The air is crisp and fresh, the sky pale and blue. It is Friday morning, March 2, 2012, and mourners are gathering in the parking lot adjacent to a small white building whose white spire pierces into the bright blue day. People have come to pay their respects to Alexander Weinschenker, a pillar of light in his community.
As an artist, a speaker, an activist, a son, a brother, and a father, Alex affected the lives of countless others as he forged his own path in life. Alex Weinschenker, who coined the popular phrase "Another world is possible," was a proud member of Bike Scum, and who ran the iconic "Print Shop" at Occupy LA, in Solidarity Park was mourned by hundreds who gathered at Forest Lawn in a public ceremony where family and friends spoke of the man who Alex was, and the legacy he leaves behind.
Outside the chapel prior to the ceremony close friends of Alex gathered together and expressed their grief. Many of the mourners ceremoniously wore the garbs upon which Alex had so painstakingly and lovingly printed his logos and art, to promote solidarity among his activist brothers and sisters. His print shop helped reach tens of thousands of people, while his art used confrontational nonviolence to instill in the minds of those unknowing of the cause a curiosity and interest, sparking the involvement of many people who would not have otherwise paid attention to the growing troubles we face as a unified people.
As the crowd slowly made their way into the building, people formed two lines and signed their names into the leather clad books upon the pedestals aside either door. A table had been decorated in floral arrangements with stacks of cards. Each card depicted different examples of Alex's art work, one showing a wrench inevitably falling into turning gears. One depicts a car as the edifice through which a tree has sprouted. Bicycles hang from the branches.
The pews are filled and the small church is at capacity. More people have turned up and continue to arrive as family members speak to the crowd. There is a palpable woe which courses through the building as we all say good bye. A shared grief. The building rocks in silent reverence to the man we must say goodbye to. Some who are overcome allow the tears to fall silently, while others weep quietly. Everyone has been affected by this loss.
One by one people make their way to present their stories of how Alex affected their lives. Alex was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed spending time with his family hiking, skiing, and was known to cause a few headaches for his parents in his youth. As he grew into a young man he found himself channeling that energy into the revolutionary art and work he was able to accomplish through the Occupy Movement. Alex truly gave up everything to join Occupy LA and continued to give back to his community.
A common theme amongst those who share their experiences is that Alex was a fearless warrior. He fought in an arena of fear and uncertainty for those who could not speak out for themselves. Moreover though, is the point so beautifully made by his child's mother Devon; that the bond Alex has with his loved ones is so strong, that even this temporary separation from him cannot break it: Alex truly lives on within the hearts of all of us who loved him.
We will miss you Alex.
Another world is possible.
Proceeds from the following fund go to Alex's surviving family, his 7 month old son Rivers and the mother of his child, Devon. Please find it in your heart to donate: