Okay, I’m going to ask everybody, including myself, to please reread Eisenstein’s article on the real meaning of the Occupation Movement, if we can get grounded enough to grok it. I retitled that piece, “Invite the 1% to join us. This is a Revolution of Love,” because that’s the message Eisenstein seeks to convey.
I ask this because I just got back from the Indy Occupation, 1000 strong, according to the local paper, and believe me, the 99% contains a huge diversity of people — young and old, straight and weird, blue, white collared, teashirted, handicapped and muscled, families and friends, the down and out “so-called” middle class and those who left it long ago or never got a chance to enter — with nobody looking askance at anybody else for whatever they choose to show on the surface; i.e., very unlike this hilarious cartoon:
Instead, we all seem to recognize ourselves as a merry and not so merry band of robin hoods. And lots and lots of us had signs. The first General Assembly of Occupy Indy felt like a generalized mutual teach-in of various aspects of what has gone so badly out of whack in our world. I asked some to pose. For example:
If the ’60s revolution was fueled by youth opposing the military draft, this one is fueled with equal or even more vigor by the prospect of their life-long economic and spiritual slavery. Those who expect the Occupation movement to flame out don’t realize that, as usual, the young have the most to lose, and that they’ve lost it all already. The more you have, the more you have to protect and maintain, leading to a defensive posture. They, literally, have nothing, and no prospects. Revolution is their one option.
I imagine this couple, thinking about what they wanted to say, discussing it over dinner at their dining room table with their kids, and then carefully wording it to make a complex point.
Amazing, how the usual left/right, Democratic/Republican discussions have suddenly morphed into a new division, between the Republicrats and all they represent as either partners in or lackeys of the 1%, and the rest of us. The great class divide which has always lurked underneath all the other divides now suddenly makes itself glaringly visible, and we’re all talking about what we’ve all been inchoately (or not!) feeling for years, a growing discontent that is erupting like a boiling tea kettle. And this is no tea party, or perhaps it is, the real tea party; the one that erupted a few years ago got immediately coopted by Republican money; hopefully this one won’t be coopted by many (most? all?) “Democrats” and “progressives” who still speak the old language and don’t realize that they still don’t don’t get it.
Here “it” is, in stark relief, through two images
Meanwhile, in Indy, as this man, who is running for congress as a write-in candidate, pointed out during the General Assembly, our gathering at Veteran’s Memorial Plaza was surrounded on three sides by bankster edifices:
the FBI on the south, part of the so-called “national security” apparatus that does what the occult secretly decrees, to create endless war to murder young soldiers and defenseless civilians for plunder and profit;
(Later, about half the 99%ers decided to march down to another war memorial and back again. Actually, I counted three, or was it four war memorials in downtown Indy, all surrounded by banks and high end hotels for those who fly in to make deals.)
We left before any decisions had been made as to what next in Indy, though it seemed that they were leaning towards an actual occupation next, and were trying to decide where to make their encampment. The police presence was muted and respectful, along the edges. We walked back to my garaged car along the wide avenues that seem to require five minutes for each intersection crossing (reminds me of Salt Lake City, Indy is a city built for cars — oh for smaller towns like Bloomington, or walkable cities with narrow streets like New York, Portland, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston!).
On our way back to Bloomington we were somewhat quiet, all of us exhausted by the experience of being in Indy. Just the ride back, past the enormous, expensive, Eli Lilly pharmaceutical campus, smoke stacks across from it spewing out some kind of white awfulness, then endless miles of flat, ruined, asphalted, malled terrain — all of it soul-killing. My hat’s off to those who do live in Indianapolis and find the strength and verve to create this Occupy Indy movement that is buoyed by and networked with our national and international brothers and sisters all occupying our local areas.
Meanwhile, this morning I woke up to enormous piles and bags of groceries in the kitchen, from a dumpster run late last night by my houseguest, a young permaculture student from Philadelphia who will help begin the Bloomington Occupation this evening, 6 p.m., at People’s Park. I’ll drive him and his goods there and stay awhile, documenting that, too.
Meanwhile, I can’t help but think about the story one of our carmates told, on the the way to Indy, about her relationship with her dad who runs security for high level government and corporate types in Iraq and who, she says, comes home angry and tense. He raised her to question everything, and yet now they can hardly speak. She is in graduate school, has of course, huge debt, and in classes where at least half the students still don’t have any idea about the Occupation Movement, and where teachers refuse to hold real class discussions, she finds herself floored, and furious. As are we all. We want to tell everyone we know, we want to yell from the rooftops, wake up, wake up, wake up, join the revolution! Soon enough, we all will. As things continue to deteriorate, more and more people will lose whatever they still use to cushion themselves from reality.
And the 1%? How lonely and beleagered they must feel. How at the mercy of the rest of us, waking up. Can we find it in our hearts to forgive them? For ultimately, though they may need to be prosecuted, and though it may seem that they know what they do, they do not. And once their hearts open, the flood of remorse will wash through the universe.
Aaaah, one more thing. Check this out. Humongous pumpkins on way to Indy.