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Occupy the High School Senior Parking Lot: A Manifesto

Movement: [noun] a natural event that involves a change in the position or location of something.

-Wikipedia

Dear Principal Carver, Vice Principal Marshall, Faculty and Staff,

We, the class of 2012, urge you to pause for a minute from your duties of forcing the "rules" of the "American't Dream" down the throats of today's youth and look out your windows at the world. There you will see us, putting aside religion, gender and tons of other conflicting stuff to stand united at the edge of a really really big precipice in American history, and more specifically, the curb. We have assembled in the student parking area on the east side of the building, also known as "The Senior Lot" or "The smoker's hangout." We have renamed it "The Parkway of Liberty" in honor of our honorable cause. Let it be known that we unanimously agreed that "Freedom's Freeway" was a better name but Carey Ferguson had already started painting the banner before we could change it. It was a setback, for sure, but if nothing else it should be a testament to the unstoppable power of our revolution now that the gears are in motion.

Our goal is simple: We intend to stay out here fighting the tyranny of American capitalism until future generations no longer have to suffer the disproportionate allocation of wealth in this country, and at least until finals week is over.

"We want to be heard, probably!"

Through Mr. Langen's geopolitics class, we the seniors now understand the growing inequality in this country in ways that you couldn't possibly know unless you stepped out of your big expensive offices for once and actually sat in on his lectures. We've seen the widening economic disparity between the fat cats and the rest of us. Mr. Langen said that the only way things are going to change is with a precipice of fresh new ideas of young adults of the next generation. Mr. Langen knew that grade point averages and exams were just part of the archaic system that put us in this mess in the first place. If Mr. Langen wasn't currently dealing with Christi Lattel's unfounded allegations, we think he would be out here, sleeping in our tents and supporting our movement.

This one is for you, Mr. L.

Our demands are few: We will come back to class when Buckfield Academy does everything within its ability to halt foreclosures on the houses of the unemployed or sick. We will come back to class when Buckfield Academy does everything within its ability to break up the commercial banking system that's making money off the poor. We will come back to class when Buckfield Academy does everything within its ability to prosecute the greedy corporations for their hand in the economic collapse, with the exception of the following companies:

  • Proctor and Gamble (Tina and Sheri Moeller's father is the CFO)
  • Countrywide/Bank of America (Madison Carson's uncle is a mortgage executive)
  • Fannie Mae (Teddy Sander's father is the VP)
  • Exxon Mobile (Bronx Cutler's dad is on the board. Chance Baker's mother is head of strategic marketing. Pippy Bernstein's father is the top-subsidiary executive. Chet Vess's mother is the legal executive)

(Note: More names to come as other students join our movement)

We also demand that the speed bumps be removed from Campus Road leading up to the student parking lot and that the Diet Dr. Pepper in the cafeteria vending machine be replaced with regular Dr. Pepper again. There was never a vote or anything, one day it just changed to diet even though everyone can taste the difference and nobody in the whole school likes diet soda except the teachers.

"To fucking over those kids, right?"

We hope the Academy acts quickly for the sake of its student body, but we understand if classes and tests must be canceled as the school works to meet these demands. We believe that given the current economic climate, it's completely unfair of Buckfield to expect its seniors, the role models to the rest of the school, to study while they are working to fix the precipice of a broken country. Particularly when the faculty is being paid to come to school every day as pawns of the corporate machine, yet we are never paid a dime and we are here just as often. That kind of backwards thinking is exactly why the country is in this mess in the first place and no one is going to change anything just by sitting around. Metaphorically speaking. Physically, sitting around is the basis of our movement. We hope that is clear.

In fact, maybe "movement" was the wrong word.

This is the starting point as we reshape America. According to dictionary.com, "revolution" means a radical and pervasive change in society but it also means a single complete cycle. We are just following in the footsteps of our Forefathers who founded this nation over 50 years ago. This country was built on the idea that by distributing wealth, everyone could achieve greatness collectively. That's what democracy is all about. We should never have forgotten that.

If you agree, regardless of whether you are a teacher or a student, please know that you are welcome to join us in the parking lot. Consi's dad let us borrow the RV that sleeps many of us comfortably and Tamila's family is letting us use their nanny for meals and washing up. We are prepared to accept anyone who wants to join our ranks.

"You're in my world now."

As you consider the option, please also take a minute to ask yourself what great Americans through history would do in this moment. What would George Washington or Alexander Graham Bell think if they were here to see you now? Would they be proud of what our country has become? Would they be proud of you? Or would they hesitate to sign the Declaration of Independence, knowing that future Americans might lose sight of the ideals they fought so hard to protect, or worse, lack the courage to find the path again? The answer of course is no, and then no again, and then yes. We are all granted an opportunity now to be heroic, to alter the course of our country, to be the answers to questions on history exams in the distant future. The world will remember fondly how we cast aside some silly tests and in-class essays to do something that mattered. Just like we speak fondly of our great grandparents standing up against the precipice of tyranny during WWII and the Spanish American War, so too will our great grandchildren speak fondly about us, and this parking lot, and how we slept in it at least until Christmas break.

Sincerely,The Senior Class

For more world-changing manifestos, check out Why It's Time to Stop Wearing Mittens: A Manifesto and A Gamer's Manifesto.

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