I went to an Occupy event a couple of weeks ago, and I was surprised at how well-attended it was. There had to be at least a thousand people, and it looked uncharacteristically professional with a whole of bunch of tents.
I walked up to someone standing by the information table and asked where the classes were being held. "I'm sorry, I'm deaf," she said and signed.
Whoops, what are the odds I would approach someone that can't hear to ask for directions? I decided to see if I could locate the classes or a familiar face myself. As I wandered, I passed by multiple people using sign language. Hmm, Occupy must have done some successful outreach to the deaf community, I thought.
Then I noticed a large sign for "DEAFestival". Drug Enforcement Agency? Is this a blatant attempt to scare the Occupiers away? Only after I saw more people signing to each other did it hit me. Not DEA Festival. DEAF-estival! Geez, they might not have their hearing, but they've got one up on me who seems to be lacking his brain.
On the opposite corner from DEAFestival, I saw a police officer issuing a citation to a woman who had taped a handmade sign to a tree that read "Kids' Village" to designate an area for the children to play. Targeted police harassment? That must be Occupy! They were a smaller bunch. A dirtier bunch. And yes, a louder bunch. With all due respect to the deaf community, these were my people.