This Sunday, July 29, the San Fernando Valley contingent of the Occupy movement visited North Hollywood. Specifically, a table staffed by volunteers was located on the south side of North Hollywood Park, along Magnolia Avenue, around lunchtime. The small exhibit featured signs gauged to attract the public’s notice, plus pamphlets and flyers outlining the group’s aims and other pertinent information.
Along with the display, the Occupy group presented healthy food available free to the interested public. This was to emphasize their purpose that day, in educating the passersby concerning the lack of safe food, not to mention food, period, for many in the area. It was no coincidence that numerous partakers of the free lunch were local homeless people who live in or near that park.
In speaking to some of the volunteers there, you could learn such information as: only 10% of residents of Los Angeles County are covered by MediCal. What of the others, many of whom do not qualify for any other form of health insurance? What are they supposed to do in light of the new Obamacare style of medical coverage? If they don’t fall under other local measures such as HealthyWayLA, or Medicare, and can’t afford private insurance, they will be “taxed”–another way of the government’s saying “fined”–for failure to comply. This draconian enforcement merely makes law-breakers out of honest-but-poor citizens. In no way does it help the people in most need of health care.
The Occupy movement is currently being vilified by many in the conservative media as well as regular citizenry. This plays right into the hands of the politicians on both sides, who want either no health care at all involving the government, or else who want people to be fooled into thinking there really is reform going on. When people are still forced to come up with the cash to buy insurance they are unable to afford, or else, that’s not reform. When people have to choose between food and shelter or health care, that’s not reform. If you haven’t got any coverage, no matter what the price, of the type you choose, such as acupuncture or Reiki, that, too, is not reform.
The food offered at the park, by the way, was healthy and natural, and appeared not to contain any meat. Occupy groups, in general, have been supportive of non-cruelty foods everywhere and also are against the Monsanto control and manufacture of “Frankenfoods” (genetically modified organisms, or GMO) prevalent everywhere these days.
It was good to see local Valley residents–many of them also those who exercise regularly in NoHo Park–stop and learn from the Occupy people. It was beneficial to them to partake of the natural lunch given. Many had an opportunity to have their eyes opened about local and global issues involving food production and health care reform. Let’s continue to support Occupy in such aims and all work together to restore ourselves and our region to healthy freedom.
Here is the link for more information on Occupy San Fernando Valley: