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Monday, November 28, 2011

The premise is complex to capture, but simple to state: humanity is waking up.


If We Get Occupy Right, We Get Everything Right

WHEN I FIRST heard the call to Occupy Wall St for a few months, I knew this was big. I knew it would be more than just a “protest.” This felt different than the usual march to voice specific grievances. It was a call for something more profound, and much deeper, than even the original participants realized as they gathered their signs and tents.
I knew because I’d be following the various manifestations of this movement for over a year, working with Velcrow Ripper as he traversed the globe working on his new film: Evolve Love. The premise is complex to capture, but simple to state: humanity is waking up.
On Sept 17, 2011, 2000 people showed up at Zucotti Park. On Nov 26, 2011, they are still there.
The mainstream media, if they aren’t busy denigrating the movement and highlighting its flaws, are still grappling with how to cover it. Who are the leaders? What are your demands? No answer has been given. Instead, they Occupy.
Early on, journalist Naomi Klein recognized the significance as well. She called it “The Most Important Thing In The World Now“:
Yesterday, one of the speakers at the labor rally said: “We found each other.” That sentiment captures the beauty of what is being created here. A wide-open space (as well as an idea so big it can’t be contained by any space) for all the people who want a better world to find each other. We are so grateful.
“Why are they protesting?” ask the baffled pundits on TV. Meanwhile, the rest of the world asks: “What took you so long?” “We’ve been wondering when you were going to show up.” And most of all: “Welcome.”
At its heart, Occupy is not a protest. It’s about creating space. It’s about modeling a new way of being, that requires a fair amount of “unlearning” the way society and human nature has been taught. It’s asking the question: why? Why are things they way they are? Is it, in fact, human nature to be greedy, violent, and cruel? Or is it possible that these are symptoms of a systemic order?
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New video message from Velcrow Ripper & IndieGoGo Fundraising Campaign Launches!

Exciting news! We have launched our IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign to help finish Occupy Love – our transformative feature documentary. Please share the link as widely as possible!
Watch the above video message from Occupy Love director, Velcrow Ripper, shot last week in New York City. The march over the Brooklyn Bridge was part of Occupy Wall Street’s N17 day of action and two month birthday celebration. (Includes ground-level footage of the now infamous Occupy Bat Signal!
Occupy Love will be a moving, transformative feature documentary that asks the question: how is the economic and ecological crises we are facing a great love story?
This is a totally community funded film. Crowd-funding is a beautiful reflection of the collective spirit this movie is all about. Join the team and become a community film producer.
In theatres 2012 – with your help!
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Occupy Wall St – The Revolution Is Love

Directed by Ian MacKenzie 
Co-produced with Velcrow Ripper
“Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says ‘more for you is less for me.’ But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings. This shift of consciousness is universal in everybody, 99% and 1%.”
CHARLES EISENSTEIN is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution.
Visit http://sacred-economics.com to learn more about his ideas for a new economy.
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‎”How could we ask for anything less than the future?”

“Our communities need us. We are all leaders. How could we ask for anything less than the future?” A powerful video of the Occupy Poem by acclaimed spoken word artist Drew Dellinger , shot and edited by Occupy Love’s Velcrow Ripper, set to the music of Saracen by Jef Stott . Filmed during the epic Occupy Oakland general strike. Thanks Drew and Jef – it was a wonderful collaboration!
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Occupy with Aloha. Last night, APEC held a gala attended by Preside

Occupy with Aloha. 
Last night, APEC held a gala attended by President Obama and his wife in addition to a number of other world leaders.
Hawaiian guitarist Makana, who had previously played at the White House in 2009, was slated to play at the gala. Rather than play his normal routine, Makanadecided to make a statement. He opened his suit jacket to reveal a shirt that read “Occupy Aloha.”
He then proceeded to play his new protest ballad title “We Are the Many,” wherein he blasted corporate lobbyists and called on Americans to occupy “the streets.” He played this protest song for 45 minutes in a room full of the world’s elite, which ends with the refrain: “We’ll occupy the streets, we’ll occupy the courts, we’ll occupy the offices of you, till you do the bidding of the many, not the few.” Audience members included Barack Obama, Stephen Harper and Hu Jintao of China. “My uncle taught me to feel out the audience and play what my heart tells me to,” said Makana. “That’s what I did tonight.”
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This Home is Occupied!In the last few days a number of Occupy tent citie

