Nexus of Change

Toward Sustainable Habits and Durable Prosperity

American Spring in Vine City

We are now seeing in the United States political movements from the entire range of the political spectrum rally against a common enemy. With stunning rapidity, legislators throughout the country are putting in place what Georgia Senator Vincent Fort calls “bad legislation showing that they’re afraid of us, the people”. The shocking speed and rigidity with which all levels of government are enacting neutralizing measures to suffocate the Occupy movement, combined with a general sense of disgust in the American population for anti-free speech legislation, shows that the American Spring has started.

We will not see people in the streets fighting with their last energy a political regime that has kept the people poor for decades, like we saw a year ago in Cairo. Deteriorating opportunities mixed with a sense of injustice instilled by a corrupted political system is sufficient to say, Enough! For many, this is also enough for taking matters into our own hands and and for reconnecting with real wealth, wealth within our reach, unlike the trillions of dollars created out of thin air by the Federal reserve but of which so little seems to reach us. These people are what I call, the true Progressives.

After saving a church from foreclosure in Vine City, Occupy Atlanta started developing strong community ties with the neighborhood and Sally Masson, a public policy major at Occupy Atlanta, has a long list of project that have started or about to be started in Vine City. Most projects include widespread participation in the community. Every Friday, children from a nearby school already come to inspect the Higher Ground Church garden to see if their plants started to grow. Last Sunday, March 25th, Sally Masson and Anna Kelley showed me the neighborhood and the projects they had for creating community gardens, picking up trash, providing better security, and creating a better environment for kids.

Vine City will also be a new beginning for Dynta Jackson. Like many in the Occupy movement, Dynta was staying at the Pine and Peachtree homeless shelter when people were needed to set camp at the Higher Ground Church to save the church from unfair foreclosure. (see “Occupy Atlanta Saves Historic Church From Foreclosure” at Dynta, who was already helping the shelter with security enforcement, joined the effort of occupying Vine City at the end of last year. He now lives at the church but since his home repair skills are already put to use by the community, he has developed the contacts needed to start planning for the day when he’ll say “I took big step in life, by having my own key, getting in my home, iron my shirt, take a shower in my own bathroom”.

4 comments on “American Spring in Vine City

  1. educatingdiana
    March 27, 2012

    What a wonderful testament to the beauty of community organization and reverence for the earth. The potential of people sharing compassion for each other and passion for a cause is unlimited. Thank you for posting this story.

    • Steve Osborne
      March 27, 2012

      Thank you for your comments. They describe in much better words the story reported.

  2. Darlene
    March 27, 2012

    Great story, Steve, and beautiful photographs! Thanks for sharing it!

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Streets of Atlanta is a new photo blog promoting the potential of our neighborhoods for urban revitalization and strong local markets.
The Durham Shooting Club was created to celebrate Durham's strong architectural bones and the pride its inhabitants exhibit for their community.

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Since 1995, just 10 percent of subsidized American farms -- the largest and wealthiest operations -- have raked in 74 percent of all subsidy payments. Yet, only a tiny fraction of the farm bill funding goes to programs that support healthy fruits and vegetables.
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