Rise Up With Love In 2014

Occupy Love Screenings

In 2014 we will rise up like never before. We will rise up with compassion, action, and consciousness.  We will rise up rooted, like trees.

We will rise up connected, like mycorrhizzal fungi, a rhizome spreading, cracking, shattering the cold concrete of a consumer culture bent on self destruction. We will rise up symbiotic, interdependent and independent, free thinking and open hearted, throwing our mind body heart and spirit into service to the greatest good in this time of greatest crisis.

We will turn the tides, correct the course, re-align, re-design, re-vamp, re-jig it all before the jig is up. Then we’ll dance a jig!

The time is now to seize the day before the day seizes us.

We will transcend the howling complaints of our ego, let go the petty jealousies, and breathe, deeply, before we act, remembering to love. Remembering to remember.

The time is now, not a moment too soon. We will laugh in the face of cynicism, and dare to be radically optimistic, against all odds, because nothing less will do.

We will open our hearts with empathy to  those still locked in fear and apathy, for those who have lost their way, for those who mock us in our loving, for they are us, and we are them. There is no separation. To love them is to love ourselves, and until we practice self love, the journey will be incomplete. We are the 100%.


We are the 100% but we will call the 1% to task. For our love will be fierce, and uncompromising, and we will do everything we can, with peace in our hearts, to stop the destruction and start the healing. Transformation is risky, love is risky, caring is risking. We will risk it all, for the present is crumbling and the future is in jeopardy.

We will stand trembling in awe before the great mystery of life, knowing that we can never know it all, that the journey is never over, that we will always be just beginning, out here on the leading edge of evolution.

We know that nothing less than everything needs to change, that change is not enough, that only transformation through and through will do, and that’s the wonder and excitement of this era of chaos and possibility.

A new year is upon us, a year like none before. Anything could happen, if we dream it into existence.

A new day is dawning, and we are all invited to surf the crashing wave of possibility.

We are all needed now, all hands on deck. Unwrap your gifts, bring it into the light and unleash it on the world, let yourself shine. Together, we can outshine the darkness of this world, together we can do this, if only we dare to try. Let’s do it!

~ Velcrow Ripper, Jan. 1st 2013


“If we surrendered to earths intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

“In 2014 we will rise up like never before.”

~ Occupy Wall Street

Images from the Occupy Love screenings around the world.



I’d like to offer you an invitation, an invocation, a wake up call.   I’m inviting you – me, we – to celebrate the astounding goodness of our essential beings, the goodness of this gorgeous miraculous unsurpassable earth glittering like a green emerald in the vastness of an incredibly mysterious universe.   I’m inviting us to return to our true journey, to align our hearts and our minds  and even our bellies with the unfolding evolutionary adventure, to break free from these dark dark ages and help to bring in a new era, an era of empathy, of harmony, of co-operation, of shared power, of meaning, of purpose.

It will be messy, we will stumble in our awakening,  hit the snooze button, fall back asleep, wake up again. And again. And again. Make no mistake about it.  There will be more suffering on the journey- perhaps a great deal more.  But the time has come.   It’s time to let go the petty profane existence the greed machine is  relentlessly selling us, to break free of the shackles of illusion they have built, out of thin air.


Wake up!  (Zen hand clap)

It’s time to come to our senses, and wake up!



Listen – can you hear the alarm bells ringing? Can you hear the cries of Mother Earth?  Can you hear the cries of Her children? Can you smell the stench of an industrial growth addicted civilization rotting from the inside out?  Look – have you noticed the species going extinct minute by minute, the disappearing bees, the melting glaciers, the rising seas, the expanding deserts, the suffering skyrocketing out of control, the politicians that act like childish lunatics, the greed crazed gamblers of Wall Street throwing dice while the whole world careens on their roller coaster of illusion,  bubbles of hungry ghost money ballooning, ballooning, soon to burst yet again, banks expecting bail outs while millions  lose their homes amidst the deafening roar of collapsing economies drowned by the noise of the dream factories of mainstream media encouraging us all to be selfish children seduced into a cycle of endless consumption by heartless corporations  hellbent on using up everything this sacred earth can offer as fast as possible, backed up by a militarized police force who do not protect us but oppress us when we dare to dream out loud of a better world, a beautiful world, a world that puts love before profit?

zumbara love is greater

Wake up!  (Zen hand clap)

It’s not too late, it’s never too late to seize the day.

