by Rachel Lyra Hospodar
Let’s start with Occupy. This explosion of direct democracy on
streetcorners across Amerika helped to wake people up, showing starkly
the depth of popular dissatisfaction with the status quo. It has served
as a point of introduction to direct action for countless people of many
different backgrounds. Criticisms were leveled at the young movement
that, if harsh, were also deserved, with new structures often mirroring
the racial and gender-based oppressions of the larger culture. After
nine months, progress has been elusive. The sway of the almighty dollar
in politics is unchanged. Politicians divide the nation on issues of
“morality” while police violence continues and billionaires line their
pockets. Is the movement a fading temper tantrum for the most recently
Occupies across the country are struggling with natural processes of
fragmentation into smaller & more stable alliances in the form of
affinity groups, growing autonomy among working groups, and
spokescouncils. Participants are desperately seeking ways to re-engage
and grow the movement, while the occupation tactic has lost steam. It
doesn’t really matter, though – fixation on name and identity is a
recipe here for stagnation. The Occupy movement is a breakthrough
symptom of overwhelming dissatisfaction among Amerikans with the way the
government is operating. Thousands of newly empowered activists are
fresh out of boot camp, looking for affinity groups that inspire them
and actions that they think will work.
Move Your Money was wildly successful, with people taking their money
away from the big banks and opening accounts with their local credit
unions. We should continue this campaign and find small ways in all of
our lives to continually remove funding and support from the
dollar-industrial complex that has captured us all. If this type of
gradual change doesn’t inspire you, maybe you want to stage a piece of
guerrilla street theatre that shouts your truth across the rooftops.
Incite a riot. Maybe you just want to tell your story. Try it all.
Reach out across boundaries, across borders, and ask for help. You
might be surprised at who responds, at who helps you.
We are the vanguard of the next generation. Reject the stories the
media tells you, and seek out your own truth. Find elders and hear
their stories. Our People do not have Pottery Barn as our church, pale
cliches as our traditions.
Our hearts are shining temples to hard-fought truth and the beautiful
transcendent power of love.
Fucking act like it.