There is so much that could be discussed about Occupy up to this point, or as I have heard some people refer to as Occupy 1.0, which hasn't yet been written. Just since last September, the subject has sparked so much interest and curiosity on many levels and in all parts of society, yet very few voices seem to be articulating more about what all of this conversation, the actions, and commotion is all about. There is actually dialogue suggesting that the phenomenon is not developed enough to even call itself a movement.
As I was wrapping my brain around the contemplation of a new year beginning, the fact that actions were in planning stages centered around a media event called the Rose Parade on January 1stand 2nd, and that social media plays a major part in the communication and intrigue of this so-called movement, I realized that discussion should be focused on Occupy starting a new era, thus Occupy 2.0 as a way to begin framing the conversation moving forward.
As I started working on the New Year's Day Summit event in Pasadena and after creating my first scheduled meet up to discuss topics with other occupiers in December, I realized that it was definitely time to start articulating what the mission of the Occupy is really all about. Some of the initial questions asked were something like what does it mean to occupy and where should and could the occupy movement be going from here?
After over three months of getting to know people at the City Hall camp, attending meetings and GAs, capturing video and audio media of various kinds, taking pictures, writing blogs, and then working with the Rose Parade actions, I finally marched for the first time. At the front of what has become known as People's Parade (consisting primarily of at least one thousand occupiers) immediately following the official Rose Parade and the police escort, I had a defining moment.
In the grandstands rising above the streets along Orange Grove and Colorado in Pasadena, I saw the hand claps and the thumbs down, and heard the cheers and the jeers, but I would say 80% of the reactions were much different than that. I saw hundreds of thousands of people of all ages just staring at the upcoming procession of occupiers consisting of protest signs, banners, street performers, chants such as ‘banks got bailed out, we got sold out,’ a 250 foot long ‘We the People’ Constitution, and much more.
The looks of bewilderment spoke volumes to me; revealing where many Americans are right now in their understanding of how serious our global and personal crises actually are.
Even a friend of mine tells me that he is following what is going on with the Movement, but is personally still complacent and uncertain about what it all means beyond the idea that a lot of people are peacefully protesting because they aren't working, can't find work, or are upset and no longer in denial.
Occupy Los Angeles is currently redefining itself after two months of an encampment at City Hall that ended with a police raid at the end of November. Committees seem invigorated as some continue their functions while some reorganize, and others start from scratch.
As the dialogue continues, there is still much focus on the functional process of the committees, but the discussion about civic engagement, education and outreach is becoming more apparent whether many of the occupiers and the general public recognize that yet or not.
I find that the experience of humans reaching out to their fellow humans as equals continues to be the most intriguing part of the social phenomenon in this movement.
The dialogue in the most recent meet up focused on the subject of occupiers as role models for others who remain curious, but aren’t really engaged in actions and for critics who are still skeptical about the movement’s purpose. Each one of us is an individual role model and together we are collective role models. Particularly in the movement itself, I see more and more recognition of the fact that we are a part of each other because so many barriers and over inflated egos that have seemingly separated us are now in the process of being broken down. The more that this becomes a part of our daily routines, the more the message of the 99% will touch the hearts and lives of the actual 99% and probably some of the 1% as well. By fulfilling our true purpose starting with the basic fundamentals of human compassion, we automatically practice economic and social justice and are leading by example.
This is the basic beginning of many discussions as we articulate our thoughts. The framing of the movement’s vision includes the inspiration of current events through our direct actions as groups as well as how our daily lives connect us to each another. Join us in further meet up discussions.
Next: Articulate the Dream!
Love and Peace NOW!