Wake up!  (Zen hand clap)

 It’s time we realized that this planet is having a near death experience.

And therein lies the hope.

I’m not calling in an apocalypse – oh no, quite the opposite. Hollywood is busy visioning that for us.  We can do better.  For in this chaos lies the possibility of transformation – and transformation is what we need. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than right here, right now, in this incredible time of transition.  The situation is so complex, the world is changing so rapidly, that no one can guess with any degree of certainty what will happen next.   If you like surprises, stay tuned!   Anything could happen.




Listen – can you hear the sounds of revolution in the streets? The spark has spread from the Arab Spring to the European Summer, from Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Together, from the Maple Spring to the climate justice movement, from ‎#IdleNoMore to ‎#FearlessSummer to the WorldWide #WaveOfAction.

The fire of change is blazing anywhere anyone is working to create a world that works for everyone and all life. From Transition Towns to community gardens, from the gift economy to restorative justice, from permaculture to maker culture, from renewable energy to mutual aid, from Open Source to Direct Democracy, we know what is needed, we know the time is now.

There is a global awakening blooming all around this trembling earth. A thirst for justice, for equality, for harmony, for sustainability, for creativity, for compassion – for love. And it cannot be stopped. It’s a Tsunami of transformation, and the time is now.

A naturally arising movement of movements, a global super movement, is emerging, rooted in compassion, rooted in interdependence, in participatory democracy. We have no interest in the tired old ideologies of days gone by – don’t come to this movement with answers alone. Come with the questions, come with an open heart. This revolution is a process, not a product. We are Occupying with Love.

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I’m not asking you to crawl on your knees in acts of service and supplication.  I am inviting you to be of service, but in a way that is joyous for you.   I’m inviting you to discover your bliss – not your ego’s bliss, but the bliss of your true Self.  You know the difference, if you dare to check in.  I double dare you to become a blessing, to allow the universe to offer you the true riches of a life of love, a life of meaning, a life of possibility.

Ask yourself this – are you a gift to the planet?  Are you a gift to your community?  Are you a gift to your family, your friends, your lover, your true Self? Are you a gift to the whole damn universe?

If you aren’t,  then you’re missing out. Because when you become a gift to this universe – to your world, community, family, lover, friend and Self –  when you become a true Giver and not just a taker,  you will discover the incredible power of reciprocity.  The real Secret is that the more you give, the more you receive.  As you go deeper into true Giving,  the particles become waves.   The oscillations between giving and receiving speed up, until they become instantaneous, until there is no giver, there is no receiver, there is just flow.   Try it out.  Let me know how it goes.




It’s time to take hold of your birthright. To discover your true calling.   It’s uniquely yours – not anyone else’s. You are a perfect singular snowflake of a being  inextricably interwoven with all the other stunningly unique snowflakes dancing through this participatory interconnected living, ever evolving  universe. We are all miracles.    Wake up to your true Self.

As the Zen prayer goes – don’t squander your life. Wake up! (Zen hand clap)

I promise you this:  you cannot lose when you lead a life of love. It’s  as simple as opening your heart. It’s as natural as breathing.  All that other stuff – the addiction, the suffering, the separation from Source – that’s unnatural.  That’s just a big bag of hot air, an illusion of smoke and mirrors.  We’ve been tricked!  Are you gonna  let them keep fooling you?  Stealing your happiness?


Wake up! (Zen hand clap) 

Cut the cords and claim what’s rightfully yours.


It’s not too late to turn the tide.  Start small, start big, but start somewhere – can you spare a smile?  Can you spare some compassion?  Some creativity?  Some action? Some Love? Some love in action?  In the end, it all comes down to love.  Love is the bedrock of the universe, of the planet.   We are part of an incredibly complex system of systems, systems within systems within systems,  all relying on each other in a web of checks and balances, of co-operation, of community.  Even our bodies are made up of organisms that rely on each other to keep our system going.   This is a form of love.   Gravity itself is a loving force – without it, we would float off into space, and nothing would hold together.  We need that force of attraction.  Love – it’s all about love.


I invite you all to join in the awakening – to use whatever creativity and skills and tools you can find to make this world a better place.  There are so many ways to do this – in fact, there are as many paths as there are people.  Each one of us has a unique role to play – what’s yours?   Take the time to go deep within, and listen to your heart.  Follow that heart, wherever it may lead you.  With every opportunity that comes your way, ask yourself – is this a path with heart?   If it’s not, move on.   There’s no time to waste in false pursuits.  You can be a sacred warrior, you can be both fierce and compassionate, you have the stuff!  Occupy the emptiness of corporate culture, with love.

