My political intrigue and activism started in 2011, with the Occupy Wall Street movement. From day one, Occupy Oakland sunk its ideological claws into my malleable anti-establishment brain. I tried working and occupying, but found myself simply sleeping in a tent in downtown Oakland, and missing out on the decision making process and direct actions, which felt kind of pointless since I was still paying rent on the other side of the bay.
I wound up quitting my job selling direct TV, where I was making about $300+/wk, so that I could dedicate myself to the movement that was demanding much of the same change that I wanted to see in the world.
Without getting too in depth about the Occupy movement and my time in it, let’s just say it spoke to me on so many levels, that I wrote a book on it (Occupy My Life:A Modern Wayward Epic vol. 1). After the riots, arrests, and raids, I was more motivated and fueled for activism and dismantling the system any way I could, than I had ever imagined possible. So when the Oakland Commune started to fade into obscurity, occupying local art studios and soup kitchens rather than the front of town hall, I decided to high tail it across the country to Occupy DC, where the camps were still going strong.
I sold everything I owned outside a few essentials that fit in a day pack, fixed up my truck, and headed out with just enough money (or so I thought) to make it to Occupy Congress, and bring the fight to our nation’s capital. Figured I would worry about financing the trip home after I helped change the world.
I accrued another arrest for “assaulting an officer” (spitting on the ground behind him out of defiance) in DC protesting a mayors meeting, and ended up sticking it out for a solid month in the cold, wet, miserable, January weather of the northeast. There I met some new friends, and together we decided to continue traveling to Florida for a Rainbow Gathering.
From there, I entered a whole different world existing beneath the surface of American culture. A world where living for the moment was the norm, and hand outs from generous and loving souls along the way, were essential for survival. And indeed, plentiful enough to sustain the lifestyle.
I bounced around North and Central America on and off for about 6 years, while keeping my home base in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, I’ve driven coast to coast 6x, hit 42 states, a corner of Canada, all of Mexico (where I met the creator of this site), into Guatemala (where I ended up staying and running a bar for a few months), and back. I did it all with little to no money outside what me and my crew at the time would make along the way. I’ve given rides to literally hundreds of adventurers and travelers over the years, and throughout the majority of the dialogue along the way, I talked leftist politics nonstop, sustaining the political dissonant within.
*To read more about these years and my initiation to the counter culture, please read my book, available on Amazon through the link at the bottom.*
Problem was, 90% of the time, I was talking to someone with practically identical politics. This caused an ideological feedback loop, which in turn, lead to my dismissal and revocation of arguments and evidence that might suggest something contrary to my beliefs at the time.
This fed into the festering animosity and hostility towards anything to do with the system. So naturally, I hopped right on Black Lives Matter as soon as I caught wind of it.
This continued on up to the election. Where I automatically despised both candidates and even bought into the Bernie Balogne. I had been bitten by the socialism bug. And who can blame me? Free stuff is awesome!
The night of the election, I found myself on the streets of Oakland, raising hell and protesting against Trump. Granted, I would have been out there just as hard had Clinton won (probably even harder). I was no stranger to riots and tear gas, so over the next few nights, I went back out to provide my voice, as well as providing First Aide, mostly for tear gas, as well as live streaming the event.
It was at these protests that I noticed a few things that didn’t sit right with me. For example, I found it disconcerting how many protestors I spoke with who were avid Clinton supporters and apologists for the numerous violations of her campaign and legacy. I also spoke with multiple people over beers following the events, who mentioned the fact that they were actually getting paid to be there. But I brushed it off, figuring that there’s bound to be some grassroots organization that justified payroll for a worthy cause. But the thing that really caused me to take a step back and reevaluate the whole situation, happened on the third night of protests.
The police had been doing an effective job of preventing the mob of dissidents from going anywhere near the freeway (for obvious reasons). They stood shoulder to shoulder (known as the “blue wall of silence”) and blocked off all the streets that lead from downtown to West Oakland, which is the more crime and poverty-ridden part of Oakland. But they only focused on 1 street at a time, the one we were headed towards, which meant they were leaving other roads open to traffic. This gave me an idea.
Rather than marching back and forth as our numbers start to fade with the night, which is what the cops wanted us to do, what if we were to splinter off in small groups and reconvene at a predetermined location in West Oakland. Better yet, what if only about half of us did that, and once reconvened, march back towards the main group and police, to cattle the cops in for once. OPD was notorious for cattling in and arresting even peaceful protestors and the occasional unfortunate pedestrian or freelance photographer who found themselves on the wrong block, at the wrong time, so I thought this plan of action would be effective, ironic, and hilarious!
