Why We’re Not Afraid
Video courtesy of fiercelightfilms
To the powers that be: sorry to hear you are so full of fear, that with violent disregard for democracy, you felt compelled to bulldoze the heart of the people’s park of parks into the ground. Last night's raid of Occupy Wall Street was a disgrace. Altogether lacking in grace. Claiming it was a health hazard is a ruse that's been in use since the eviction of Martin Luther King's version of Occupy—"Resurrection City," back in 1968. To be said with an incredulous New Yorker's accent: 'And your tear gas isn't a health hazard?'
Just what is it you are so afraid of? Is it because you realize that your “powers that be” are in truth “the powers that were”? That the corporate pyramid scheme you are trying so desperately to prop up is reaching the end of its road? Sorry for the inconvenience, but we're changing the world. We are here to offer something new. Don't fear us—join us. Celebrate this arising of hope, possibility, and community.
We are discovering that true power is shared power.
We are creative, we are adaptive, we are resilience itself. You can cut this branch but a thousand more will grow. All you are doing is building up our immune system. As a new Occupy protest song by the Hawaiian singer Makana goes "We are the many, you are the few." And could you but realize it, you are Us too. We are the 100% and we're not going anywhere.
We are awakening from the false dream we have been relentlessly sold and have relentlessly bought. It is, in fact, a nightmare paradigm of a commodified world, a lifeless world of objects, separation, and scarcity. We are awakening to a new possibility where the true abundance of this earth is no longer hoarded. Where relationships are not transactions. Where your well being is my well being is the planet’s well being. That old dog eat dog eat dog story is a myth. We are celebrating a new story that is as old as life—collaboration is where it's at. Co-operation has created this incredible complex ecosystem called earth that sustains and delights us. That competition aspect of evolution is for the juvenile species—it’s time we grew up. It’s time we learned to share. From rainforests to coral reefs to human communities we are inextricably intertwined in gorgeous webs of interdependence. This is what democracy looks like—planet to person to person to planet.
We are not afraid—this movement is here to stay, here to grow, here to evolve. I'm excited to see what new form it will take. Every time you try to bring this surprising thriving movement to the ground it grows ten fold. From the pepper spraying in the early days of Occupy to the bridge arrests of 700 people—thanks, you are radicalizing a new generation and giving old radicals a brand new spark.
We have much to learn from the people's movements of Spain and Greece that emerged from the Arab Spring—they didn't stop at taking the square. As time went on, they have moved to the neighborhoods, offering real solutions to immediate problems in real time, together, through local general assemblies and working groups. A sign left behind in one of the Spanish people's camps read, "we have not left—we have moved into your consciousness."
This movement is not bounded in space, it's as boundless as an open heart. It's the opposite of the contraction into fear. The crisis of this moment in our movement—as camps continue to be evicted—will only speed our evolution into something even more powerful, more effective, more creative.
I have been coming to Liberty Square since the first day, and each day i have found something new, something rich, something Inspiring. I know we will find our next steps, together, with that same spirit of limitless possibility that has made this movement a touchstone in our journey towards a just and compassionate world, a world that works for all life. Love is the movement.
Velcrow Ripper, a writer and filmmaker, is the director of Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action.
- #OccupyWallStreet: Ongoing coverage of the movement to take back our democracy and build a new economy.
- Oakland and After: Lessons from the General Strike
Media reports focus on the few acts of vandalism and violence, but the majority of occupiers at Oakland’s General Strike succeeded in a peaceful shutdown of Oakland’s banks and port.
- Occupy Wall Street’s Moral Ground
Much of the Occupy movement’s power comes from a simple moral message: It’s wrong to wreck the world. It’s wrong to wreck the health and hopes of others.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.