It’s time to wake up.  Wake up!  (zen hand clap) 

This is the moment – right now, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year.    There’s no better place to be than right here, in this moment, right now.   Welcome to life in the fire of change.  Heart by heart, we can transform this world, from the bottom up.   We aren’t waiting around, we aren’t asking for permission. We are doing this.  Now. With love. Let your fierce love shine.

Most of the images in this piece are from viral photos circulating on Facebook.  

US Theatrical Tour & Online Launch starts May 3rd in New York City

heart screening


Coming soon to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Seattle.
Over 200 global community screenings in 25 countries and growing!

Featuring interviews with

New York, N.Y. – Fierce Love Films announces the US theatrical premiere and online launch of Occupy Love starting Friday, May 3, 2013 in New York City with screenings to follow in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Seattle. A feature documentary from award-winning director Velcrow Ripper (Scared Sacred, Fierce Light), Occupy Love explores the cultural uprisings of our time from the Occupy Movement and Arab Spring to the European Summer and environmental protests and asks the question, “How could the crisis we are facing become a love story?”.

“Occupy Love is the culmination of a twelve year journey that is both very personal and very universal,” says director Velcrow Ripper. “It’s easy to lose hope in a world where economies are crashing and ecologies collapsing, but as I’ve witnessed over and over, the most inspiring acts of human compassion and connection can emerge from the darkest of times.”

Occupy Love marks the completion of Ripper’s Fierce Love Trilogy, which began with Scared Sacred, named one of Canada’s Top 10 movies of 2004, and winner of the 2005 Genie (Canadian Academy Award) for best feature documentary. It continued with 2008′s award winning Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action.

The film’s message is resonating around the world, with over 200 grassroots screenings currently being self-organized by individuals and organizations in over 25 countries, and more being added every day. The largest community screening to date took place in Porto Allegre, Brazil on April 11th attracting over 1,500 attendees. The tipping point is near.

Occupy Love features interviews from leading visionaries on alternative systems of economics, sustainability, and social organization including Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Jeremy Rifkin, bell hooks and Charles Eisenstein.

A moving, transformative, heartfelt film, featuring Ripper’s signature stunning visuals and rich soundscapes, Occupy Love is a powerful cinematic experience that will leave audiences inspired.

US THEATRICAL TOUR launches Friday, May 3, 2013 in New York City with a week-long engagement at Cinema Village. Screenings to follow in Los Angeles (May 7, Laemmle Royal), San Francisco (May 8, AMC Van Ness 14), Santa Cruz (May 11, Rio Theatre), and Seattle (May 12, SIFF Cinema). Filmmaker discussions and special events taking place in each city: http://occupylove.org/theatrical-tour-filmmakers/


CANADIAN BROADCAST PREMIERE THIS SUMMER ON SUPER CHANNEL, a key partner in the production of Occupy Love.

AVAILABLE ON DVD and ON-LINE starting May 3rd in the US and internationally (excluding Canada) via OccupyLove.com and most major platforms including iTunes, Amazon.com and cable Video-On-Demand (VOD).

AROUND THE WORLD community screenings are taking place in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Liberia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Scotland, Sweden, South Africa, Turkey, USA and more! This crowd sourced, social media driven approach to distribution is consistent with the theme of the film, which was partially funded through the crowd-funding platforms IndieGoGo and Kickstarter.

FOUND LOVE MOBILE APP LAUNCHES MAY 3RD. A free global photo sharing application and web gallery that focuses on capturing and geo-tagging “found” heart images with moods and stories that describe love and interdependence. A collaboration between One Net Marketing, Fierce Love Films, Canada Media Fund, and Super Channel www.foundlove.com


A Community Funded Film, produced in association with SuperChannel and the Canadian Media Fund.

For more information and a full list of screenings, visit: OccupyLove.com


Twitter @OccupyLoveFilm

About Fierce Love Films

Fierce Love Films is committed to changing the world through cutting-edge feature documentary films that inspire personal and global revolutions. We produce films that entertain, enlighten and offer transformative perspectives on the world we live in through effective and innovative methods of storytelling. We believe in reaching the widest audience possible, and release our films with a powerful combination of traditional film marketing and the latest social networking tools, transforming movies into movements.


