WHEN I FIRST heard the call to Occupy Wall St for a few months, I knew this was big. I knew it would be more than just a “protest.” This felt different than the usual march to voice specific grievances. It was a call for something more profound, and much deeper, than even the original participants realized as they gathered their signs and tents.
I knew because I’d be following the various manifestations of this movement for over a year, working with Velcrow Ripper as he traversed the globe working on his new film: Evolve Love. The premise is complex to capture, but simple to state: humanity is waking up.
On Sept 17, 2011, 2000 people showed up at Zucotti Park. On Nov 26, 2011, they are still there.
The mainstream media, if they aren’t busy denigrating the movement and highlighting its flaws, are still grappling with how to cover it. Who are the leaders? What are your demands? No answer has been given. Instead, they Occupy.
Early on, journalist Naomi Klein recognized the significance as well. She called it “The Most Important Thing In The World Now“:
Yesterday, one of the speakers at the labor rally said: “We found each other.” That sentiment captures the beauty of what is being created here. A wide-open space (as well as an idea so big it can’t be contained by any space) for all the people who want a better world to find each other. We are so grateful.
“Why are they protesting?” ask the baffled pundits on TV. Meanwhile, the rest of the world asks: “What took you so long?” “We’ve been wondering when you were going to show up.” And most of all: “Welcome.”
At its heart, Occupy is not a protest. It’s about creating space. It’s about modeling a new way of being, that requires a fair amount of “unlearning” the way society and human nature has been taught. It’s asking the question: why? Why are things they way they are? Is it, in fact, human nature to be greedy, violent, and cruel? Or is it possible that these are symptoms of a systemic order?
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