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#S17- I Occupy

Good Morning!  Today is the anniversary celebration for Occupy Wall Street.  I am still at home this morning for various reasons.  I have things that urgently need to be finished here.  But my afternoon looks free so I might scoot up to NYC later.  In the meantime, I’ll be finishing putting down a new floor in my basement and watching the events live.  Anyone who wants to help let me know in the comments.  Yeah, didn’t think so.  {{sigh}}

You can watch all the #S17 events streaming live here and at several Ustream channels.

And for anyone who doubts whether I still believe in Occupy, listen up: I still believe.  Not only do I believe but every day I see and hear evidence that the message, “We are the 99%” has grown and spread beyond the numbers of the bold individuals who risked arrest to protest in Zuccotti park and other places.

Movements go through phases and have to figure things out.  How to organize, who to trust, what they say and how to say it.  This is what happened to the Jesus Movement, the most successful Occupy movement up until this point.  This Occupy has the benefit of knowing what lays ahead for movements that are co-opted like the early Christians were, but it doesn’t know the future.  None of us do.  Occupy is a moral movement and it is a catalyst for many other movements.

Here’s what we do know.  That all people and all work have dignity and worth.  That there is more to life than screwing your neighbors out of their fortunes in order to hoard obscene gobs of cash for yourself.  That there is nothing wrong with people who refuse to use their talents to exploit others.  They are not losers. And that there’s nothing worse than insisting,unquestioningly and unwisely, that others kiss the whip of those who would exercise their power and authority over them.  You are not a mindless automaton who takes orders and whatever your master throws at you.  “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

So, to those of you who are wondering whether I’ve abandoned Occupy Wall Street, think again.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and some of us need to finish other things that can’t wait. But if you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve written for most of my career here, you will know that I’ve *always* belonged to Occupy, long before it even came into being.  And there are many others who are just beginning to understand the message, many of them formerly middle class professionals who have through no fault of their own have fallen into economic despair.  Their careers and fortunes have disappeared.  Every day that this little Depression goes on, new Occupy sympathizers are created. Yes, even among people who only a couple of years ago wouldn’t have dreamed of questioning their authority figures are striving to understand where it is the 1% is trying to take us and are realizing that they need to resist it in their own way.  In that sense, Occupy has succeeded and will continue to succeed.

You don’t need to go to Zuccotti Park to Occupy, although, I highly recommend it because it’s exhilarating.  Just soap your car windows today, chalk a sidewalk, bang a pot.  Let the 1% know you’re still here, everywhere, and you aren’t going away.  Ever.

I do not believe this darkness will endure.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Here’s what an Occupy event is like.  This is my poor excuse of a video on the events from #N17 last year.

Bold Occupiers come in many flavors.  This group of wheelchair Occupiers blocked Liberty and Broadway in Lower Manhattan and are being rolled off to jail.

So, you know, if you can run, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, roll.  Occupy does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, disability, lifestyle, age, religion or national origin.


6 Responses

  1. What specific results do you hope to see from your investment in time in Occupy?

    • I’ve already seen them.
      As I’ve said before, Occupy is a moral movement. Let’s just say that within my circle (not on the blogs), the message “We are the 99%” is already percolating. That is, among professional scientists, there is a growing awareness of their position in the socio-economic system and a resentment of what the 1% is doing. There is a understanding of what it means to be one of the 99%, even if you have armfuls of degrees in the heavy sciences. I’m not sure that would have happened without Occupy Wall Street.
      The genie is out of the bottle. You could arrest every occupier on the street and still have millions who sympathize and are watching carefully. They know who is on their side now and who isn’t. I believe that laying the moral foundation is essential for the movements to come.

    • Rhonda. we have only just begun. It will take plenty of time (years) before we can erase the evils of the status quo. But make no mistake. Occupy will prevail. It simply must.

      Thanks, RD for this post. I couldn’t get to NYC today (back problems) but I am there – as you know – in mind, spirit and hope.

      Marsha B.

      • Awwww, I totally understand the back problem thing. If it’s lower back, have you tried doing the Sphinx pose ? Worked like a charm for me. The idea is to gently push your herniated disk into place. You start with your chin on the ground and push yourself up to sphinx for 5 sec. Do 10 reps, 3 times a day.
        I also took Aleve and sat in my car with the heated seats. Bliss.
        That regimen worked for me. I went about 10 weeks with no improvement but as soon as I added the sphinx, the pain and sciatica was gone within about 48 hours. I’m sure it works because whenever I feel that twinge, I get back into the sphinx and it instantly starts to feel better.

    • Rhonda, I saw on your facebook page that you have some references to Christian materials. I am not religious but I did have an epiphany at the November OWS march last year. I had thought for some time that the Occupy movement resembles the Jesus Movement. Note that I didn’t say Christianity. That’s because the protests and unpermitted march in Jerusalem *preceded* the death and resurrection. It is clear to me that Jesus intent was socio-political, not necessarily religious. He used religious metaphors in order to reach his audience but the portions of the new testament that are directly related to Jesus, roughly 18%, are the parables and Sermon on the Mount and most of those teachings had to do with equality, justice, dignity, forgiveness, ratcheting down the punitive system under which peasants lived and unite them in a common cause, their own worth. IMHO, the resurrection stuff was added by the apostles because they needed to keep the movement going and understood that people would be afraid to meet if death was part of the program. Your mileage may vary. But after the incident I witnessed in Zuccotti park last November, I am convinced that this is what Jesus was doing.
      If you are a TRUE follower of Jesus, you Occupy. One of the biggest missed opportunities was failing to get the Christians down to the Occupy sites, not to evangelize but to get in touch with the roots of their religion.
      Here’s my post on it from last year:
      Two Thousand Year Old Mystery Solved
      I might add that as a scientist, I look for data and experts who use the scientific method to explain things and the whether you like him or not, Dominic Crossan and his colleague whose name escapes me (Martin something), have pretty much cracked the Jesus phenomenon. If you read them, you will instantly recognize Occupy and it all makes sense in a historical and moral sense.
      Even the Beatitudes are remarkable if you imagine Jesus saying them at a General Assembly on the mountain. The way they are phrased make them the perfect message for a human microphone.
      Jesus: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness
      All: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness
      Jesus: For they will be satisfied
      All: For they will be satisfied.

      The whole sermon is constructed in small phrases that are easy to repeat through a crowd in successive waves.

  2. “That all people and all work have dignity and worth.”

    That reads like something out of the Roman Catholic Catechism –which I’m sure if most Republican Catholics read it, they would run away screaming “socialism!”

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