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Overheard in S.F.: Various Discussions Happening in the Occupy Camp 

Wednesday, Nov 23 2011

• Overheard: the theme song from the 1990s Nickelodeon TV show Salute Your Shorts, about a group of kids at the fictional Camp Anawanna, emanating from loudspeakers.

• The protesters call Debra Lujan "Mama" because she took to doting on them immediately upon her arrival seven weeks ago.

• "The Zinn School is a Daily Facilitated Discussion on Economic and PoliticalHistory/Theory, in the Tradition of Howard Zinn," announces a whiteboard outside the Learning Center tent.

Under that, the board reads: "All Day: Carlos' Birthday! Happy 29th!"

• Mrs. B. (Bowie) said to this reporter: "Are you an airhead, or have you never spoken to a black person before?"

• Another peacekeeping force? Religion. Miran Istina, 18, has gotten press for traveling from Sisters, Ore., to Occupy SF and showing what life is like in the 99 percent: She was told her cancer was a preexisting condition not eligible for coverage by her health insurance. Thin and withdrawn, she sat on the ground outside the tent that doubles as a temple, Moldavite incense wafting, and explained how the space for prayer, meditation, and interfaith meetings came to be: On Nov. 11, a day of some significance depending on whom you ask, Istina, a Wiccan priestess, joined forces with some Buddhists, Eclectics, and a Muslim. "We tapped into the energy of the planetary and spiritual alignments and spirit-bombed the camp," she said. "Spirit energy out the ass." As she recounted the tale, she exchanged bows with a neo-Hindu who goes by "Jaiheda."

• Spotted: A man hunched over a cardboard sign, writing, "Today is my birthday" — Carlos, perhaps?

• In the Learning Center tent, people can borrow books via a sign-out sheet. The library is divided into genres: People Fighting Back, Some Ways & Thoughts on Fighting Back, Some of the Things That Need to be Fixed, Economics, Fiction, and Crafts & Other Survival Skills.

• A sign: "No Food in the Library. Drinks Must Have Lids."

• Barack Obama's memoir Dreams From My Father is filed under "Fiction." Next to it: The Phantom Tollbooth.

About The Author

Taylor Friedman


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