Over the weekend, we were sharing a phone conversation with some friends who live on the other side of the country. When MM mentioned our supporting the #OccupyWall Street Movement, calling ourselves the "99%" they were shocked.
"Why....why...that's ANARCHY!" our friend sputtered.
"No, it's democracy," MM replied. "it's democracy in action."
Make no mistake, my friends: this is democracy in action and that is what makes the weekend events so powerful and so exciting. #OccupyWallStreet started as mere kernels of pigeonfeed on the streets of New York. Mostly young, (not trustifarians, as the media would have you believe), but young people whose job and family prospects for the future grow dimmer by the day at the hands of a corrupt and grasping kleptocracy.
If you're planning on sitting on the sidelines, think again if you ever loved this country. It's no longer about "the young people." It's about US. There are convoys heading to DC on Wednesday. The transit workers' union in NYC will be on the streets marching with OccupyWallStreet, telling them "we've got your back." Move-on.org is sponsoring a virtual march on Wednesday to parallel and support the on-foot ones, for the likes of us out here JOTOLR. To sign up and participate, go here:
Some may criticize the first "official" declaration from OccupyWallStreet issued this past weekend. Yes, it was a little fuzzy, perhaps, but read below for rebuttal, and keep in mind that the Declaration was written to encompass the widest of grievances. And check out the photos...
Occupy Everything from socially_awkwrd on Vimeo.
This is part of an organic process. There are no leaders. There is no Astroturf. There are no spokesmodels. There is no agenda. There are no printed signs. There are no ssponsors. There is no umbrella organization. There is no elite directing events. All of this is process. This is what organic, intrinsic democracy looks like.
The arguments against this are entirely arguments against the process. Signs of impatience. Allegations that there should be a hierarchy. Suggestions that those who are attempting to confront enormous disparities, inequalities, injustices should somehow be able instantly to boil it all down into a 140 character phrase. Sniping by the Traditional Media. Judgments that those who have assembled are inarticulate, stupid, wasteful, misdirected, ignorant. I reject all of that. Let the process continue. Let everyone be heard about everything.
If this were happening in, say, Chiapas or El Salvador or Nicaragus or Buenos Aires, the people who have always been screwed would rise up instantly against the latest outrage, and those who watch would know what the latest outrage was. The price of tortillas. Water rights. Kidnappings. Brutality. Unemployment. The price of fuel. No, I'm not going to enumerate the long list bad things that happened and virtually nobody, that's right virtually nobody reacted to directly or immediately. Elsewhere, you would know what the problem is because those who have been perpetually screwed would react. Swiftly. The reaction would be close in time to an event, so you could connect the two if you wanted to. The grievance would be manifest. But in the US it's different. The people haven't reacted for more than a decade to wars they didn't want, economic policies that screwed them, unemployment, financial manipulation. The token reactions for the last decade have been just that, token, ephemeral, easily dismissed. The people have been somnolent.
As a result of that trance, that numbness, that ennui, that unresponsiveness, the torpor, when the reaction to all of this finally erupts, when it finally at long last boils over, it takes a long time to categorize and organize all of the events and all of the reasons for towering, explosive discontent. Be patient. Be patient with the process. Let the process work. And let the tactics and arguments evolve from a democratic, free exchange of proposals.
It's nice that organized labor is expressing support. It's nice that the Traditional Media have broken their embargo and now tell some of the story, albeit twisting it, bending it, judging it, criticizing it. That's to be expected. They are stooges. But allegedly organized labor and the media are only a reaction to the intrinsic, organic process that is unfolding. And they aren't that important to it. No. What's important is the process, being faithful to it, honoring it, participating in it, supporting it. No, there's no 140 character phrase to summarize the movement. That may not be forthcoming. What is important, and deserve support today is the process.
In the meanwhile, Twitter and FB and the Blogs serve as the media. And the process continues. I support it, and I stand in solidarity with it. Please join me. Occupy Everything.