November 23, 2011
Thanksgiving Message to the Occupy Movement
Occupy Wall Street: What do they want?
I think its obvious what we want. Any idiot who spends 15 minutes at any occupation talking with the people at it can come away with a sense of what our demands are.
The economic mode upon which our society is based, by whatever name you want to call it, is a homicidal machine, which requires us to ignore the connections between the way we live, and the problems in the world. For the machine to continue working, requires us to devalue the lives of others-- the lives of people we will never meet, either because they live far away in another state or another country, or because we will not live to see them born.
For the machine to continue working, requires us to ignore the fact that the lights are on in your house right now are powered most likely by coal, and that extracting that coal from the ground means that there are people in Pennsylvannia and West Virginia are going to die of cancer and mercury poisoning.
For the machine to continue working, requires us not to think about the fact that your cell phone or laptop’s wifi is made possible through the rape and forced labor of women in central africa, who are brutalized and forced to work in mines to extract the rare earth minerals used in wireless devices.
For the machine to continue working, requires us to ignore that our grandchildren’s grandchildren will inherit an earth characterized more by toxic chemicals and poisoned air, water, and soil, and less by unspoiled wilderness than the one we were born into.
For the machine to continue working, requires us to ignore the fact that we are killing the very planet that sustains us. Requires us to ignore the fact that human beings are so in control of the elements of nature, that we have fundamentally altered the chemistry of the ocean, causing massive dieoffs of coral reefs. We have filled the ocean with garbage. There is an island the size of Texas, made of garbage, floating in the Pacific Gyre.
We all know that this is wrong. We all know that there is a better way to do things, though we may not be sure how to get there from here.
The machine must be stopped. The homicidal machine that is western crony capitalism, it’s made of all of us. When we comply with the roles that the system has set for us, when we “do what we’re supposed to” we become more and more trapped by it.
But we cannot simply walk away. The grip of the machine on our lives is too great.
If the machine has a brain, the center of that machine is in Washington DC.
If the machine has a heart, it’s the Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
I would like to revitalize the call of the Occuppy Wall Street movement. This is not about sleeping outside. That is not what the movement is about. It’s about creating a new world. That new world is in its infancy right now, and the old world has been trying to crush it before it even has a chance to take hold. But this new world has taken hold. Now that it is in its infancy, the machine is going to try to destroy it. This new world is a direct threat to the old world’s existence.
In order to make this new world possible, we must stop the machine from working. We must shut down the heart and brain of the homicidal machine.
There is a prophesy by the elders of the indigenous people who live now where the Keystone XL pipeline will soon be. This prophesy says, that one day, the ways of mankind will be so wrong, and so dangerous to the earth, that mother earth will rise up to correct things, and that the people of the world must either rise up with Mother Earth, or face extermination.
Those of us in the Occupy Movement, we are like White Blood Cells.
Our world has been infected by a homicidal mode of economy, a homicidal mode of thought.
We must heal the earth, we must heal ourselves.
We must clog the New York Stock Exchange with our bodies and prevent it from functioning, we must clog the halls of congress with our bodies and prevent it from functioning. We must remain there, like white blood cells attacking an infection, until the homicidal machine is dismantled.
Have you ever been surfing?
Right now there is a wave of energy gathering. When a large wave gathers energy, the ocean pulls backwards away from the shore. The ocean becomes thin and shallow. There is a lull. The larger the wave, the greater the lull.
This winter will most likely prove to be the lull before that next wave.
At the point before things turn in the other direction, the draw out to sea is strong, and it looks like you are being pulled away from the shore. But if, during this low point, you are able to look around and position yourself well, you can ride the coming surge all the way in to the shore.
So occupiers, this winter, stay strong. Hold your ground, but don’t worry too much about short term direct action this winter. It’s cold. It’s time to focus our energy inward, to focus on staying warm, and on survival. This spring, during the week of the Vernal Equinox, when the earth’s life force surges forward, let us surge with it. Let us descend by the hundreds of thousands on both Wall Street and DC, and shut the machine down.
A homeless man came up to me while I was at the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in DC, and he said to me out of the blue, “I’m going to say this to you, because you seem like the kind of person who can appreciate this-- Being here in this space, I don’t have to say anything to be heard. I have power that comes from simply being here.”
That’s turned out to be true for the entire occupy movement.
While I spent time on Wall Street, and in Washington, DC, I’ve seen how scared the machine is of us.
At the Chamber of Commerce, all we had to do was show up, and they shut the building down.
At the Hart Senate office building, we showed up, and they shut the building down.
At the Rayburn House offices, 15 people showed up, and they shut down the hallways, not even allowing congressional staffers through.
Our power comes from simply being there. The machine is used to us misdirecting our anger into online petitions, facebook groups, rallies, symbolic protests. But if we simply SHOW UP to the scene where the crime is happening, suddenly the homicidal machine is exposed for exactly how powerless, naked, and illegitimate it really is.
It’s true. You want to stop the machine? All you have to do is show up, and the machine, which knows exactly how weak and frail it is, will go into self-preservation mode. At that point, the only thing we need to do is wait. If we scare the machine into shutting itself down out of fear, every day, for weeks on end, the machine will starve itself to death. If the machine lashes out with violence, it only betrays the total lack of legitimacy that this machine has a right to exist. It does not. The homicidal machine must be stopped for the sake of all of humanity.
On this vernal equinox, March 20th, let’s simultaneously, invade the New York Stock Exchange in, and the halls of Congress in DC and bring the gears of the machine to a halt.
Will I see you there? I hope so.