Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupation, Immigration, and One Big Union

Potential signs I was thinking about making for the Occupy Lawrence Rally on Saturday:

    I just want the revolution already so I can have a baby and crochet and garden.

    The act of resistance can be an act of love. (Adapted from Paolo Freire)

     The hungry poor will weep no more for the food they can never earn/
         There are Tables Spread; every mouth be fed/
         For the world is about to turn. (From Canticle of the Turning)

Sign I actually made:
     We are the 99% we've been waiting for.

We have the power, we have to change the world and wrest power from the sadists that hold it currently, replace the corrupted old order with a new, kind order, rooted in our collective desires for well-being and social justice.  

Our rally here in Lawrence was somewhat dispiriting, with just a few of us holding signs.  But nationally yesterday was a big day--lots of wonderful, spirited protests all over the country.  Several people have occupied South Park and have committed to camping there until the resolution comes.  As one of my friends said, this might not become anything, but it looks like the closest thing our generation will have to a revolutionary moment, and I'm going to seize it.

I thought the New Yorker actually offered some of the more cogent analysis of the movement:  "Occupy Wall Street is a political project, but it is equally a cri de couer, an exercise in constructive group dynamics, a release from isolation, resignation, and futility.  The process, not the platform, is the point."  

This is helping connect lots of activists in our community; that part is exciting.  My ties to local anarchists are strengthening, and I get so much succor from my interactions with them.  

But, alas, I'm not sure that the Occupy Together movement is going to accomplish much (although I of course hope otherwise, that at least we can bring about massive reforms if not the needed revolution).  So, in the spirit of participating in another large, historical movement, I'm joining the International Workers of the World (aka the IWW or the Wobblies), an anarcho-syndicate which has been around since 1905.  I'm not going to blog about this much, but if you have any questions about it, feel free to e-mail me or call me.

I have been listening to their wonderful "Little Red Box of Protest Songs," which compiles several decades of delightful resistance music.  I've also been listening to IWW member Anne Feeney's music, which anyone who likes rousing political music should certainly check out.  So much spirit!

So the IWW seems like a source of life and light, and I'm proud to be part of it.  

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