Those who think the Occupy movement will die away just because several encampments in major cities have been evicted are likely to be surprised.
They remind me of people who think that climate change is not going to be such a big deal because the weather in their area has been rather mild. Or the people who thought alcohol use (or drug use) would disappear because it was made illegal (prohibition). Appearances can be deceiving – especially when one only wants to see what’s obvious.
I remember how the Great Peace March (which I participated in) fell apart bankrupt in the Mojave Desert two weeks after it launched from Los Angeles in March 1986 with 1200 marchers. The national media reported its demise and moved on to other topics, ignoring the fact that it re-started two weeks later with 400 marchers – still a sizable event – and proceeded to have a profound effect on every community it visited for the next eight months – as well as on the larger society through ongoing reverberations long after it ended in Washington DC in November 1986 with 1200 marchers. Not the least of these was the birth of my own work exploring co-intelligence and wisely self-organizing democracy.
Just because some energy or activity ceases to be clearly and publicly visible, doesn’t mean it has died or gone away. Especially when you suppress it with violence, you almost guarantee it will continue, growing and evolving, surfacing with new energy and impacts in new times and places, often to people’s great surprise. Addressing symptoms of a disturbance seldom handles the cause, which will soon find other outlets to manifest whatever need is not being met.
And so it is with the Occupy movement. While many of its most visible manifestations are gone or in disarray, the energies that gave it birth and caused it to expand are very much alive and very busy creating their next manifestations. There are so many of them, and so diverse, that I have not been able to keep up with them at all – especially since the scene is constantly shifting – exactly what one would expect when tens of thousands of brilliant minds and hearts and souls are passionately being applied to creating that scene in hundreds of different ways…
But still, those of us who are following the Occupy movement can’t help wondering what will happen with it and what it will do next. In the next series of posts I’ll share what I am coming across as I pursue that question. The activities and questions I highlight will, of course, only reflect a small part of what’s going on now and may or may not have much relevance for what will happen one or six months from now. But they will at least provide you a glimpse into the kind of energy and diversity that are emerging from the painfully predictable and strategically clueless crack-downs we have all witnessed so recently.
I think my next post will explore some of the many conversations now underway about what Occupy should do next…
May some of what I post catch your attention, your imagination, your heart, and your hope and call you into – or support you in – whatever it is you need to occupy – your heart, your town, your profession, your children’s future – to make the world a better place and so the fundamental transition our world faces can be as free of unnecessary suffering as possible.
Blessings on the Journey.