If We Get Occupy Right, We Get Everything Right

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?

Continue reading “If We Get Occupy Right, We Get Everything Right” »

New video message from Velcrow Ripper & IndieGoGo Fundraising Campaign Launches!

Exciting news! We have launched our IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign to help finish Occupy Love – our transformative feature documentary. Please share the link as widely as possible!

LEARN MORE & DONATE NOW TO OCCUPY LOVE

Watch the above video message from Occupy Love director, Velcrow Ripper, shot last week in New York City. The march over the Brooklyn Bridge was part of Occupy Wall Street’s N17 day of action and two month birthday celebration. (Includes ground-level footage of the now infamous Occupy Bat Signal!

Occupy Love will be a moving, transformative feature documentary that asks the question: how is the economic and ecological crises we are facing a great love story?

This is a totally community funded film. Crowd-funding is a beautiful reflection of the collective spirit this movie is all about. Join the team and become a community film producer.

In theatres 2012 – with your help!

Occupy Wall St – The Revolution Is Love

Directed by Ian MacKenzie
Co-produced with Velcrow Ripper

“Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says ‘more for you is less for me.’ But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings. This shift of consciousness is universal in everybody, 99% and 1%.”

CHARLES EISENSTEIN is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution.

Visit http://sacred-economics.com to learn more about his ideas for a new economy.

Open Letter from Starhawk and ACT to Occupy

Open Letter to the Occupy Movement from Starhawk and the Alliance of Community Trainers

The Occupy movement has had enormous successes in the short time since September when activists took over a square near Wall Street. It has attracted hundreds of thousands of active participants, spawned occupations in cities and towns all over North America, changed the national dialogue and garnered enormous public support. It’s even, on occasion, gotten good press!

Now we are wrestling with the question that arises again and again in movements for social justice—how to struggle. Do we embrace nonviolence, or a ‘diversity of tactics?’ If we are a nonviolent movement, how do we define nonviolence? Is breaking a window violent?

We write as a trainers’ collective with decades of experience, from the anti-Vietnam protests of the sixties through the strictly nonviolent antinuclear blockades of the seventies, in feminist, environmental and anti-intervention movements and the global justice mobilizations of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. We embrace many labels, including feminist, anti-racist, eco-feminist and anarchist. We have many times stood shoulder to shoulder with black blocs in the face of the riot cops, and we’ve been tear-gassed, stun-gunned, pepper sprayed, clubbed, and arrested,

While we’ve participated in many actions organized with a diversity of tactics, we do not believe that framework is workable for the Occupy Movement. Setting aside questions of morality or definitions of ‘violence’ and ‘nonviolence’ – for no two people define ‘violence’ in the same way – we ask the question:

What framework can we organize in that will build on our strengths, allow us to grow, embrace a wide diversity of participants, and make a powerful impact on the world?

Continue reading “Open Letter from Starhawk and ACT to Occupy” »

Occupy Samsara ~ Support From Spiritual Teachers

 

An Open Letter from Buddhist and Yoga Teachers and Leaders in Support of the Occupy Movement

Posted on November 6, 2011

As teachers and leaders of communities that promote the development of compassion and mindfulness, we are writing to express our solidarity with the Occupy movement now active in over 1,900 cities worldwide.

We are particularly inspired by the nonviolent tactics of this movement, its methods of self-governance, and its emergent communities founded in open communication (general assemblies, the human microphone, the inclusion of diverse voices, etc). These encampments are fertile ground for seeing our inherent wisdom and our capacity for awakening. We encourage all teachers, leaders, sanghas and communities that pursue awakening to join with these inspiring activists, if they have not already done so, in working to end the extreme inequalities of wealth and power that cause so much suffering and devastation for human society and for the ecosystems of Earth.

This movement has given voice to a near-universal frustration with the economic and political disenfranchisement of so many. It offers a needed counterbalance to a system that saps the life energy of the overwhelming majority –– the so-called 99% –– generating vast profits for a tiny handful, without maximizing the true potential for widespread wealth creation in our society. While our practice challenges us to cultivate compassion for 100% of human beings without villifying an “enemy,” our practice also calls on us to challenge a system that causes such clear harm and imbalance.

We share in the thoughtful calls to address massive unemployment, climate change, the erosion of social safety nets, decaying infrastructures, social and education programs, and workers’ wages, rights, and benefits.

Moreover, the current legal structure of large corporations compels individuals to act with shortsighted greed, acts for which they are not held personally accountable. If we aren’t encouraged to act with awareness of our connection to the seven billion humans who share our global community, the social fabric of our society is torn apart by legalized acts of selfishness and fear. These acts are performed in human society, by nonhuman entities, oddly granted the legal and political status of people, which have no ability to adequately perceive or react to the negative repercussions of their choices. The whole planet pays the price.

Most importantly, we believe that individual awakening and collective transformation are inseparable. For members of spiritual communities, mindfulness of the situation before us demands that we engage fully in the culture and society we inhabit. We do not view our own path as merely an individualistic pursuit of sanity and health, and we believe it would be irresponsible of us to teach students of mind/body disciplines that they can develop their practice in isolation from the society in which they live. We are inspired by the creative and intellectual work of the Occupy movement as an essential voice in facilitating a more compassionate and ecologically grounded basis for practice.

The Occupy movement has re-ignited our belief that it’s truly possible to build a culture of non-harm, honesty and respect for all creatures. We recognize our human failings and know that we’ll fail ten thousand times in our efforts to awaken. We now vow to bring our practices and methods of teaching more into alignment with our deepest values.

The structural greed, anger and delusion that characterize our current system are incompatible with our obligations to future generations and our most cherished values of interdependence, creativity, and compassion. We call on teachers and practitioners from all traditions of mind/body awakening to join in actively transforming these structures.

Letter Signed, Ethan Nichtern, Shastri, New York, Shôken Michael Stone, Toronto

Continue reading “Occupy Samsara ~ Support From Spiritual Teachers” »

Today is National Bank Transfer Day! Love your brother (and sister!) dammit – and dump your

Today is National Bank Transfer Day! Love your brother (and sister!) dammit – and dump your bank! From VintageCore Patterns: “I went to a Credit Union Today thinking it was going to inconvenience us a little, but.. it would be worth it. AS A MATTER OF FACT, it was the best experience ever. They set up Direct Deposit, and I also got my ATM, WITH MY NAME ON IT! Ready to go and regretting I did not do it sooner.”  Join a Credit Union and let your money support community business.