I was asked to give a speech before Colin of Arabia played the American Nightmare/Give up the Ghost Reunion show in Revere last night; the following was prepared, however a truncated version was offered to the crowd.
I spent two months down at Dewey square, sure sometimes dirty, and yeah even sometimes involved in some hippyesque scenarios,…
But, what I want to talk about tonight is what is happening moving forward.
Physical occupation is a tactic, not an end, to get too bogged down with tactics, as opposed to education, to me, seems to be asking for a system which solves all of the problems of society for us, furthering us from blame, but also, and perhaps more dangerously, furthering us from the personal responsibility for change as something reachable and within us ourselves.
What is happening in this country is that the dialog has changed, drastically. inequality issues are on the table across the country, the people have the mic; Just attend your local General Assmebly.
You see, when I sat down think about what I was going to say, I wasn’t wrong or lying when I laid out a speech gilded with my vision of things moving forward, of every abandoned building in this country being reclaimed, legally, by the neighborhood surrounding it, so that we, the people can spring forth centers providing the civic and social services we need and require in our communities in the shadows of the bloated and failing which have failed us, so that groups and individuals can thrive and fulfill their mutual and self interests.
That is the beauty of what is happening in this country wight now, because at its base, the occupy movement is a conversation, and a sort of festival which has sprung up around it, this concept of consensus, the process of making decisions in a group while allowing for all voices to be heard as equal, or, as it is being referred to in relation to the Occupy Movement, horizontal democracy.
When the people took public space, on september 17, in order to have an open dialog with each other, we found that across the world the entire spectrum of political, social, ecological, and economic idealism was cracked open.
The idea of consensus appears to be gaining momentum; Moving into small towns, able to sustain once or twice a week General Assemblies, as opposed to physical 24 hour encampments.
It may be a hard pill for some to swallow, that the idea is so easy we have already won if we realize this one truth, that no longer can only the few prosper to the detriment of almost the entire herd.
That we can no longer allow ourselves to live with the cruel hope that elected officials will buck the trend and course of history and enact policy in the interests of the people.
What is currently on the table is that we are currently seeking is a center for civic discourse, an organizing headquarters and base of operations, the scope of which is being discussed.
We have and are looking at a lot of buildings in and around the area,some we can rent and move right into, some we could maybe buy and completely renovate, others would have to build from the ground up.
With effort and diligence as well as the help and voluntary association of everyone who would like to see genuine change, who would like to be a part to of a re-engaged public, whose will and spirit has been renewed, whose confidence and abilities have been restored, we can lay down a blue print of how to reclaim some of the blight in this country.
Howard Zinn said something to the effect of,
“if you want to be truly dangerous, if you really want to make the power structures scared, make being a radical, a revolutionary cool.”
Without us getting lost in the aesthetics, let us take that, along with the DIY and root ethics of punk rock and hardcore, to help blur the line between this, the punk rock movement, which is innately limited in it’s abilities to effect real widespread societal change, and the activism movement, where the sky, and maybe prosperity and justice is the limit.