Friday, September 23, 2011 | transcribed and compiled by Mike Hoolboom
Chris Hedges, a longtime award winning journalist, said that he’d covered every major revolution in the past 25 years… and that he was sitting around with friends in Berlin one evening in 1989 who were musing that the wall might come down in a year, or two years, or perhaps never. Six hours later it was down. In other words, no one knows what is going to happen – this is the nature of a movement. Of profound social change. You need to figure out where you stand and then drop it. What is the occupy momentum? It’s not an organization, or a campaign, it’s a changing, shape-shifting MOVEMENT. Like the women’s movement in the 1960s, there are many different ideas about what the problems are, and how to address those problems. One of the qualities of a movement is that it seems to come out of nowhere.
At this moment there are 1900 Occupations around the world – in Canada alone there are 32.
Be the Change
Non-violence has been at the heart of the Occupy movement. They aren’t providing the spectacle of broken cars and windows that the media crave. They haven’t responded to the sometimes brutal police force used against protestors with force of their own. If we want a new society we have to be the change. Don’t tell me anymore about the I-Phone, the I-Pad… what about the We-phone, what about us?
Ronit says that when she first entered St. James Park she was confronted with fears she had internalized, particularly after the brutal events of last summer’s G20. We all remember what the police force here is capable of. How does money, hierarchy and violence live in my body? I went to the park wondering: who is in charge here? Who is going to protect me if things go wrong? And the answer? No one. The scenario allows you empower yourself. You have two feet and a heart to stand on. Come to the park and feel what is going on inside yourself and outside of yourself, and pick one thing and decide what you’re going to contribute.
MICHAEL STONE will speak at Occupy Toronto this Saturday, October 29th at 5pm, St. James Park. Info: http://www.facebook.com/search.php?q=occupy+toronto+michael+stone&init=quick&tas=0.3618033487073028#!/event.php?eid=191877104223625