Day #13 Sept 22nd Toledo, OH

Kets: I woke up, a bit confused, on a couch in Cleveland. Last night I had thought I would just rest a little while the others where still hanging out in the living room, but I woke up after the sun had already rose and the room was empty. Z was also sleeping in another couch across the room.

After Sasha came downstairs after a nice night of having a double bed for himself, the three of us decided to take the car to the beach. Erie Lake looked like an ocean for us, since you cant see the other side of it. We walked down to the shore and found that many parts of it actually wasn’t sand, but it was millions of little broken pieces of shells that gave a sound like walking on glass when we went over it. After some 100 meters we found a softer spot with fine sand and we pepped each other to do some exercise together. Jumping like frogs, running around, walking like bears, lifting heavy weatherbeaten wood and another classic moves like push-ups and planks was a lot of fun when you don’t do it alone.

Afterwards the reward was right next to us and we swam off our sweat and heat for a moment… Though, some guy had walked past and told us its not really healthy to swim there… Later, someone from Toledo would tell us that the lake is a bit like a huge sewage, but “outside of Cleveland should be all right. Haha, oh well, we made sure not to dip our heads. The water was quite full of yellowish algae.

The drive to Toledo wasn’t that long so we could take it easy. We had been invited to speak outside, in a community garden. When we got there the sun was about to set. In the last moments of daylight, I went around the squatted field and adored the sunflowers, tomatoes and DIY decorations.

People started to grow food a couple of years ago. From what I understood, they never asked for permission to use this field, which is state property. It seemed like the city rather was in the position of thinking “thats nice that someone is doing something there so we dont have to take care of it”.

People had brought a lot of food that night pumpkin stew, chili and a spicy vegetable soup) and it was great to share a meal with all the nice people. As the darkness fell over us, a fire was made and everyone started to gather around it under the stars.

We presented our ideas and experiences and many people where responding, asking and expressing themselves. One person gave something like a spontaneous speech about a lot of topics. One of them calling for white folks to, for example, stand up against and do something about the confederate flags still hanging – historically a symbol of white supremacy and defense of slavery.

We slowly went into informally discussing individually between each other. I was happy to hear people saying that it was great to have a chance to come together and talk about real and radical topics. Thats what I hope we will do during this tour, not only sharing our “international” experiences with folks here in the US, but also to create a reason for people to start local conversations. Thank you for welcoming us to such a great event.

I think most of our crew wanted to stay longer, but the road was calling for us so we jumped into the van and drove off to Detroit where we would spend the next two nights.