Colette Gunson | Hello Cool World
C. +1 778-228-6779 | E. colette@hellocoolworld.com
www.HelloCoolWorld.com | @hellocoolworld

Happy Valentine’s Day: New Official Trailer & Website

Happy Valentines Day!

The global revolution continues to unfold, in beautiful, heartbreaking, and surprising ways. As we recognized early on in this continual expression, it dances, evolves, regroups, and ultimately reaches for the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible.

We have 3 exciting new things to share with you:

The official Occupy Love trailer – please share this far and wide! It contains the seeds of our message of hope, love and possibility – of a global revolution of the heart:

Direct link to trailer on Youtube

This marks the beginning of our build up to our Global Community Screening Launch, beginning April 11th, when we Occupy the planet, with love! If you want to bring Occupy Love to your town, anywhere in the world, please follow this link to learn how:

How to Host a Screening of Occupy Love

Check it out! We have a brand new website, which will continue to blossom as we go along, so keep coming back.

We can’t wait to share Occupy Love with you. Thank you for being part of this journey!

Nova, Ian and Velcrow
Producers, Occupy Love

How To Respond With Love

Francisco "Pancho" Ramos Stierle meditates as police arrest him Monday. He had declined orders to leave. Photo: Noah Berger

THE MISTAKE WE MAKE is thinking the corporations are separate from us. The mistake we make is thinking that corruption is only a political issue. The mistake we make is thinking that by eliminating the system we eliminate the problem. It’s true we live in a world dominated and exploited by the few, and it’s true that the systems we live by no longer support us; but it’s also true that there is a deeper cause at play…

The very consciousness which objectifies life as a means to an end – as an exploitable commodity – is the very same mindset which seeks to hate, condemn, and fight these structures of power. But we cannot fight violence with violence or create peace through war. Even those we oppose are our brothers and sisters, and only a consciousness which sees this can create another way.

Without a deep realization of our unity with all of life, including those behind the systems which exploit us, then we will simply create more of the same. For it is fear and separateness which create systems that dominate and destroy.

So in our willingness to stand up for what we believe in, there must be a deeper understanding of our role. Our path is one of great responsibility and reverence for all of life. We must hold our outrage and self righteousness within the truth that knows the way. We must surrender our confusion to love and our minds to our hearts. We must be clear that the role we play through occupation is a tool and never an identity.

If we fail to do this we may lose ourselves in conflict. We may burnout from anger and deplete ourselves through hate. We may fight with those that can help us and repel those we seek to inspire. So let us realize that real change occurs within the hearts of each of us. Can we face the darkness within our own minds, or will we project it onto those we oppose?

I have watched people react with judgment and divisiveness, and I have watched people respond with love and unity. I have watched people defend a system which destroys for profit, and I have watched people envision a way of living that works in harmony with all of life. I have watched people react with anger and outrage, and I have watched people respond with compassion and understanding. I have watched people react with violence and oppression, and I have watched people respond with peace and empowerment.

We need to live our dream now and create our future now. It’s not enough to say we want peace, whilst responding to injustice with violence; and it’s not enough to fight against something without creating what we’re for. Every movement, cause, and occupation is a living example of what’s possible globally. Every community which faces its problems with love and awareness demonstrates this potential. And every individual who chooses to embrace their pain, rather than deny it, provides hope and possibility for the collective.

Peaceful action arises from peace itself, justice from justice, and love from love. Do not become that which you protest against. Discover that change is now and within you, and not as some future promise. Be that which you desire, that which you’re for, and that which we need. Discover it’s here already and not withheld or lost. Discover you are that and share it – there’s no need to demand it with tears. Let your movements express this change, not fight against its lack. Let your actions arise from this change, not lead you further from it.

So let us approach those who write the rules of oppression with astounding compassion and enlightened respect. Let us set aside our beliefs for open and honest communication. And let us occupy the spaces that bind us with light in our eyes and love in our hearts. We don’t have to agree with someone to hear them, and we don’t have to like them to respect them. But we must always be the change we wish to see. Let us begin here and now – with the seeds of war we perpetuate. Let us begin with ourselves – the only thing we control. Are you in peace when you shout for peace? Do you embody what you demand?

