It’s very clear now to most that something new and mysterious and urgent is being born. It’s clear that people are finding their voices, their humanity, their common ground. We’re learning from one another. We’re also finding out the extent to which our society is broken & rigged, at a deep structural level. We’re learning the extent to which it is brutal and uncaring to so many, both here and abroad. We’re discovering the extent to which this system is also breaking our natural home, mother earth, leaving most ecosystems in decline, if not outright collapse.
As a consequence, replacing a new figurehead here or there, a few new policy fixes here & there, or creating a few temporary jobs here or there, will be wildly insufficient. We need healing and a new footing. That means that a lot of people might feel like how I feel when an earthquake rolls through California…it’s disorienting and frightening. We’ve got some big social & psychological earthquakes coming through. That’s the nature of earth, and it’s the nature of human society — sometimes they simply need to readjust. And sometimes it’s bumpy.
Our grievances are many & complex. But let’s not confuse complexity with chaos.
The movement is resonating everyday with more and more people as they realize the corruption & upside-down priorities of our society and realize we can do something about it. People are practicing participatory democracy. It’s also clear that the acceptable channels we have been taught for social & political change have revealed themselves to be dead-ends. This is in large part due to money in politics, the undemocratic manner in which our economy is run, and the undue power & influence of banks and big corporations.
So we are being inconvenient. We are practicing non-cooperation with unjust laws and corrupt institutions and disruption of the status quo. Like all births & growth, there are pains, confusion, and setbacks, but also revelations, joys, & new perspectives. The new birth also looks weird to some people, evoking mockery or derision or silly generalizations. It’s to be expected. But hey, aren’t we all weird? Eventually, those tirades will become tiresome. Because we’re all here, reclaiming democracy: grandmothers, teachers, students, firefighters, parents, professionals, small business owners, nurses, doctors, city council members, social workers, the differently-abled, punks, musicians, dog-walkers, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, gardeners, advocates, artists, writers, lawyers, bus-drivers, homeless people, postal workers, pastors, whoever.
But this new birth is also threatening to those who are just fine with the way things are. Those with the most power, content with the status quo. This has invited some harsh responses from the official authorities. They want to try to hold the fault-line together. It cannot be done. There will be more & even harsher responses, this is certain. They will try everything to stop change, including lies, confusion, infiltration, and extreme force. However, we know that numbers turns the tide, and also makes it safer for even more to join. Some won’t join and some will try to co-opt us. Neither corporate political party represents us and have betrayed the people over and over. The militarized police will not join, but some will layoff a bit & even refuse orders, as has already happened in a couple of cities. Veterans and active duty are getting more involved everyday. Refusal of orders will be critical and you can see the flicker of it in some of their eyes.
Many people are still in the stands, in the role of spectator, asking and thinking and critiquing. And that’s good. Yet now it is time to choose. It’s time to act. Because it’s happening. It’s not going away as some would like. This is not your typical 24-hour news cycle story.
This is an earthquake. It’s time to dance on the rolling earth. There is room to get involved, to help chart the new direction, to help define the issues, proposals, tactics, to co-dream a better world for us and the next seven generations. One of the best chants i’ve heard in a while was at the Education march yesterday, sung with vigor by high school students: “I am somebody! I won’t be stopped by nobody! I got my fist in the air, and the movement in my feet, I got love for my people, but it starts with me.”