ALL ALONG THE CRITICS have attacked the protestors on the grounds that there are no concrete demands; that the movement is disorganized; that people don’t even know what they want. I have been asked countless times as well when discussing this, “what are they protesting exactly? What actions do they want to see?”
I’ve always said that at this point it doesn’t even matter. That even though you’ll see a huge variety of signs protesting different things, that there is a common underlying current that runs through it all. The bottom line is that the people on the streets and the people who support the movement are tired of the status quo.
It makes people — especially authorities — uncomfortable when they can’t label something, when they can’t put it into a neat little box and call it something. The movement represents, as Michael Stone talks about in the above video and in this extended speech he gave at Occupy Vancouver, a desire to unite everything, to take into consideration all aspects of the oneness, and not just think of the “bottom line” (i.e. money/economy).
I think the Occupy movement is the springing back into consciousness of the things that we’ve discarded and…we need them. The 1% need us, and the fish need us, and the forests need us, and the parts of our community that we haven’t been communicating with need us.
In this article at Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi explains how he changed his mind, from wanting to know what the protests were all about to accepting them for what they are: “a forum for people to show how tired they are not just of Wall Street, but everything.”
This is a visceral, impassioned, deep-seated rejection of the entire direction of our society, a refusal to take even one more step forward into the shallow commercial abyss of phoniness, short-term calculation, withered idealism and intellectual bankruptcy that American mass society has become.
The shadow, as Michael Stone points out, needs to be visited. Love needs to be visited. Imagination needs to be visited.