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By Angelo Lopez on November 30, 2011

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By Angelo Lopez on November 26, 2011

Last Wednesday, our wonderful cat Jasper passed away. Jasper was deeply loved by his owners, and by everyone who knew him. I had never owned a pet before Jasper, and in these past 5 years, I've really grown to love Jasper for his gentleness, his warmth, and his unique personality.

My wife got Jasper thirteen years ago, when her roommate brought Jasper and his sister Jasmine home from work. My wife named Jasper after a mountain range that she saw when she visited Canada as a child. She watched them grow from kittens, and observed their unique personalities develope. Jasper was a very mellow cat, who loved being around people. When a visitor came, he would go right up to the person and start rubbing his head on their legs. Often he would lie on his back, in hopes that a human would rub his belly. Jasper loved being petted, and he most enjoyed it when a person would gently rub under his chin.

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By Angelo Lopez on November 13, 2011

Music has always played an important role in the fight for freedom, civil rights and economic justice. During the Revolutionary War, the tune Yankee Doodle was sung by American troops to mock the British and to praise the new Continental Army. During the 1930s Woody Guthrie sang songs about the poor and marginalized, and Billie Holiday sang the song "Strange Fruit" to protest lynching in the South. Folk singers like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and Mary sang at civil rights demonstrations and songs like "We Shall Overcome" were sung by civil rights activists for inspiration and strength. In the 1970s, punk bands like the Clash and ska bands like The Specials sang songs about the alienation and economic misery of a generation under Margaret Thatcher's England. In the early 1990s, rappers like Public Enemy wrote rap songs that highlighted the plight of the inner city poor. So it's no surprise that music has played a large part in the protests in Occupy Wall Street.

There are several documentaries that tell of the importance of music in social change. The documentary Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony documents the importance of musicians in keeping the spirit up for anti-apartheid activists in South Africa. Get Up Stand Up is a PBS documentary about the popular music has played in the ongoing struggles for peace and equality. Soundtrack For A Revolution documents the freedom songs that were so inspirational to the civil rights activists of the 1960s. Two years ago The White House hosted a celebration of music from the civil rights movement, a highlight being a performance of "The Times They Are A Changing" by Bob Dylan.

Here are a collection of youtube videos of musicians who have contributed their talents to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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By Angelo Lopez on November 9, 2011

I did these cartoons a while back as a submissions to a cartoonist website and to the Tri-City Voice, but neither were published. I thought I'd publish it here in Everyday Citizen.

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By Angelo Lopez on November 4, 2011

Poets have always had a strong presence in social justice causes. In the 1800s, Lord Byron supported the Luddites and Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire and Percy Shelley was an advocate for nonviolence and social justice for the lower classes. W.S. Merton and Robinson Jeffers were strong advocates for environmental causes. Lanston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Robert Hayden were strong supporters of the civil rights movement. Muriel Rukeyser, Grace Paley, and June Jordan participated in the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement and the feminist movement. With this history of social activism by poets, it comes as no surprise that many poets are participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests that are around the country.

A Facebook page called Poetry@OccupyWallStreet has been created to information to poets on ways in which they can participate in the Occupy Wall Street protests. Through this page, poets can organize readings, and post poems to be read. Every Friday night in the New York site, at around 9:30pm, poets of all walks of life and ages come in and read or perform their poetry. The Occupy Wall Street Library has just published an Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology. Right now the anthology is available only at the Occupy Wall Street Library, but there are plans to have it available online. Famous poets like Anne Waldman, Adrienne Rich, and Michael McClure have contributed their poetry, as well as regular people and even children.

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By Angelo Lopez on November 3, 2011

On Halloween weekend I dropped by Occupy San Jose to see if anything was going on that I could help with. They were having face painting and various other activities for children who were visiting with their parents. I spent some time talking to the people holding signs in the street corner. During the hour I was there, I heard many cars honk and drivers gave thumbs up to show their support for their message. Earlier that week a man named Cracker began sitting on top of a City Hall wall to get more attention for the group. Cracker spent the day talking to people who were curious to know why he was up this wall.

A few of the signs were in commemoration of Scott Olsen, an Iraqi veteran who was hurt last week in Occupy Oakland in a melee with the police. Several of the sign holders were involved in civic activism the first time, inspired by what they've seen on television and read in the internet. A few of these first-timers camped out with the other demonstrators for the night. I talked to a young fellow named Owen, who decided to camp out with Occupy San Jose after reading about the group for the past week in the San Jose Mercury news. Another person, a bass player, decided to come out during his time off of work.

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Want to read more pieces written by Angelo Lopez? We have more here! This page you are on right now is an archive of entries written by Angelo Lopez in November 2011. This author's preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: October 2011.

The next monthly archive, after this one, is Angelo Lopez: December 2011.

To see all entries ever written by Angelo Lopez, see the complete blog archives for Angelo Lopez.

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This is an archive of blog entries written by Angelo Lopez in November 2011.

The preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: October 2011.

The next one in chronological order is Angelo Lopez: December 2011.

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