If we respond with judgment they will oppress us. If we respond with opposition they will fight us. If we respond with violence they will destroy us. But if we respond with love, compassion, and understanding; there will be no power for them to infiltrate, no hate for them to corrupt, no violence for them to imprison.

In the face of love they will be powerless, in the face of compassion they will be confused, in the face of understanding they will be dumbstruck. In the power of love their love of power will seem obsolete and futile. This is the only thing they don’t know how to fight, and this is the only thing that can create a future worth fighting for.


Georgia Simone Servant of love, artist of words, sacred activist. Hopelessly devoted to sharing movements of love, and supporting you on your journey into the heart: www.lovemovements.com

Occupy Oakland’s Declaration of Love

The following resolution was passed by the General Assembly of Occupy Oakland, creating an official Occupy Oakland action on Tuesday, Feburary 14th, Valentine’s Day.

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In the interest of diversity of tactics, and the spirit of love that we feel for our community, we propose a direct action to take place on February 14th.We encourage our fellow Oakland residents to join with us to express our love for each other, and our beautiful city, on a march through the downtown Oakland area. Participants should wear red and/or pink in celebration of Valentine’s Day, and are encouraged to bring flowers, bubbles, Valentine’s candy to share, glitter, confetti, and flower petals…

This is to be a completely non-violent, family-friendly action, and will be open to all who are interested in joining us in an expression of love for our community and each other.

It has been unofficially titled

Make Love, Not War

in a throwback to the sixties when tens of thousands of anti-Vietnam war protesters confronted police and the National Guard; when “Make Love, Not War” was scrawled all across America on the subway walls and tenement halls.

Those days are gone, but left are the iconic images showcasing this diary. They remind us how any protest movement that dares to take the streets in pursuit of their right to freely assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances will be met by overwhelming, panicked force by the powers-that-be.

Occupy Oakland is adding a new twist to the old tactic, since it is hard to put a flower down the barrel of a tear gas grenade:

In the event of potentially oppressive police presence… couples will be encouraged to stop marching and kiss in the streets…

Which, if some photographer or livestreamer is in the right place at the right time, might well create an iconic image for Daily Kos writers of 2050 to reference!

Time and place information about the rallies and march:

…the rallies starting at 6 PM will be at Fox Park, at 19th & Telegraph, and NOT at the Plaza. This is to include all of our fellow Occupiers who have unjust stay-away orders from the plaza!At 6 PM, we will hold a “Make Love, Not War” rally in solidarity with Syria, Egypt, and other nations whose people are currently suffering from state and/or police repression.

At 6:30, we will hold a “Reproductive Health” rally, complete with safer sex supply giveaways.

At 7 PM, we will have our “Hella <3 Oakland” march through the downtown area.

by jpmassar

Reprinted from  the Daily Kos

The Economy Of Love

“The economy of love is – the more you have the more I have. If I can make you feel happy or hopeful or beautiful I might feel more that way myself…. If I want a society that works, then I need you to be powerful, I need you to be responsible, I need you to be fully engaged, and maybe I need you to be joyous. The more I can give you the better my society is, because we are actually in this together” – Rebecca Solnit


Embody the Movement — Occupy Wall St West

As part of Occupy Wall St. West, on January 20th 2012, to mark the anniversary of Citizens United supreme court case, hundreds of activists and social artists called for economic justice and people power in the name of the 99%.

This video reflects how art and activism are key in growing a movement and building a better world. Join this movement by taking action in your community.

Check out official One People flash mob. Video Produced by Magalie Bonneau-Marcil of DancingwithoutBorders.org, Directed & Edited by Ben Flanigan (BenFlanigan.com), Thanks to our team of choreographers: Giuliana Blasi, Samantha Sweetwater. Music: Now is the Time composed by Troy Lush, quote from MLK Jr. Co-sponsors: CODEPINK.org & SFNOW.org.

What will it take? [Poem]

Photo: Akbar Sim

What it will take
Is a resistance to the system that we’ve come to embrace
For no other reason than just because it is
For resistance is to question what we’ve been led to believe
Not necessarily lies, but stories
Stories that have become truths in the synapses of our minds
Bonds so tight that even though we recognize them we still
Can’t break free.

