interview at OSF, 20 Nov 2011


[Audio: English; Transcript: below]

Transcript kindly provided by Peter Menchini (thanks!):

Me: Hi, can you tell me your name?

Lucas: I’m Lucas Wilcox, from Alaska. I flew down two weeks ago to help out with the movement.

Me: That’s great. What do you do for the movement? What are you doing right now?

Lucas: Well, I go to the general assemblies at each one of the Occupies and suggest logistical ways to make the place [run] smoother. But then, physically, I pick up trash at each one of the Occupies every day.

Me: Why is that important?

Lucas: I think it’s primarily important to maintain legitimacy because we have to — we’re actually occupying the space and it’s our home. And we have to maintain a certain level of respect for it, so that these countries that are seeing us all over the world and [in] all of the nations realize that we’re a legitimate cause and we’re not just a haphazard group of people sleeping in the park.

Me: That’s great, so what tools do you use? What are these tools?

Lucas: Well, just this bucket to keep the trash close to the ground so you don’t have to bend over very far. ‘Cause bending over a million times would make it so that a person wouldn’t actually do it. And then the pinchers that you can grab any kind of nasty trash on the ground with, without having to bend over.

Off screen, to Lucas: I Love you, guy, you’re awesome! Thank you! Thanks, dude!

Lucas: So these two things are really all you need.

Off screen, to Lucas: I love you! You rock!

Lucas (embarrassed): Yeah, rock on.

Off screen, to me: Thank you, too! I love you, too!

Me (to people offscreen): Thank you. (To Lucas) So, what do you think people who are not Occupiers should know about Occupy?

Lucas: It’s one of the first really — it’s one of the first democracies happening in America on a large scale. We’ve been a representative democracy for so long because initially, people had to ride their horses 500 miles to make a vote, to cast a vote. And now that we’re in a system of an educated youth, and everyone has access to media instantaneously for the entire world, we no longer need a representative democracy. We no longer need to elect these evil white dudes to make all these horrible decisions and we can actually participate in a direct democracy ourselves. And this is the very beginning of that direct democracy — groups of people all over America coming together and discussing what’s happening and making — casting votes within themselves as to the actions they’re going to take to make the world better.

Me: Was there like a kind of epiphany or special moment that made you decide to focus on this action in particular?

Lucas: Which action?

Me; Of you know, cleaning up places, for instance.

Lucas: Well, this is just one of the things that needs to happen. I help out in a lot of different ways. I have experience setting up large groups of people. So I help out in as many ways as I can. But while I’m doing those other things, and while I’m moving in-between places, this is something that I can do just like walking down the sidewalk, to maintain a certain level of legitimacy in the movement.

Me. That’s beautiful. Thank you.

Lucas: So this is just one of the ways that we can help and I think that we can all — not even necessarily all of us — even if just a dozen of us carried these around all the time, they’d be able to keep the place just spotlessly clean while performing other tasks. Because the news media’s coming through here every day. And that news media isn’t just seen by the people in the Bay Area, it’s seen by protesters in Tahrir Square and people being executed in Syria. And it’s really important what we maintain a really kind of clear message that we’re occupying this space, we’re not trashing the space. We live here. And that we’re going to continue to live here. As my sign says…

[Shows sign on his back: “We’ve openly just begun to Occupy.”]

Lucas: This isn’t a protest, this is a long term occupation and we’re going to continue until we have an actual democracy functioning in America. For the first time in the history of the world, the educated youth and the access to media’s going to be able to create an entire large nation that is a true democracy. A democracy is where almost everybody votes on almost every important decision. And so far, we’ve elected these few hundred evil bastards to sit in this huge room and serve the corporations so that they get as wealthy as possible before they die. And we’re trying to have a system that allows the environment to last more than say, a hundred years — that allows the environment and society to remain on Earth essentially for generations to come.

Me: Well, that’s great. Thank you very much.

Lucas: Glad to talk with you.

Me: Great. Have a great day.

Lucas: You too.

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