You previously mentioned you had some bad experiences with the media during Occupy?
Once, in particular, I remember well.
This guy approached me and a few friends. We were sleeping outside of a church. I believe this was after the eviction. The churches ended up taking in a lot of people from Occupy. He paid us $20 to do the interview and then slandered us, said we were “never going to go anywhere” and “didn’t understand what hard work is,” “blah, blah,” just made fun of us basically. He called his article, “The Futility and Hypocrisy of the Occupiers.”
I’d been through similar things before. I was fighting for housing for the homeless in 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics and they did the same thing: slandered me in the tabloids. So, you’re gonna get that from the media at protests, just in general.
What were some of your fondest memories of Occupy?
There are a couple of memories. I got to book Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine to perform at Occupy Wall Street, and I got to open for him. So, we did a live acoustic set. That was actually probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done. That ended up in Rolling Stone.
I was invited to be on an album, Occupy This Album, which ended up winning an award for the Independent Music Awards. Willie Nelson was on it, Tom Morello, Immortal Technique, Crosby and Nash, Blondie, bunch of people.
However, the best moment was right at the beginning, when people just wanted hope, so someone held up a microphone and I started playing “Imagine,” by John Lennon. People were embracing each other, swaying, and singing along. It was beautiful.