My goal with this page is to compile some of the positive, inspiring voices from the progressive movements that are spreading across the globe. 

Wondering where to start? How about "We are the Many" the song that Makana wrote and sang to President Obama and other world leaders. This is currently my favorite primer: Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges on Charlie Rose. I also love this piece on diversity of tactics vs. non-violent direct action and this panel discussion Occupy Everywhere: the new politics and possibilities of the movement against corporate power. Or keep reading and click on something that speaks to you.

American Autumn
In September, I began watching the Occupy Wall Street movement from afar, wondering whether it could grow into something that would actually impact our political process and the future of our planet. At the same time as young people began organizing in New York, Van Jones was creating the Rebuild the Dream coalition, a progressive challenge to the conservative Tea Party movement. Additionally, longtime war protesters and social activists were planning to occupy Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in what they call October 2011--stop the machine, create a new world. Many of these "occupy" movements in the US were inspired by the Arab Spring, the Spanish Indignatos protests, and the Take the Square network. This energy is contagious. 

I am personally involved for three main reasons
First, I see the devastating effects cuts are having on our public schools. Everyday, teachers do remarkable work with children despite overcrowded classrooms and an appalling lack of resources. With increased cuts to education and to services that support families, this crisis will only get worse. 

Second, I believe that our economic system puts the health of individuals and the sustainability of our planet in peril.

Third, it is extremely important that these movements continue to be non-violent, thus the presence of peace-makers is vital, especially during heated moments.

What follows is a compilation of material I have been reading and passing on these past weeks. Enjoy!

Spreading the Message Artistically 
These videos show the diversity of articulate, creative messages that are part of this growing movement.
  • Political activist Naomi Klein, speaks to "the moral responsibility of this moment." 

  • Artist, singer, song writer Michael Franti says, "I believe that corporations are only part of the equation. For example, if we want to solve climate change, we need the best that science has to offer, we need the wisdom of indigenous nations, we need the common sense of every day people, we need the spending power of consumers, we need the cooperation of governments, and we need the resources of the corporate world... it is not as simple as just one thing."

  • Michael Stone speaks about the love and shadow sides of the occupy movement. "... We are cultivating intimacy that is rising out of difference. That intimacy is the spark... it is the reason why we are going to win." Michael Stone is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, Buddhist teacher, author and activist, committed to the integration of traditional teachings with contemporary understanding.

  • Makana sang "We are the Many" as an act of protest for 45 minutes at the APEC summit dinner when he was supposed to be playing acoustic music for world leaders. The DemocracyNow interview is worth watching... "I didn't like the idea of being afraid of singing a song... I've never in my life been afraid to sing anything. If that is what we have come to in a world where we are afraid to say certain things in the company of certain people, I think that's a dangerous place to be...so I had to sing the song."

  • Granny Peace Brigade, "We are thrilled that this was started by very smart young people... it is important to have as diverse a group as possible attacking this problem because no privilege is ever given up without a tremendous struggle and we're up against a very, very powerful opponent."

  • Charles Eisenstein says, “Joint consumption doesn’t create intimacy; only joint creativity creates intimacy and connection.”

  • Occupy Love... the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with author, poet, activist Alice Walker and Congressman John Lewis. 

  • Intelligent comparison of Occupy Wall Street vs the Tea Party.

  • Deepak Chopra  "...love, compassion, joy and equanimity... ask yourselves, how can I be the change I want to see in the world."

  • Do Different: People who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.

Non-Violence
"As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos."  
- Martin Luther King, Jr., 1956

Kazu Haga, Oakland activist and Kingian Nonviolence trainer, gives this compelling argument for non-violence at a "diversity of tactics vs. non-violence" debate regarding the future of Occupy. You can watch the entire debate here. Learn about the 6 principles and the 6 steps to Kinging non-violence through the Positive Peace Warrior site.

This is an important piece on diversity of tactics vs. non-violent direct action. Currently there is a lot of pressure to adopt a diversity of tactic stance. I personally believe that a commitment to non-violence is crucial to the growth and survival of the Occupy movement. 

This beautifully crafted letter on Occupy Samsara crafted by Ethan Nichtern and Michael Stone calls on mindfulness practitioners to join the movement. "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."

Waging Non-Violence is covering the global movement and its commitment to peaceful action. They have a page called American Autumn.

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship is compiling resources on their "Occupy Wall Street and Beyond" page. Maia Duerr of the The Jizo Chronicles is doing a lovely job compiling some Buddhist responses to the movement.

Progressive Media
A great place to start to get a synthesis of the issues: Charlie Rose interviews Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow and Chris Hedges of Truthdig. Goodman paraphrases Gandhi's quote in referring to this movement, "First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win."

DemocracyNow is an obvious source for great coverage. One of my favorite messages is from Danny Glover in an Oakland speech he gave Sat, Oct 15 (in this link Obama's words about the MLK memorial are at 37:00 and Glover's words are at 38:20)

Chris Hedges supports the Occupy movement and writes a weekly column for Truthdig. Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, which gives him a unique perspective on occupation, empire, race, violence and privilegeHedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. In addition to being a journalist, he is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. 

The Nation has a section dedicated to the movement. Greg Mitchell's blog links to breaking news related to occupy issues throughout the day. The article From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Everywhere chronicles how the movement started and spread. 

YES! Magazine has a wonderful People Power  section that looks at movement in many countries. Seattle's Sarah van Gelder, co-founder and executive editor of YES! Magazine, talks to PBS' NewsHour about why thousands of people around the world have joined the Occupy movement.

Waging Non-Violence is covering the global movement and its commitment to peaceful action. They have a page called American Autumn.


The Huffington Post has a dedicated section to the movement.

The Occupied Wall Street Journal--the name says it all!

Film
Inside Job (currently out on DVD) is a must-watch documentary which clearly explains why we should be outraged by the current financial system and our government's lack of regulatory and prosecutorial action.

"Inside Job provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia."

I am hoping that How to Start a Revolution, a documentary film about Gene Sharp will come to Seattle.

More Resources
Link here to some Occupy Seattle sites and ideas for moving toward solution building and policy change