But recognition is where it all begins
When questions and childlike innocence form the stem that grows up and out
Piercing through convention and unimagination
Like the roots of a tree busting through concrete sidewalks and building foundations
The story has an end, like all stories do
But this story ain’t a fairytale
The princess doesn’t get the prince
The frog stays a frog
The witch eats the kids
And this is OK because coming right behind it is something new
Truth, love, honesty, connection, vulnerability
Words that have lost meaning amidst
The six o’clock news, Facebook, and pornography.

These words are on the lips of a new generation
As well as an old generation
Because wisdom has no age limitations
The awakened spirit is not exclusive to an esoteric crowd jockeying for position
They’re on the lips of teachers, doctors, and bus drivers
Construction workers, soldiers, and the unemployed
Those who get scowled at to, “Get a job, hippie!”
And, even if they don’t know it yet, they’re on the lips of
Those who do the scowling.

Because there is no “us” and “them”
Lakes vs. clouds
Flowers vs. mountains
The moon vs. the earth
The separation is causing annihilation
We must reconvene on the scene
Where community is the top priority
And where we stare in each others’ eyes
With understanding and compassion
And fashion for ourselves
A new reality.

Carlo Alcos

2012: Love’s Evolution Is My Resolution

There are no manuals to read, no rules to follow, other than the open book, of the heart.

Love’s evolution is my resolution, my revolution, my solution. The time is now.   2012 is upon us. The beginning is here!

I’d like to offer you an invitation, an invocation, a wake up call.   Wake up!  (Zen hand clap) It’s time to come to our senses, and wake up!  Listen – can you hear the alarm bells ringing? Can you hear the cries of Mother Earth?  Can you hear the cries of Her children? Can you smell the stench of an industrial growth addicted civilization rotting from the inside out?

Look – have you noticed the species going extinct minute by minute, the disappearing bees, the melting glaciers, the rising seas, the expanding deserts, the suffering skyrocketing out of control, the politicians that act like childish lunatics, the greed crazed gamblers of Wall Street throwing dice while the whole world careens on their roller coaster of illusion,  bubbles of hungry ghost money ballooning, ballooning, soon to burst yet again, banks expecting bail outs while millions  lose their homes amidst the deafening roar of collapsing economies drowned by the noise of the dream factories of mainstream media encouraging us all to be selfish children seduced into a cycle of endless consumption by heartless corporations  hellbent on using up everything this sacred earth can offer as fast as possible?

We’re filling our hearts and minds and bellies with  junk food,  junk television, junk video games, junk movies, junk music,  junk toys,  junk fears, junk violence, junk dreams,   junk junk, junk and more junk for a society of junkies.

Wake up!  (Zen hand clap) It’s not too late, it’s never too late to seize the day.  Wake up!  (Zen hand clap) It’s time we realized that this planet is having a near death experience.   And therein lies the hope.

Continue reading “2012: Love’s Evolution Is My Resolution” »

All I want for Christmas is a Global Evolution

Occupy Christmas! With what? How about by giving that which never costs, that which can never have a price tag: Love. The more we give love, the more we receive love. Love is the economic growth we need, not the planet destroying growth of Gross Domestic Product.  Love grows best when given freely. Love is at the heart of global evolution. Love is the expression of our profound interdependence.

For the love of the planet, and each other, we need to awaken from the trance of corporate culture, from the dog-eat-dog-eat-dog world of separation, fear, and mindless consumption, and learn how to create a world of mutually enhancing relationships, of collaboration, creativity, and possibility. A world of love.

I’ve been asking Santa, the earth, the sky, you and me, for a global r~evolution for years now. Guess what? We’re starting to deliver.

There have been some deep tastes of it along the way –  my personal highlights include the Zapatista revolution in Chiapas; the profound creativity and resistance of the anti-globalization movement that began with the WTO protests in 1999; the enormous global day of anti-war marches, organized on the internet, when millions of us marched around the world in the name of peace, simultaneously.  350.org‘s global days of action for climate justice are always spectacular.

South America has seen an explosion of transformation – almost every country is trying some inspirational social experiment. Paul Hawken has tracked what he calls “humanity’s immune response to a planet in crisis”, a kind of Blessed Unrest that is the largest mass movement in history, working for change, that doesn’t even know it exists. We have been part of many beautiful expressions of evolution and compassion in action. (Watch interview)

And then came 2011.   From the Arab Spring, to the European Summer, to the Occupy Movement, to the great strides taken by the Climate Justice movement, and all the other arisings bursting forth, the electric charge of transformation is in the air.  As we gestate through this winter into 2012, my prayers are that as the frost melts, we will burst forth with  creativity, enthusiasm, and love into a global spring that keeps right on blooming into a global summer of transformation.

