Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
“Paradigm shift” is a much over and misused term. And maybe too “academic” for general consumption. I thought about it, though, because the longer the Occupation goes, and the wider it spreads, the greater the possibility that we really are seeing a “paradigm shift” becomes. It’s a “sea change,” a “tipping point,” a “critical mass” moment. This is certainly about politics / finances on an international scale, but politics are played out within a global society, and what we’re seeing are social changes. Many people are shifting how they see and talk about and relate with – how they “occupy” – their worlds; of course many will also resist or ignore the whole thing. But the “paradigm,” the standard, is being altered.
Where this goes and what it eventually means … well, of course we don’t yet know. But the direction is clear, and in many ways, very familiar, because like revolts and rebellions in general, a key point is rejection of “the way things are” and demands for and efforts toward something different. In the U.S., one key way of gauging progress, short (2012) and long term, is by way of The Two Party Front for the Oligarchy. The Republican and Democratic parties, both focused on the “1%,” have every incentive to maintain the status quo. For them (I’m generalizing; exceptions do occur), Occupy is most likely a potential foil (for the Right) and a potential tool (for the Left). OWS is clearly aware of this.
I’ve quoted from and cited a lot of analysis in these Occupy posts, but as I keep saying, I’m barely scratching the surface. And it isn’t just via political / social / cultural / philosophical analyses that the Occupy movement is being considered and portrayed. But of course, that’s also true of revolts and rebellions, of paradigm shifts, in general – you see it and hear it and read it via multiple cultural venues. Artistic expressions of all kinds, from street theatre to music to poetry to video are obvious examples.
And as we know the dangers of co-optation from the Electeds, we know the absolute certainty that people will find ways to make money, or at least attempt to do so, via Occupy. I heard a report today that a reality television program is working on an Occupy show. Of course, you can watch the real thing via OWS, but that would mean having to listen to the mundane of daily occupation, which is probably too much reality for some.
So, a few stories and links from the many available. Please keep your links, and comments, coming.
Today’s OWS actions include Stop The Spectra Pipeline, a “Meet-Up at Liberty Square at 5 P.M. For Die-In at P.S. 41.”
Occupy Wall Street Press highlights a Forbes’ report, The Forbes 400 Richest People in America, about which someone tweets: “Startling. There are only 400 people we need to convince.”
OWS Press also includes “Occupy Colleges: Student Supporters Of Occupy Wall Street Continue To Show Solidarity.”
Creative ways to support OWS include this:
Occupiers Launch Tumblr Website Today: Gallery of Personal Notes of Support from Farmers, Veterans, Grandparents and ‘Knitters for Occupy Wall St.’
More creativity. Occupy Design, a
grassroots project connecting designers with on-the-ground demonstrators in the Occupy Together movement. The project’s goal is to create freely available visual tools around a common graphic language to unite the 99%.
And this, via The People’s Library:
Dear Occupiers and supporters:
I am currently organizing a project to bring together articles from political philosophers, ethicists, and other related theorists into a book which will be printed and delivered directly to #Occupations nationwide. The working title is “#OccupyTheory,” …
A few tweets from the OWS feed:
EBridgman RT @OccupySanJose: Camp got shut down, all occupiers arrested!!!!! Just happened 45 min ago!!! #OSJ #OWS #OccupyTogether #99Percent
alinamercedes RT @politico: Report: Michael Bloomberg says #ows protesters should expect a crackdown on their camp in lower Manhattan: http://t.co/5QqoNM9s
elitistliterati RT @TheOther99: LIVE Coverage at 11AM. Harlem march planned to protest NYPD “Stop + Frisk” policy, Dr Cornel West exp. to appear.. http://t.co/espnYQe5 #OWS
Laillusionist RT @RawStory: Things got ugly at @OccupyMelbourne last night: Police violently evict hundreds from park. bit.ly/owVgsT #ows
I’m concluding with this, from Occupy Writers, including a poem by Alice Walker. I am not dumb enough to try to follow Alice Walker.
We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world.
By Alice Walker:
The World We Want Is Us
It moves my heart to see your awakened faces;
the look of ‘aha!’
shining, finally, in
wide open eyes.
Yes, we are the 99%
all of us
refusing to forget
no matter, in our hunger, what crumbs
are dropped by
The world we want is on the way; Arundhati
and now we
hearing her breathing.
That world we want is Us; united; already moving
(Photo via OWS)