There was something extremely comforting about crowds. The pulse and hum of countless conversations, the rhythm and pattern that each person subconsciously falls into, and the diverse looks, body language, and vibe of individuals whose only commonality is that they were a part of the one crowd. All of these factors made the girls feel right at home. She did not stand out, she blended in and moved where ever the flow of the crowd sent her. No one really looked at her, there always seemed to be something more interesting to look at. But she smiled at this fact. Perfect. She moved about with ease, thinking of all of the times she had blended into a crowd. It must have been countless, she felt at home everywhere. Yes, crowded areas definitely filled her with a sense of belonging.
I moved around, taking in the protesters, policemen, and spectators, and most of all, blending in. The 99% movement was impressive, I thought, but I had other ways of coming about what I want.
I am a spy, my mom is a spy, my dad was a spy, my best friends are spies, and my (sort-of) boyfriend/ stalker is a spy (as he has reminded me many times).
And so I, being a spy, was on a mission. A mission assigned by my CoveOps teacher, Mr. Solomon. He had taken our class to NYC to go to the Occupy Wall Street, and my individual mission was not to do something Chameleon-y like expected.
I was to stand out and get people to notice me without them knowing that I'm a spy. Other people got missions like finding out people's Social Security number or finding out the occupations of as many people in the crowd as possible. And what is that compared to standing out? It's easy.
So now I, the Chameleon, have to find a way to get people to look at me.
Me, with my plain looks.
Me, with my regular, nothing special clothes.
Me, with my lack of impressive talents that didn't label me as a spy.
I kept on wandering around until I heard some up rise. I saw some policemen pepper spraying and arresting people when they had done nothing wrong. The officers were randomly picking people and bringing them to their knees.
I was horrified. The injustice of it all really struck me.
I stood frozen, shocked at the awful cruelty of the people who supposedly protected the city.
I unfroze, though, when I saw someone brave enough to put the policemen in their place. I looked on with respect for the female civilian, and smiled slightly when the policeman looked dumbfounded for a second. But it was only for a second. Too quickly, the policeman brought out his battan to deliver a quick blow to the head that surely would have the early twenty year old.
But it didn't, because at that moment I was already moving to save the young woman. I jumped in front of her, blocking her body with mine as we both fell to the ground, her unharmed. The battan hit me in the side, and I felt it break skin and start bleeding, and when I landed on the pavement, it scratched me multiple times, giving me many cuts from which blood dripped down. I looked up at the policeman in disgust as I shakily got up.
We had the entire crowd's attention now, and many people had been filming everything. Not one person made a sound as they waited for me to say something.
I looked the police man in the eyes and said: "My name is Sasha Donovan, and I am part of the 99%. I have told you my name, and now you carry it, and you will for the rest of your life. I am the seventeen year old girl who was a victim of your ignorance and stupidity. I have been hurt and am now bleeding profusely because I cared enough to do something." I pointed to my face. "Does this look pretty to you? Is that why you refuse to look me in the eyes?"
I was shouting by then, my voice reaching the entire crowd. "I hope my name causes you agony and regret, I hope you go home tonight and cry over me, and I hope you never forget my name, Sasha Donovan. Because I am no longer just another face in the crowd. I am a name, and I will always be more than just another person." The officer did not even have the decency to look ashamed, so I spit on the ground next to where I stood, and my spit was red with blood.
I glared pointedly at him, and for the first time, he seemed to notice the patch of blood on my side growing bigger and bigger. He looked down, finally realizing the indecency of what he had done.
I looked around at the crowd that looked back at me in awe, still silent. I knew that my sisters were out there, and I knew that they would approve of what I had done, as would Mr. Solomon. I shook hands with the young woman who I had saved, whose eyes were teary and held great thanks.
Two civilians had wheeled in a gurney to me, so I got on and stated weaving through the crowd to get to the ambulance parked at the edges of the mass of people.
The people looked at me expectantly, so I propped myself up on my elbows and looked directly at the group of sheepish looking officers. "Who am I?" I chanted, and everyone joined in, our combined voices angry and determined. We chanted this at the officers, who slowly backed away, knowing they had been defeated.
I reached the ambulance and thanked the two men who had carried me there. After the doors were shut I recognized the ambulance as being Liz's van that she had been working on, and the nurses were none other than Liz, Bex, and Macey. They looked at me like 'What are we going to do with her?'
"That wasn't a smart thing to do, Cam," Bex said slowly and sternly, but I could see the respect and pride in her eyes. "You can't just go around putting yourself in danger as you please."
"Oh please," I scoffed, "I was in absolutely no danger. That man was as harmless to me as a fly."
Liz looked up from bandaging my wounds, "Cammie, we just don't want you hurt. It would be too much." Her eyes were soft, and almost hurt, and I immediately felt bad for worrying them.
"I don't do this kind of stuff to worry you; I do it because I feel like I have to. Don't tell me you wouldn't have done that if you were right there."
They looked like they were almost giving in, then Bex said, "We know, we just..." She looked at Macey for help.
"Worry about you anyway," Macey supplied. "We worry about you, but we also respect you. Your impulses are to help others and put their lives before your own, and besides from scaring us to death, you are going to get yourself killed one day." She paused. "We just want to make sure your head is in the right place." Bex and Liz nodded.
I looked at my reflection in a small compact mirror and touched my thoroughly cut up face, not feel one bit of regret. "I did the right thing. That will always be worth it," I said softly.
They knew I was right.
And without saying anything, they hugged me close and I knew I had their support no matter what.
And, yeah, Mr. Solomon gave me extra credit points for completing my mission and changing the course of the entire 99% Movement.
Can you tell I support the 99% Movement? Well, I do, and, living in New York City, I have been there many times.
And don't listen to the haters who say that we are a group of idealists. We can overcome the greed of the 1% who control a majority of the wealth in this country even though WE ARE THE MAJORITY! And we can do it nonviolently, too.
So, if anyone out there lives in the New York City Metropolitan area or even Rockland, Westchester, or Putnam County, (and are part of the 99%), you should come over here and fight for an amazing cause, because when your older you can tell your kids that instead of living through the movement that changed the world, you will have LIVED IT! And even if you don't live in the area, you can go to your nearest one, because they are all across the country. And you should also visit OWS's website:
WE ARE THE 99%