When I say today…I mean TODAY. There started in 2010 the “Arab Spring”, which was a series of protests that emerged out of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Oman, and several other locations around the Arab World. This resistant force, which is signaling a massive, consensus dissatisfaction with political/financial leadership, is now spreading globally. Uprisings have now begun in the United States, Europe and Africa. All of the protesters say that they feel the connection between their own protest and the others happening in various regions. The solidarity of the protest is instinctual instead of geographical. Most of the protests focus on the dissatisfaction of the participants, rather than making specific demands, and so far, the strategy has been gaining relevance. Those who are experienced with activism know that at first, your opponent attempts to dismiss you as a radical complainer out to dismantle the established order. You know…an “anarchist”, or a lawless and dangerous agitator. If the protest gains momentum, and includes enough people from diverse places, this strategy no longer works. If the police force cannot overcome and disperse the movement, then it has to be taken seriously, and the negotiation process begins.
I have personally been an outwardly vocal critic of the financial setup of America, and of the hawkish, intolerant, and brutal far right wing of conservatism for a lifetime, or at least since I’ve been politically aware. My willingness to express my views and stand for them has sometimes cost me friendships at worst, and at best, it has aligned me with some very like-minded allies for discussion and enlightenment. In between, though, I have had the occasional conversation with someone who feels I’m naïve, or that I’m too interested in confronting what I don’t agree with. Am I? Whenever you stand up so you can look eye to eye with what you don’t like, you will encounter that voice…the one that tells you that it’s too much trouble to protest. Government will fix it. You should just wait and see what happens. Why do you want to do that? You’ll get arrested. You’re not doing yourself any favors. Etc.
What is understandable is its just fear talking. Fear of action, and fear of authority. Are we to fear authority? Are we to fear the people that we PAY and ELECT to govern? If there were no government tomorrow, would we architect another? Of course we would! That’s what we do. Can the power arrest and incarcerate? Yes, but submissively accepting what is silently unacceptable is enabling the very force you resent. So the obvious thing is to decide what action do you take?
Have I encountered negativity? Only a few times. There were some people that were obviously bankers that argued with me this last weekend. “Why are you here, if this bothers you?” I said. “I’m sure Rush Limbaugh is on right now, why don’t you call in”. They would look around nervously. “Are you really here to argue with people who have lost everything? I mean, you LOOK smarter than that”. Then, they turned and left.
This is a non-violent Occupation. Ghandi proved to the world that a revolution can take place without violence. Violence CAN happen though, and that is what is on everyone’s minds. Violence took place in Italy because another group other than the “Indignant Ones” showed up and lit the fuse. In America, we have many examples of activism that turned into political gain. A shining example of activism in America is the civil rights movement that drove itself down two paths: The way of Martin Luther King, and the way of Malcolm X, and whatever the opinion, the result was change. Detestable racism is still alive and running in America, but ground has been covered. If doubt is cast, then reflect that a black man is President in AMERICA, and we have a candidate now, Herman Cain, who is topping the polls for the Republicans. Herman Cain is not being talked about as “that black guy that is running”…he’s just Herman Cain for President, and that is recognizable progress. That’s what I say.
The momentum of a protest depends upon the energy that sets the inertia in motion. People have been silent for a long time about class war…about the spectacle that corporations are puppeteering government, that the wealthy minority is gathering all the power and money under their thumbs. This is instinctually obvious to the people being raked. I find it interesting that those on the top would be so oblivious to the fact that their motives are transparent, but that is the magic of the internet. This is a world wide movement that everyone involved in can feel, and once it passes a certain point, there will be no going back. The best possible scenario is that it permeates law and politics eventually and becomes what it was intended to do. Everyone has their opinion on what our politicians are actually doing about it, but my opinion is that they are more and more, part of the problem and not the solution. In the very simplest economic terms I can deduce…holding all of the dollars in bank accounts to create scarcity, so the dollar’s value will go up will not work. We have a Federal Reserve that keeps PRINTING MONEY. All of these wealthy barons of industry, connected wall street traders, and legacy fat cats are going to have to realize that their dollars can become completely worthless while they sit in the bank doing nothing. Dollars are currency, and currency is meant to circulate, before it becomes that thing in the fridge that doesn’t smell right, and you have to get in there and make waste of it. So, if something stinks to you…come on out, if you can, in whatever city you exist in. Bring your own message to the Occupation. The times, they are a changin’, and you are part of those times.