16 November 2011

The Occupy Movement - or - How I Came to Think About Being an American

When the Occupy movement began my immediate response was, "HELL, Yeah!"  I still respond that way - more today than when it began.  The events taking place at the various sites, the responses of so-called Conservative media and commentators (I say so-called because I don't see these institutions as conserving anything, except their own status and power and grabs for more), the struggles (often against guns and other weapons) that the Occupiers have undergone to continue the movement - all encourage me in my view that this movement is important.

At the start I didn't see the underpinnings of the movement.  Yes, I'd had an immediate positive response, but I think that came more from a place of Aquarian rebellion than from a creative or critical thought process.  Even when I began supporting the Occupy Louisville group, I still wasn't sure what it was about.  Like so many others I was used to asking, or posing, the question "What do they want?"

It was only with the recent moves in three separate cities, on the same night (interesting, hmmmm?) to remove the Occupiers from their peaceful (mostly) and organized locations - moves undertaken in the dark of night (another hmmmm) and by police in riot gear - that I really understood the importance of the protest.  What they/we of the 99% want has less to do with specific issues and everything to do with the assumptions most of us have about what it means to be an American.

There's so much to articulate about what that last sentence means, that I feel a sense of overwhelm in the idea of trying.  Luckily I happened upon an article in Rolling Stone that says it, and better than I could.  Here's a link to it:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-i-stopped-worrying-and-learned-to-love-the-ows-protests-20111110 

I'd encourage you to read this article - it's not long.  The author's journey to understanding the Occupy Movement felt really similar to mine - and rather reflects the thinking of a bunch of folks I've talked to.  Have conversations about it, or do something, anything that expresses your own point of view.  Me, I'm gonna keep supporting the OL group, keep considering what I'm doing that maintains the status quo the Movement is throwing a light on, and keep trying to live up to my "Hell, Yeah!" spirit.

1 comment:

  1. Appreciate your sharing as always. I'll read that Rolling Stone article next. I'm curious, what kinds of things are you doing to support OL? I'm about to start finding my ways of supporting Occupy Sacramento and would love to hear about your experience.

    ~ Tara