Thursday, September 21, 2017

And Now We Are Six: #Occupy Wall Street's Sixth Anniversary


September 17 marked the sixth anniversary of the day that protesters descended on Wall Street and Zuccotti Park in New York City, re-naming it Liberty Park and launching #Occupy Wall Street!  

I put this video together on Occupy's First Birthday.  The song had emerged in the pre-dawn air a year earlier as Mayor Bloomberg, aware that thousands more people had flocked to Zuccotti Park to prevent his first attempt to clear the park in October, backed down.  Here in n Western Massachusetts, I had stayed up all night, riveted to the Livestream.   At dawn, a roar surged through the crowd as the announcement was made.  Mayor Bloomberg had caved.  "By dawn's early light, what a sight, oh say can you see?" 

The song wrote itself.

Of course, time moved on, and I had to rewrite a few lines of "The Flame of Liberty Park." Following the guidance of federal authorities, the Mayor's Militarized Minions swept the park into dumpsters in November.  This happened to other large scale #Occupy encampments as well.  

Yet,  remained a Song of Triumph.  As the song now sez, "you can trash a camp, but you can't sweep away the Spirit!  That Spirit, re-emerged during the candidacy of Bernie Sanders and others.  It lives on in a myriad of grassroots efforts to turn the tables, and reclaim our democracy.  

Although, for a time, Trumposaurus Wrecks and his Crazed Capitalist Crew may cling to the reins of power, I feel it in my bones.  Although, I'm 71 years old and may not be around for the victory party, our time will come.

It's SO not over!

#Occupy Six Years Down the Road

Although the mainstream media has often tried to discount the impact of the two month encampment at Zuccotti Park, there can be no doubt that beyond the amazing spread of the #Occupy movement across the United States that fall, the Spirit continued to move across the land in a myriad of local, regional and national efforts to create a more equitable and democratic society.   (Read Michael Levitin's  article in The Atlantic, "The Triumph of Occupy Wall Street.")

On the national level, it seems to me that the emergence of Bernie Sanders, an avowed Democratic Socialist, as a credible candidate for the Democratic nomination for President this past year was a direct result of #OWS! For the first time in recent history, #OWS! brought into clear focus the alarming, and growing, income inequality existing in the US.  A lot of folks got the message.

Although Bernie didn't secure the nomination from the embedded Democratic Party establishment, the campaign he calls "a Political Revolution" continues on to confront the utter domination and distortion of our democratic process by a wealthy corporate elite.  Unfortunately, the widespread frustration with the continuing looting of the economic resources of this nation  --and the world -- by the banksters and tycoons, was manipulated within the culture of fear and divisiveness fomented by the Republican Party for decades, allowed a billionaire huckster to con a lot of good folks into thinking that they could play this Trump card into a winning hand in their lives.  It will become more and more obvious that the Banksters and Privateers he's assembled in his Misadminstration won't bring back jobs or any semblance of a viable middle class prosperity as they fill their pockets and move on.

It's only a matter of time.  It's so not over.

Take a Moment

Six years years down the road from that magic day in September that sparked an autumn blaze of urban encampments throughout the United States for the next few, I think its time to celebrate the Spirit that emerged there. Over the course of it's two month occupation, #OWS! made the case: a political revolution is absolutely necessary.  We are, after all, the 99%. Now it's up to each of us to stay on the case. 


Right now, the Republicans are once again trying to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a plan that leaves tens of millions of American's unprotected -- and tens of millions of us subject to exorbitant fees for access life-saving medical care.  Don't let the deal go down!  Call your Senators now.  Hell, call their Senators now.  If you can't make the call, sign the petition below.  

My Humble Take on the Real Deal

I believe that the movement for peace, economic democracy and social justice is a Spiritual Quest. No mean feat, what is called for is a True Revolution of the Heart and Mind--and it starts with each of us.

This revolution has to be Peaceful. The Hippies (and Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King, et al) had it right. It really is all about Peace and Love. Besides being a total drag, violence just doesn't work. It keeps our wheels spinning in fear, anger and pain. Who needs that?

Besides some hard work, I think the Revolution also calls for dancing, plenty of laughter, and some sitting around just doing nothing. (Some folks call it meditation.)

As Stephen Gaskin, proclaimed years ago:

"We're out to raise Hell--in the Bodhisattvic* sense."

Doesn't that sound like some serious fun?

(*The Bodhisattva Vow is a set of commitments made in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. It basically says I vow to get my act together and figure it out well enough to really help out--and I ain't gonna stop until everybody is covered.

I've found that doesn't necessarily have to happen in that order. It's best to try to help out even before you have it all together! Like right now.)

-----Brother Lefty Smith, Founding S.O.B*