Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Occupy v The Summer of Love

"A truly free, democratic, and just society where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus. Where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making. Where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others. Where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments. Where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just the privileged few. Where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings.Where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible.Where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed".

The "Summer of Love" in 1967 was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, thus initiating a major cultural and political shift. At that time the USA also saw some of the worst violence in its history because of the race riots/insurrections that occurred in places such as Detroit and Newark.

Fast forward 43 years and we have the Occupy Movement. Initially Occupy Wall Street was initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters,and partly inspired by the Arab Spring, especially Cairo's Tahrir Square protests, and the Spanish Indignants.

2 Great seismic cultural shifts both claiming peace and fairness whilst juxtaposed on a backdrop of violence and intimidation. Below is a video recounting violence at Occupy Oakland in California which occurred from both protesters and Police.

It's quite clear to me that the Human spirit is unable to be bossed, corralled, controlled and nannied - the Orwellian control grid that is being erected around us will not be successful. Humanity will ultimately flourish with Love, Peace, Creativity and freedom, as that surely is our natural state.

The use of violence is the last refuge of the oppressor - look at what is happening in Syria right now. Did you even realize that in the last century alone, Governments of the world killed over 250 million people in order to "control us" and they still keep on doing it? And yet here we are - still protesting!

The simple answer is for humanity to say no - refuse to be intimidated and surround ourselves with peace. Sounds easy but with the dogs barking at the gates it is hard to do. Laugh at them, ignore them and stay focused because the other way does not bear thinking about...

My adopted Town of Traverse City is a beautiful place and we want to keep it that way. It may surprise you to know that we have our own peaceful Occupy movement. Nobody is camping out in the park (to cold this time of year lol) but it is all about occupying hearts and minds with a message - that's all. Perhaps by occupying our own hearts and minds with the message at the beginning of this post - life could be a whole lot better?