We need it now, more than ever.   We certainly need it more than another tree full of stuff.

The Eruption of Occupy

Sept 17,  2011 began as a quiet Saturday morning in Brooklyn with my love. Adbusters, media activists from my home terrain of  Vancouver, Canada, had put a call out a few months back: “Occupy Wall Street. Bring Tent.” Someone had posted on Facebook at the time, “are you going?”  I said, “I’ll be there, camera’s blazing.”

But that morning, a part of me wanted to sleep in. I asked Nova,  “Do you think I should go?” She didn’t hesitate: “Go!  Just check it out.  It could be something great.” I packed my camera gear, got on my bicycle and peddled over the Brooklyn Bridge, into the financial district of Manhattan, towards a little park within sight  of Ground Zero,  a park that would soon be re-named “Liberty Square.”

And so began one of the most extraordinary seasons of transformation I have witnessed in my life. It’s as if we’ve taken the famed “red pill” of the Matrix – nothing has been the same ever since.  A pandora’s box of possibilities has been flung wide open, and it can never be shut in quite the same way.  We are awake.

We have been sold a hollow story, of endless consumption, an economic fairy tale that we can have limitless growth on a finite planet, that the extreme wealth of the few would in some way benefit the many, a world where there are no relationships, only transactions.  A world where love itself is a commodity.  We are awake, and we aren’t buying it any more.

On October 15th the Occupy Movement went global.  I was in Times Square at that moment.  5,000 of us took the square, that electric altar to the gods of consumption. The energy was joyous, hopeful, inspired. And then something happened that sent chills down my spine: on the electronic ticker tape that gives the news bites of the day, came the words “Occupy Wall Street Movement Goes WorldWide.” Each time it appeared we let out a cheer. We were occupying the world.

Occupy Goes Global

In the course of making Occupy Love, our feature documentary that charts the global revolution of compassion in action, we have gone deep into the movement here in NYC at Occupy Wall Street, to the epic General Strike in Occupy Oakland, to Occupy DC, Occupy Canada, and Occupy London.

We have filmed with the sister movement, and precursor to Occupy, the Indignado’s of Spain, part of the famed “European Summer,” and with the courageous revolutionaries of Tahrir Square, in Egypt, who helped launch the Arab Spring.

When we first descended on Liberty Square we had the lofty goal of creating our own “Tahrir Square,” a claim that at first seemed outlandish, even presumptous,  but today we have taken – and lost – and taken squares all over the planet, creating a global network of occupiers, and we are only just beginning. What this movement of movements is attempting to do is nothing short of re-inventing the world.

It is both a return to our shared roots – we are all indigenous to somewhere – and a new global cross pollination, which has been helped with the interconnectivity of the internet.  We are falling in love, again, and again, with each other, and the planet. It is the profoundly public love that is justice.  It is the power of empathy and interdependence, of knowing in one’s heart that if your belly is empty, or your home has been foreclosed, then I too am hungry, I too have no  shelter.

It is the compassionate desire, that everyone on this planet, and all life, be offered the opportunity to “live well” as they say in Bolivia. The Aymara indigenous concept of “Living Well” contrasts with the western paradigm of “living better.” We have been taught to want more and more – to consume, to amass material goods at the expense of the environment, rather than to live well, in a world in which everyone’s needs are met while staying in deep harmony with the natural world.

We in the west are living in a deep cultural pathology, addicted to consumption, distraction and destruction. As a result, we are not a happy people. Buckminister Fuller has done the math – we can feed, clothe, educate, and keep well everyone on this planet. No problem – scarcity is a construction of a dysfunctional system.

The crisis we are facing is propelling us into a great love story, the greatest love story on earth. The time is now. 2012 promises to be extraordinary. I can’t wait to be surprised! We are waking up, and love is in the air. Thank-you for all you have given. Keep on giving, keep on unwrapping your gifts and sharing them with the world. My winter wish is for a global evolution of the heart, so that humanity may become a blessing to each other and this earth. Occupy Love!

~ Velcrow Ripper, Dec 24th 2011
Vancouver, BC

PS. We need your love! Please give to our crowd funding campaign so we can continue to make Occupy Love.  Sharing the link and telling your friends helps a lot too. We believe this movie is going to be of tremendous service to the planet. In Theatres 2012 – with your help!

