Why I Will Attend "Occupy Dallas"

Friends:

Tomorrow morning, I plan to join those gathering in downtown Dallas for the “Occupy Dallas” event.

This is a Dallas-version of the on-going protests in New York City. I recognize that these protests are not popular with everyone. I also realize that some believe protesting Wall Street is either counter-productive, or shows an ignorance to how financial systems work.

So, for my part, I thought I would briefly share why I am going.

The major part of my concern is that I believe Wall Street banks, from the top down, still do not seem to realize just how much the US taxpayers bailed them out a few years back. They seem to take NO responsibility for the problems that created the financial crisis in the first place. And, they seem to continue taking record bonuses and profits, at a time when average Americans are being laid off, and unemployment continues to rise.

The best documentation I have found, and what perhaps sums up my own frustrations most succintly, is the following “This American Life” piece from last year. It was part of an episode they called “Crybabies.”

I encourage you all to listen to it, and to hear the disturbing lack of responsibility still being taken by Wall Street exes and traders. (The player below should start right at the beginning of “Act One,” the part about Wall Street…)

So, I feel the need to make my voice known about this, and I’m deeply concerned that average Americans are still suffering far too much, at a time when Wall Street continues to hum along. I choose to stand with average Americans who are hurting, and I want to make my voice known.

Jesus often stood with the poor and the marginalized, and this is a way I can do that too.

If you want to connect in the morning, write me privately and perhaps we can connect-up down at Pike’s Park.

I am sure I will share more about the protest after it’s over.

And if the player below doesn’t work click here.

(As always, if you like this post, then “like” this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too…)
 

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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