As reported yesterday, an Occupy OKC protester was found dead in his tent in Kerr Park in downtown Oklahoma City Monday afternoon. The 18 year old man, called by many “The Poet”, and by some his name, Louis Cameron Rodriguez, had originally joined the protest as a homeless person, but was taken in and fed, sheltered and befriended by occupiers, soon becoming a heart and a unifying force to the community.
Believed to be his final recorded performance. The “Street Poet” Recorded at Occupy Oklahoma City
Rough transcript via heartbraden on Reddit,
“Alright, you can talk about the pain and the struggle You can discuss hard times or life in a nutshell (but I’m hungry?) because Momma took the welfare and (payout?) Then you don’t know how it is. They are fighting addiction while providing for four kids The definition of a true man, he never let the world get in the way of him bein’ a dad So tell me where have you been? I’ll tell you right now, until you crawl under that bridge and huddle up against the wall Take off them busted-ass shoes, feet ridin’ the railroad Then you don’t know what I been through or where I’ve been Knowin’ that tomorrow I’ll be in the same place again Dry my tears in the wind You say you feel my pain But you don’t even know what pain is.”
The Oklahoma City occupiers who befriended The Poet speak in remembrance of him.
Mark Faulk “I was almost taken aback by Street Poet’s first hug, nothing held back, all innocent exuberance. But in the time that he was there, I found myself looking for him, waiting for his smile and his welcoming embrace, both coming and going, and sometimes just spontaneously for no reason at all. He gave me more hugs in the space of a little over a week than many people get in an lifetime. After what would turn out to be his final performance, I turned the tables on him…I sought him out, wrapped my arms around him, and congratulated him on an amazing performance. As always, he smiled. Rest in Peace, Street Poet.”
Heidi/Occupy OKC Official “I held our precious friend and brother (and my ‘son’) Po.et today as I tried to rouse him. He was like a son to me, I loved him very much and will miss staying up in the Compassion Tent writing poetry with him. We are all in shock at the loss of someone who found his purpose and his place with our movement. We are all in shock at the loss of the beautiful life who was Poet.
Sweet boy, I already miss you tremendously. Even if our last hug broke my heart, I will treasure it forever.”
Sean Lovell “I will never forget that son of a gun. I was struck by him the first time he walked up to me and said “Hey, I need a hug.” And at the march Saturday his persona, voice, and enthusiasm struck a chord and I felt enlivened by his presence. I’ll never forget the image of him standing with the mike in his hand, bandanna round his head and smiling with that amiable gap in his teeth, leading the protest in our chants…”
Mahala OccupyAmerica Owens “The first day I met this boy, he walked up to me and started speaking in a British accent, saying that he enjoyed to be curiously eccentric (:
The poet was probably one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever encountered.. I will never forget him as long as I live. R.I.P Poet. We will all miss you..”
Occupy Shawnee “Occupy Shawnee is deeply saddened tonight after learning of the passing of our friend, “Street Poet”, a passionate fulltimer with Occupy OKC. Poet was always one of the first to approach and offer us a friendly welcome each time we’ve entered Kerr Park. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have ever been his immediate audience can vouch for his talented command of words and concepts, and his acute awareness and appreciation for humanity despite the difficult life he lived and tough conditions he was pushing through. Hearts out to his family and to all of Occupy OKC, specifically those people who lived in Kerr Park and who knew him well. The boy had SKILLZ! We love you brother. Solidarity.”
OccupyOKC released the following statement,
Occupy OKC is saddened by the passing of one of the participants camping at Kerr Park in Oklahoma City earlier this afternoon. Known simply as “The Poet,” he was a very friendly and outgoing person. Known to be homeless, Occupy OKC provided him with food, clothing, and shelter. At a Candlelight Vigil last night to honor first responders, The Poet delivered a powerful poetic commentary about the complexities of homelessness and drug abuse, and the system’s failure to adequately deal with these issues. The Poet was found dead in his tent at Kerr Park earlier this afternoon by other participants. Police and emergency personnel were immediately contacted. Occupy OKC is withholding information concerning The Poet’s identity pending notification of his family by authorities. Police are currently at the scene investigating his cause of death which is presently unknown and Occupy OKC is in full cooperation with their investigation. Occupy OKC has been actively cooperating with the Oklahoma City Police Department to ensure the safety of all participants at the Kerr Park occupation.
All Occupy OKC scheduled events for today have been cancelled.
The participants of Occupy OKC wish to extend their deepest sympathy and compassion to the family of The Poet.
OccupyOKC intends to gather and formally pay their respects to their fallen friend at 7:30pm tonight and are working on setting up a Livestream broadcast.
You can see more footage of The Poet taken by OKC occupier Manny Whitlock and posted on his Facebook prior to the young man’s death,
“I want to share this video of this young fellar we call “Poet”. I met him a few days back. He don’t have anything so I took him a some clothes,. 2 full J.Riggins suits(1 with the vest) and some other shirts. As you hear in the video I joke around with him abou but there is more to it than giving him clothes to wear. The brother needs a leg up. You will see in the video. He has had a rough one. Parents, don’t ever do your children like this. “
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