Posted 2 years ago on May 15, 2012, 11:46 a.m. EST by jusdude
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
The occupy movement is a beautiful movement.
I usually like to stay away from such strong statements, especially when it comes to politics and political movements. I am a soft center type of person. I don’t like hard stances or extremes. But when I look at a movement that has brought together people from not only all over the US, but all over the world, it makes me pay attention. And on that fact alone, I think it is a beautiful movement.
I also find its resistance to naming specific agendas and specific leaders notable and noble. Keeping the discussion open in a movement that covers so many places, issues, and ideas is necessary. And resisting a hierarchy in a movement that criticizes power elites sends a non-hypocritical message. No doubt it has caused certain types of people to gravitate towards the movement and others to stay clear. Idealists gravitate toward the movement because they believe that the world is capable of changing through action by common people. Radicals gravitate toward the movement because it violates many of the principles that people expect from protest. It is unconventional and seemingly chaotic, but it is not without order and not without purpose.
But in my praise of the movement I cannot forget that there are things that I think could be improved on within the movement. I don’t want to use words like “criticism” because I believe they do an injustice to a strong and effective movement. In many ways, Occupy has done things right. I do not view myself as a qualified critic of cooperative protest. And frankly, I do not want to be a part of the critical current that has been the norm since the beginning of the movement.
However, there are some ways that the Occupy movement could be improved. I believe something that would be beneficial to the movement is to get out of the occupy spaces, to move out of the comfort zones where the beliefs and ideas of occupy can't be challenge. Conversation is needed. Education is tantamount. Police cannot brutalize a movement that is everywhere. People walking through the streets, on every street, talking to people, asking questions, starting debates, giving people the opportunity to express their anger, their sadness, their dreams. Occupy each street; occupy minds; occupy and take back the education of the media by being the media, spreading thought, asking questions.
I am not talking about evangelizing or spreading just the ideas of occupy. We, collectively as people, learn through interaction. Asking questions creates a space where people can talk. Occupiers don't need to spread the doctrine; simply get an idea about what people are thinking about, what their wants are, and most importantly, their REASONS. A movement that claims to fight for the common citizen, must make the common citizen feel like they have a voice and that their thoughts and ideas matter.
If we want a world of solidarity, people need to listen, to learn from every individual, and make everyone everywhere feel like they are a part of the movement. By simply talking. Videos of these conversations could be a great marketing tool. Questions about occupy can be answered directly via youtube, facebook, twitter. Staged public debates could create a climate where people can ask questions, where people can offer criticisms, and through opening those discussions to the general public, create a stronger movement. We are in an age where technology allows people to post information on the internet within a few minutes. Videos of discussions can be the new way to share information. There should be a more visible conversation, showing the world what true debates could be like, showing people what transparency can offer.
The government isn't who needs to understand occupy. They don't care to. The corporations don't need to see occupy every day. They are still making their money. The popular media doesn’t need to understand Occupy; they have their own agenda. But the people, the people need to understand and recognize their own power. But most importantly, they need to realize what they need and what they want; they need their fires to burn. Engage the people. Fully. Come to them. Protest is amazing and occupation is key. But conversation will open doors. The movement of the 99% must ignite the power of the 99%.
What I dream about and hope for is a movement that shows the world what it could be like, that engages people as friends that educates through discussion and sharing of ideas. People separated not by their differences, but united by their commonalities. I hope that a maturity of heart and mind can enter into the collective discourse. I dream that this movement includes not just the radical activist but every person with an opinion, every heart that secretly burns for a new and better way of life.
A movement so powerful must seek to grow in unconventional ways, must thirst for its own development, the spreading of its consciousness. We are free people. We are free to talk to each other, to share with each other and to learn from each other. This is what I believe will make a large revolution even larger. This is what I believe will ignite the power of the 99%.