Why Occupy Love?

Photo: Painting at Burning Man 2011

Occupy Love. There are so many ways to look at these words, a command, an invitation, a declaration, a new-age proclamation, a powerless platitude, a volition or a guiding mission statement….on and on…

In one obvious interpretation, and one I’ve heard mentioned more than once, it’s dualistic. If one occupies love then one must have a relationship to love identifying it as separate from them. By definition, one can’t occupy something unless it is another. Unless it’s a distinct and individual object. In an occupation of love one must objectify love in order to possess it.

But this global arising is broad, and a deeper meaning calls…

A gentle invitation is heard in the words Occupy Love. It is an invitation to come home to something that already exists within and without. Something that becomes available and knowable through skillful means; through deep looking and quiet contemplation we touch the universal love which is in and of all things. Indeed the very essence of all that can be known and unknown in the phenomenological and noumenal universe. In stopping, calming, accepting, in “being” more that “doing”, the heart begins to open. One touches the ultimate. One may find the love they set out to occupy was already right where they were. Always and eternally present occupying them. There was never two, just one.

Occupy love implies a journey. Not so much a traditional love story of seeking and finding, but a different kind of journey. One of coming into balance. Awakening to the truth that all one needs is available in the present. This awakening is happening all over the world, separately to individual people, and yet together. Individually and collectively.

Occupy Love is not a story of conquest and victory, but a story of attaining wisdom–of our collective humanity transforming from childhood to wise elder. When I touch this great love I see there is nowhere to go. There’s nothing to win. To live in equanimity one does not go out and achieve or win it. One breathes in awareness.

I used to think that enlightenment was something that happened to someone. The ancient mythology of the troubled man going up the mountain and coming back down with deep wisdom, grey hair, big grey eyebrows and wild eyes. A bright beam of light had parted the heavens, shone upon him and now he was God-like and lived in truth, kindness and wisdom. Something external became internal, and now he was enlightened. But now I see this word enlightenment not speaking so much to rays of light, but weight. Not darkness to light, but heaviness to light.

For example, I carry the weight of misunderstanding, ignorance, resentment, fear, anger, injustice and so on. These psychological states are a burden and I suffer under the tremendous weight of them. But when I become enlightened, there is a letting go. I put down these things. They still exist, there are still real energies that exist, I just come to understand they are not me and I no longer own them or occupy them. When this happens there is great space. It takes tremendous courage to live with this space. It’s scary.

However, in being okay with the apprehension, excitement and anxiety that initially come with this space, the heart of love becomes known – there within all along. One finds that love was always occupying them.

In occupying and being occupied by love, or becoming awakened to loving power, one can see all the material and spiritual world are infused with loving kindness, goodness and joy. One can deeply know the universality and harmony of all that is.

With this understanding one feels safe, confident, solid, fresh and reflects all that is wonderful and good in our nature.

Love is an occupation.

– Gregg Hill, Co-Producer, Occupy Love

Occupy Broadway: The Big Bank – A Musical For The Movement #OWS

After seeing our short film, The Revolution Is Love, we were contacted by Jacob Seligmann, who has his own amazing project. It’s called The Big Bank:

The Big Bank is about a bank that loves to foreclose on people, a banker who falls in love with a flower shop owner who he is supposed to foreclose on, a radical environmentalist who tweets a revolution against the bank, his precocious eleven year old daughter who ends up working at the bank, and the boss who has a spiritual revelation and realizes that love is all that matters, not what you own, because life is a loan.

The Big Bank is a musical for the movement and for the people and only with the people’s help can it happen. I know there are millions of people who support the movement and who believe in the arts as a positive force in society. The Big Bank team has been actively engaged in the movement since it began. We’ve spent many days and nights at Zuccotti Park and joined in on actions and marches. Last weekend we helped to organize and performed in the first Occupy Broadway in the Theater District of Manhattan.

Watch how it started:

We know, just like love, there’s plenty to go around. So please support Jacob’s project by checking out their Kickstarter campaign.

Occupy Movement: Show Me Your Face

Directed by Ian MacKenzie

My goal with this piece was to move us beyond our ideas of left and right, black and white. We are moving toward a world beyond “isms.” These are relics from our previous consciousness and it’s time to let them go. We cannot tackle the crises facing our world alone. We need each other. We need the 100%.