Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When folks should shut up

I just read Thers' post here, and it was spot-on, and I started writing a comment, but then it got too long.  So now my comment is here.

I had the great privilege to spend this past weekend with OWS just before it was raided.  And I don't usually wax poetic about touchy-feely stuff, nor can I join a drumming circle.

But what amazes me is how people (academics, bloggers, pundits, people who have never been to an Occupy encampment) erase one of the most important messages of OWS: that every single individual is valuable, and deserves to be treated humanely.  They talk about the Movement and miss that at that camp, everyone tried in their way to take the best care they could of each other.  That is a tragic thing to lose.

There were problems.  There were outsiders who just wanted a piece of the thing, and like any movement, people bring their shit with them.  But people also tried to talk and listen and be kind and good to each other.  They did this because you cannot change the world without it - large-scale justice cannot be achieved without justice amongst each other, between friends, fellow activists, tent-neighbors, lifemates.  And this is hard and it takes patience and empathy and time and all your fucking energy sometimes.  You can't do it from your office chair.  It's messy and you have to get down in the dirt.  So while there was a Movement, yes, to miss the movement in the park itself, between the people, is to miss something important.

It made people feel powerful, some said for the first time in their lives.  Scary stuff, to the 1%. Revolutionary, even. 

So the bloggers and academics and pundits mouthing off about this in terms of what is best for policy and affecting legislation and blah blah blah are really just being lazy.  They want the Occupy movement to do things they can write about from their office chairs and desks and pontificate about, so they don't have to get up.


  1. Well said. I don't have time for the people talking about what OWS should do; I'm trying to hear the folks on the ground. There's a lot of them, and that those in power keep trying to silence them makes me all the more interested in what they have to say.

  2. Teaspoon!! I am agree with you i like it..
    Thanks for sharing with us...

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