Encuentro Cinco was there when we needed them.
There is a place in Chinatown,
they call Encuentro Cinco.
It’s a meeting place on fifth floor,
of the building owned by the union UNITE-HERE.
It has been a refuge for many a poor soul,
and god i know i’m one.
Early in our stay at Dewey Square, the e5 collective let us know that we were welcome to use their facility free of charge – computers, rest rooms, library, meeting spaces. There was an open door policy.
As time went on the relationship became more formal. The media working group became a tenant – contributing financially to e5. Many OB’ers1 regard this as an unqualified good thing. The relationship between e5 and OB changed dramatically after the eviction of the Dewey Square camp. What came with much heavier use of e5 by us was many problems similar to those that had occurred at Dewey Square. Ultimately the trust that owns the building on behalf of UNITE-HERE delivered a Notice to Quit to e5.
This story is not finished yet. I’ll come back when e5 has found a new home.
1Some folks in Occupy Boston refer to themselves as Occupiers. On October 10, 2011, known to some as Columbus Daya, Occupy Boston expanded it’s encampment from the Dewey Square Park to the Fort Point Channel Park of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Shortly after !AM the following morning, Boston Police Department Special Operations personnel in riot gear raided the camp beating a number of people, arresting 147, and throwing all the camping equipment into garbage trucks brought in specifically for that purpose. The next day, we received a communique from an Indigenous People’s organization pointing out that the use of the word ‘Occupation’ is offensive to the many peoples of the world that have been subjugated by colonial powers. A proposal to be “sensitive” to the issue was passed by the General Assembly. Remarkably little has been done in that regard. As part of unfinished business I propose to revisit the issue starting with the language we use. “OB’ers” is not the solution, but it somewhat acknowledges that there is a problem.
aIn the U.S., some folks feel that Indigenous People’s Day is better. Rev. Clyde of the OB Decolonize to Liberate working group prefers Invasion Day. International Day of the World’s Indigenous People was deliberately scheduled on a different date – August 9 - to avoid controversy. Why Nagasaki Day is the date of choice is unclear to me. It may be the recognition that empires always benefit the few and are paid for by the suffering of the many.