Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Short Reflection on Occupy

This is a brief set of thoughts on the current political impulse.

My main question is how do we make direct action, community organizing, and electoral work build upon each other?

We know that a more open approach to politics will make things better for many people. It will not be the solution, but will move things forward. As an example, there have been Mayors who make sure that police do not attack strikers and demonstrators. There are also elected officials, Senator Sanders as an example, who believe in many things that the 99% organizers believe.

We can move beyond "either/or" and get to "all and." This means that we will have to learn to listen to each other. We have to learn to communicate differently. To reach out and check in more often.

We'll make mistakes. And it is OK because this is the time to learn to be gentler with those fighting for social justice. We tend to be very hard on each other. It is time to move beyond that.

We have the opportunity now to discuss lots of things. Who has the privilege to camp, be arrested, travel to demonstrate, etc. And how to use that as an advantage. We have the chance to have conversations about class, race, gender and more with people have not had those conversations with.

We have the opportunity now to talk beyond individual issues. We have the opportunity to discuss changes in the systems and rules. Systems change after the rules change. You don't get different people at the table as long as you need to be a millionaire to buy a ticket. We get different policies by the combination of pressure and more representative decision-makers. We have had one good discussion at Camp Coyote about long-term electoral politics. Something beyond the current "progressive" approach. We need to have many, many more of those conversations.

We have the opportunity now to take many movements and turn it into movement! Many communities have been screwed by capitalism for many years. Like many problems now that it is impacting the white and middle-class it is a "crisis."And in many real respects it is a crisis for all of us.

This is a great time to be alive and working for social justice!

1 comment:

tomas garduno said...

Simon carnal! Let's keep up the positive, inclusive vision.