by Shane Clouse
LA VETA — On Friday, November 25 at 9:30 am, Occupy La Veta began. As of Monday, November 28, the occupying forces consisted of one who is not your ordinary “in-your-face,” overnight protester. Retiree Rod House of La Veta has set up camp in the La Veta Public Library yard. The 71 ½ year old, wearing a “Question Authority” pin on his hat, decided to take up residency in the library yard after a lot of research and soul searching.
When asked why he decided to protest in this fashion, House pointed out several reasons. First is the fact that the younger folks who are protesting give him hope. He stated, “I haven’t had hope since ‘Health Care Reform’ became ‘Health Insurance Reform.’”
Also he is protesting because of “media biased distortions” and the way protesters are treated. Examples he used are the veteran who was wounded in the head at the Oakland, CA protest, the pepper spraying of students at the University of California, Davis, and the fact that police destroyed around three thousand books in the Occupy Wall Street protest.
Last, but not least for House is a book he read. The book Healing the Heart of Democracy by Parker J. Palmer is, “Passionate about democracy and speaks about the heart of the occupy protests.”
Several vehicles honked at the tent and signs as they drove by, and people are stopping to talk with House. He says the response has been about 60% positive, 30% of people saying “What the……,” and 10% negative. “
I even had one guy yell at me while he was driving by that my tent was Chinese made. If he would have stopped to talk, I could have told him this is a 35-year-old, American made tent.” One passerby entered into debate with House by saying, “All these problems won’t be solved by everyone singing “Kumbaya”.
“I have no demands,” said House, “I just want to encourage people to talk with each other.” With the Veterans for Peace flag flying behind him, House reminisced about the old saying, “The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. It’s not nature,” he says, “it’s politics!”
Rod House will be camped out until today, December 1, at noon. Stressing the need for discussions, House invites all to come and voice their opinions. “My country is broken. I can’t do anything about it. I’m an old man. I don’t have a voice, but by doing THIS…. I do.”