Archangel Gabriel. There was definitely some mixed symbolism from what I could see.

Occupy "Insert Your Town's Name"

I drive by this bunch everyday during the week. I really don’t think this kind of thing would work in a small town. They seem pretty peaceful. It looks like a tiny version of some of the concerts that go on during SXSW and ACL. It also looks like the people camping for weeks to get in to see Star Wars.

Occupy Austin

I don’t intend to be here Saturday for the big rally. I just hope everything remains amicable between the protesters and any of the authority figures.

Occupy Austin

I meant to use a wider angle to get the sign on the right talking about ending the Fed.

Occupy Austin

I like some of the things I see on their signs. I just question who’s behind them. I know people are calling it a grassroots movement but it looks like a coordinated copycat movement and I want to know who in addition to MoveOn is behind it. The lady is right. Corporations are not people. And if the law treated them as something else maybe they’d have to earn more of an honest living as businesses.

Occupy Austin

Government may be accountable to the people but they certainly act as if their real bosses are the banks.

UnOccupy

I don’t know who is in this photo. If everyone did this, especially starting at such a young age, we’d have less problems like what is being protested across the country.