There are people in Homeland Security, who are paid to watch Occupy Eugene. Which means, I belong to an organization being actively surveilled by federal cops. That’s still a rarefied space, but probably not for too much longer. When the ninja’s went marching downtown last week, a marked Homeland Security van showed up to watch them. I suppose it signals that we, as an activist organization, have arrived.
Homeland Security probably hasn’t hired anybody full time to watch Occupy Eugene. Maybe the agency has us on a watch list. We only get attention when their data crunching apparatus says we should be given attention. I don’t know how it all works, but I do know that Homeland Security cares about us. As an attention-hungry extrovert, I that gives me a certain degree of cheer.
Lance and I talked about cops, and rent-a-cops and Homeland Security while we walked around the Jantzen Beach Mall, last Black Friday. We were walking across the entryway, between the Target and the jewelers. Everywhere I looked, people were holding their copy of Lance’s flyer.
“I’m more afraid of Rent-a-cops than I am of real cops,” Lance said. We were walking toward Olvera; who was standing next to the jeweler’s, watching us. “Rent-a-cops don’t have nearly the type of restraints that real cops do.”
“They don’t have the power of the state behind them,” I pointed out.
“And they don’t have the limits of the state, either,” Lance said.
He was in the lead as we reached Olvera. “Do you know how to sing?” he asked her.
Olvera looked amused. “I’ve read your flyer,” she said with a smile..
She’s tall and solid. When I looked into her eyes, I remember thinking, ‘she’s too smart to be a rent-a-cop.’
“You’re planning on having a concert?” Olvera asked Lance. She had her arms crossed just under her badge, but she looked relaxed. She rocked back and forth on her right hip while she spoke.
“It’s more like opening up a radio frequency,” he said. “But once we get it open, I want to try that.”
“You want to get everybody to stop what they’re doing and sing with you?”
Lance shrugged. “Yeah.”
“In the whole mall?”
“If you do that,” Olvera stood up straighter, “the mall will charge you with trespassing and disturbing the peace.”
“Yeah. I know. That’s why I’m wearing the leash. To make it easy for you.”