So I ran the plan by about 2 dozen of my comrades in action, and they all thought it was a great idea. Most said they’d be on board and able to provide vehicles and such to help, but a few pointed me towards the “organizers” of the event. Being from Occupy, I jokingly thought, “what the f*ck is an organizer?”. But I appeased and addressed the apparently established hierarchy of the mostly “anarchist” based mob.
There were 3 girls (not women), who were probably no more than 22 years old, who had “UC Berkeley gender studies” written all over them. They all had matching single tone generic hoodies (can’t remember what color exactly), and they all carried matching, brand new clipboards. What was on these clipboards? I don’t know. The clipboards alone seemed out of place right off the bat, so I made it a point to try and sneak a peek as to what they were referencing throughout the evening, but they had the contents covered by blank pieces of paper on top.
I ran my idea by them, and to my surprise and dismay, they shot it down immediately. Without so much as a discussion or vote, both of which were standard for most decisions at Occupy and practically every protest I’d ever been to. They insisted that we needed to persist on foot as a single group, and reach West Oakland in hopes of inspiring people to walk out their homes and join in. It seemed to be their way or the highway. But those turned out to be one in the same.
Eventually, the cops let the crowd, which was about 3 dozen in total at this point, continue through, down MLK Blvd. This route diverted us still towards the freeway, but much further down the road than the downtown streets that were much closer to downtown. By the time we reached an overpass, it was clear that recruiting people in West Oakland was merely an excuse to cover for the real intention of the organizers; occupying the freeway.
Now to be clear, I have never participated in the Occupy or BLM freeway takeovers in the past, although at the time, I supported them. I understood the sentiment that seemingly justified such a drastic form of protest and the importance of the issues that they were addressing. But I also saw it as divisive and thought it generally discouraged people from taking part in future protests themselves. It was counterproductive marketing that utilized the mainstream media as a platform, in my eyes. Which, as I learned with Occupy, is never a good idea as they will pick and chose the content and contextualize it to fit their agendas.
As we neared the overpass, the organizers let out a battle cry and ran for the small fence that blocked pedestrians from walking up the slope of the base of the massive 6 laned 580 freeway. Being it was about 10:30 at night and everyone there was exhausted from miles and hours of marching and yelling, everyone held back. Some in exhaustion, some in disbelief of how pointless and dangerous it was. Even by the most liberal definition, there was no traffic to stop, the few cars on the freeway that time of night were always going 65+ mph, and there weren’t even enough of us to reach from shoulder to shoulder while standing shoulder to shoulder. And on top of all that, getting arrested is practically guaranteed for anyone on that roadway. It was stupid. Yet the organizers insisted. They insisted worse than a horny college kid on the verge of blue balls. They insisted as though their jobs were dependent upon it. And that left me with a bad impression.
I was under the impression that these were organic gatherings, made up of freethinkers who were upset with the general state of affairs and the bullshit options presented to us in the circus show of an election. I was under the impression that the turnout would’ve been similar, had Hillary Clinton won. I was under the impression that this was a potential resurgence of the Occupy movement (I literally had my tent in my trunk, just in case). I was under the impression that these were historical moments that would later be hailed as the dawning of The Resistance against the looming New World Order, which more and more people are finally recognizing as more than just a “conspiracy theory”.
I was under the impression that I was on the righteous side of history in the making.
I was wrong. It took me a long time to push through my cognitive dissonance and come to terms with this, but over the last year and a half, my in-depth research has confirmed how wrong I was. About Trump. About socialism. About global warming. About feminism. About so many conservative views in general. And about which side I was actually fighting for, in the war against the global power brokers and their plans for a New World Order.
I knew it was time for an introspective analysis of what I believed and stood for, and that required an objective analysis of the research presented by both sides of many sociopolitical issues.
Over the next few months, I look forward to breaking down the last year and a half of my life. Through dedicating entire articles to individual topics in which I have drastically changed my views on, I hope to provide fodder for your own debates with others and stocking you up with sourceable, relavent material. Through explaining my thought process and the effects it had on my social life living in such a liberal area, I hope to connect with others experiencing similar ostracization, so they know that they’re not alone. Through sharing realizations, I hope to plant the seed in the minds of those who refuse to give creedance to anything that doesn’t support their current narrative. Through engagement of civil debate and respectful exchanging of ideas with those who disagree, I hope to BECOME the change I wish to see in the world.
*for more information on my wayward traveling and nomadic hippie adventures, please buy my self published book, Occupy My Life A Modern Wayward Epic (Vol. 1) on Amazon, using the link below*
* follow me on Twitter @wokewhitezombie or Facebook @ Mike Wayward Porter *Follow us on social media!