Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Occupy Cambridge

I feel like the news on the Occupy front is unfortunately more and more like an actual front, and the word revolution is being tossed around in a lot of places. There are rumors of uprecedented civil unrest in Sweden and Hamburg.  We know there is an open war between the police and the people in Turkey. People who take to the streets to call for change are arrested in the United Kingdom. You guys, I feel like things are actually getting kind of bad.

I think it would be very useful to think about putting together some kind of International Occupy Statement. An attempt to communicate to anyone about the people guiding principles for what a real democracy under the rule of law with respect for the earth would look like. Also there could be rules for negotiating protracted disputes about public space occupations - just a transparent tribunal system under which police and sovereigns could gain credibility and trust and Occupiers could exercise their rights of speech and assembly without fear of retribution. I feel like we should get on that. We need one of those Vaclev Havel revolutions where nobody dies. We need some old-school Lech Walesa all chubby smiling down on the docks, not pictures of cafe girls in Turkey becoming versed in street warfare. 

No one wants to go to war with the police. No one wants the Palestine model to replicate itself as it seems to have done in Syria and Turkey.  I still think that the existing institutions, while wheezy and bloated with money and cronyism could be made to serve our purposes - the courts are there - dusty and deserted and overwhelmed but still there. A plan for reform with a unified undergirding could be useful.  I feel that people of faith have a special role here, and alliances can and should be fostered, so that we can encourage each other to speak about justice and live our faith. The rule of law is in tatters, but it could be strengthened and revived. We could be better stewards of the Earth. And our government could be more like the Good Samaritan. And we could take seriously the idea that money is the root of all evil. And instead of a nasty indeterminate revolution we could have reform - practical governing ideas that make money the servants of our hearts, whether or not our hearts are in service to God. 




2 comments:

  1. I remember spending a lot of time on International Occupy Statements during Occupy London outside St Paul's - but people are very different and talking _to_ everyone is essentially impossible, let alone speaking _for_ everyone.

    I came away from that thinking that the way we are really going to see change in this country - and other countries are different - is from the bottom. People making their local area more resilient, helping those in need, and gradually working on undermining the selfish zeitgeist which whispers that the next millionaire could be you and that rising water raises all boats, rather than capsizing many and leaving them to drown.

    If you're still interested in an international Occupy statement, I'd suggest getting in touch / involved with Take The Square and their international coordination calls, which have been the most cohesive international communication that I've seen take place through this.

    But I think Occupy's strength is that it's a brand, not an international movement; anyone can pick up the banner and use the tactics and the name, so there's no way to decapitate it.

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    1. Thank you Chessypig for the wise words.

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