I get up in the morning and scan the headlines.
This has become my daily ritual. After a Google news briefing I open Facebook to see what’s been posted in groups and on walls. Then I check my Twitter stream. It’s exhausting keeping up to date. I get hundreds of emails each day (mostly junk, but a good portion not) I seek truth and facts. I want to know more, I research and dig deeper when something seems important or relevant to my interests, I dig even more.
I’ve followed the Occupy Movement these past months with close scrutiny. I’ve read both mainstream and independent press, watching videos on YouTube and tuning in on Livestream and Ustream to witness the General Assemblies, listen to entertainers, hear guest speakers and tragically have watched (live) in horror as riots unfolded before my very eyes. Oakland, New York City, Berkley…
From October 15th when Vancouver began its occupation at the Vancouver Art Gallery I spent many days and several nights camped along side the other protesters. I have never in my life felt so strongly about supporting a movement as now. I never considered myself to be a political person. My activism was previously limited to an occasional rant about the decline of education or health care but nothing close to the dogged determination in the past many weeks. To the shock and dismay of my friends, family and associates I have submerged myself into the realm of global upheaval.
I have even surprised myself.
I’ve argued, ranted, pleaded, explained patiently, passionately shared my views and sobbed in utter despair at reports of injustice. I witnessed first-hand the unsuccessful attempt to revive a young woman, the dissension between radicals and conservatives, and have been personally attacked both verbally and via internet for my support of the 99%.
Today I felt like giving up. Why Occupy? Why Bother?
I posted an email to the group of independent media hounds who have worked to bring the truth about Occupy Vancouver to the city. (and the world) I whined about my predicament and asked for support and solutions. To be honest, I am not alone. Many of my comrades have had the same feelings of despair. How can I explain a totally corrupt world in 30 seconds or less? How can I answer the question, “What are the demands?” when I am overwhelmed at the list.
The task was placed upon me to write a 2 page report explaining Occupy. How can I aptly capture the true essence of a global uprising in 2 pages? I’ve watched countless videos and documentaries on the monetary system and the financial collapse due to unethical practices. It took me months, no… years to understand. And I’m still foggy on how it all happens. There is no real money…?
As for politics? Well, all I can say is, all governments seem crooked to me. Power corrupts. Absolute power leads to bad things. Money and politics don’t belong together. It appears to be the root of our systematic decline. Society is rotting. We no longer care for one another. Greed has replaced kindness and empathy.
But wait! There is hope…
There are people just like me all over the world. People who do care. People who know too much. I wish I could wash my hands of all the ugliness. I wish I could turn a blind eye to the ecological devastation, global fever and misappropriation of funds, but I can’t. I know too much. I’ve read the reports on the state of the Oceans. I’ve seen the documentary about slaughter of dolphins. I’ve listened to lectures and studied the facts on pipelines across pristine wilderness.
What’s my story? I’m bright, healthy and hard-working, yet I am drowning in debt and crashing into dead ends. I live in a world that is failing… but there is hope.
I’m reminded of those who came before me. The suffragette who stood strong so someone like me (a mere woman) could vote. The activists who fought for civil rights, spoke up against pointless wars and racism and who never wavered no matter the punishment or resistance against them. The students who linked arms and knelt before a squad with pepper-spray… Young men in Tahrir Square
It’s the very resistance that makes us stronger.
If we didn’t have forces against us, it wouldn’t be a movement. That fact that we are being so violently attacked makes me realize that we are hitting a nerve with the 1%. If we didn’t have a case against them they’d back down and let us have our little pity party. But they don’t and we won’t. They are scared. They know we are on to them.
Who are They?
The mega rich. The corporations. The money hoarders and law changers. Yes, they actually change laws so they profit. The Bloomberg’s and the Koch Brothers. The congressmen who pats the backs of big business buddies who in turn pad their pockets with our tax dollars.