A Black Friday “Flash the Malls” event from Occupy DSM

The “Occupy Des Moines” organization is planning to “Flash the Malls” in the Des Moines metro on Black Friday, November 25.  The group plans to gather at the parking lot at Hoover High School in Des Moines, then fan out to Merle Hay, Valley West and Jordan Creek Malls from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  According to an email: “This will be a shopper friendly event focusing on educating and informing the public…Please wear an Occupy tee shirt (f you have one) under another shirt that can easily be removed. We will provide you with hand outs to inform shoppers and words to the message we want delivered.”

As you may have seen over the weekend, one of the leading voices of the “Occupy Des Moines” group has stepped aside after being arrested at a protest late last week and charged not only with trespassing, but with marijuana possession.  David Goodner is a community organizer for Iowa Citizens Action Network (and one of the voices who urged the Occupy Des Moines group to relocate at Stewart Square Park rather than try to “occupy” the statehouse grounds). Here’s his email, sent Sunday morning:

Dear Occupy Des Moines community and supporters,

I’m writing to you all to apologize.  My reckless, selfish, and irresponsible behavior jeopardized the integrity and credibility of the Occupy Des Moines movement and put at risk everything we have fought so hard to achieve.  My choices were inexcusable and indefensible.  I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

I want to make amends to my community, and in consultation with my friends, family, spiritual advisors, and movement mentors, I have decided to:

•         Issue a public apology, which states, I take full responsibility for my bad choices and I apologize to all of our supporters for my poor decision-making that allowed the focus to be taken off the real criminals on Wall Street.  My mistakes are my own and should not negatively reflect on any group or movement that I am associated with.

•         Remove myself as a public face of the organization –my personal credibility has been damaged and for the good of the movement, I am distancing myself from Occupy Des Moines effective immediately.  I will not attend General Assembly meetings or publicly participate in any actions or events until after the New  Year.

•         Enter an Alcoholics Anonymous program under the wing of an AA sponsor.  I am voluntarily entering a drug treatment program to evaluate whether I have a substance abuse problem and if so, what steps are needed to remedy it.

If there are other steps or actions I need to take in order to regain the trust and respect of my community, I will eagerly comply with them.

David Goodner

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.