Whether one marches or camps, occupies foreclosed homes, participates through committee involvement, or just supports the movement through social networking and conversations at the water cooler or in the break room at work, it is important to always remember why we are involved, why we deeply care, and why we occupy.
Wednesday April 4th, a retired 77 year old pharmacist took his own life in east Athen's Syntagma Square after over a year of protests in a country on the brink of economic collapse. One in five Greeks are now out of work and salary and pension cuts have forced millions into financial crises and thousands into the streets.
The retired pensioner whose name remains anonymous left behind his family and a dignified note. It stated "I have no other way to react apart from finding a dignified end before I start sifting through garbage for food."
In just hours that followed, an impromptu shrine was built in his honor. An unidentified woman is quoted as saying "They've cut our salaries, they've humiliated us. I have one daughter who is unemployed and my husband has lost half of his income, but I won't allow myself to lose hope."
One of my colleagues from The Future of Occupy wrote the following poem in commemoration.
Quotes courtesy of Common Dreams and poem and photo courtesy of Stephen Collis from Occupy Vancouver.