re-occupied Wall Street, yesterday. The mainstream media seems to be
largely blacking it out, and it's hard to tell exactly what is
happening. The crowd in photos looks smaller than some Occupy internet
sites have claimed. I suspect the forces of the City of New York, and
possibly the Federal Government, will come down on them like a ton of
bricks - certainly if they pitch tents, or seem to be assembling in too
much strength. I suspect the near-certainty of this will keep a lot of
prudent potential protesters away. Still, the mere fact that this is
happening causes profound emotion to well up from my heart to my tearing
I love the Occupy movement with a surprising, deep
intensity. It is the source of much frustration, true. But the sins of
the Occupiers are those of naivete, mostly. Their strengths are hope,
inclusion, solidarity, love, and pure heart. Compare this to a
mainstream culture based on self-interest, greed, hypocrisy, and the exercise of naked power. Not much choice, is there?
I do not know how to go about building a better world. As U.S. and
global political and economic centers grow stronger, more concentrated,
and more adamantly resistant to change, I grow less and less certain
that it is even possible. But I do know that whatever limited powers of
intellect, knowledge, ability I may possess, I'd rather throw them on
the side of love and hope than greed, aggression, and repression. I
know which side I'm on.
My favorite Occupy chant expresses, I
think, both the sometimes childlike innocence of the movement, and its
enthusiasm and unlimited, but unselfish, ambition:
"Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Main Street. Occupy EVERYWHERE and NEVER GIVE IT BACK."
Who am I? That's not a simple question, you see, as a man is many things. I am a socialist, father, guitar player, lifelong reader, occasional poet. I earn my living as a structural engineer, and my technical education is certainly an important part of who I am. But what I am probably more than anything else is a thinker, a wonderer, a "philosopher" in the literal sense of the word. Not necessarily a very GOOD one, but we all do what we can..