This Home is Occupied!
In the last few days a number of Occupy tent cities have been dismantled by the police, including Occupy Oakland, Occupy Portland, and in Canada, Occupy Nova Scotia and Occupy London, among others.  How does the Occupy movement continue to grow and flourish in the wake of these foreclosures?  Expect surprises – this is an incredibly creative, resilient movement, and it’s here to stay.  
Occupy Atlanta has found one effective way to channel the Occupy energy – by directly helping homeowners who face eviction to keep their homes.  Last week, Tawanna Rorey’s husband, a police officer based in Gwinnett County, e-mailed Occupy Atlanta to explain that his home was going to be foreclosed on and his family was in danger of being evicted on Monday. So within a few hours Occupy Atlanta developed an action plan to move to Snellville, Georgia  to stop the foreclosure. At least two dozen protesters encamped on the family’s lawn,  hanging a banner on the railing of the house saying, “This home is occupied”  to the applause of neighbors and bystanders.  Talk about occupying with love! 
This is a great model for what the Occupy Movement could start doing in the future.  In Spain, the M15 movement – named because it started on May 15th – is one of the inspirations for Occupy.  They have been doing similar kinds of actions to prevent evictions for some time.   When they are unable to prevent an eviction, they have occupied abandoned buildings, creating spaces for evicted families to move into, by occupying foreclosed on houses and flats owned by banks.  Katherine Ainger  told me, “Edifici 15O in Barcelona houses 8 homeless families in a block of flats owned by a bank, very, very inspiring and with the support of lots of neighbours too.” http://edifici15o.wordpress.com/
In both Greece and Spain the movement has evolved into neighbourhood general assemblies and working groups, dealing with concrete solutions to local problems in real time, while still gathering in “assemblies of assemblies” to address and unite around larger issues.
In Spain,  when the time for camping ended, one camp left behind an enormous sign that said:   ”We have not left: we have moved into your consciousness!”
 The movement is growing and evolving in it’s own organic manner.  Expect the unexpected.  Occupy Consciousness!

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Veclrow’s Message To Occupy Canada

At a time when evictions and eviction orders have been served to the Occupy Movement in Canada, here’s my video message to Occupy Canada, expressing what I feel is the heart of the movement, asking us to consider what is Occupy 2.0, and some thoughts about the challenges facing Occupy Vancouver, which is near my home town. Sending love to all those who are working for a just and compassionate world, those who haven’t yet started, and those who stand in the way. We are the 100%.
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Open Letter from Starhawk and ACT to Occupy

Open Letter to the Occupy Movement from Starhawk and the Alliance of Community Trainers

The Occupy movement has had enormous successes in the short time since September when activists took over a square near Wall Street. It has attracted hundreds of thousands of active participants, spawned occupations in cities and towns all over North America, changed the national dialogue and garnered enormous public support. It’s even, on occasion, gotten good press!
Now we are wrestling with the question that arises again and again in movements for social justice—how to struggle. Do we embrace nonviolence, or a ‘diversity of tactics?’ If we are a nonviolent movement, how do we define nonviolence? Is breaking a window violent?
We write as a trainers’ collective with decades of experience, from the anti-Vietnam protests of the sixties through the strictly nonviolent antinuclear blockades of the seventies, in feminist, environmental and anti-intervention movements and the global justice mobilizations of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. We embrace many labels, including feminist, anti-racist, eco-feminist and anarchist. We have many times stood shoulder to shoulder with black blocs in the face of the riot cops, and we’ve been tear-gassed, stun-gunned, pepper sprayed, clubbed, and arrested,
While we’ve participated in many actions organized with a diversity of tactics, we do not believe that framework is workable for the Occupy Movement. Setting aside questions of morality or definitions of ‘violence’ and ‘nonviolence’ – for no two people define ‘violence’ in the same way – we ask the question:
What framework can we organize in that will build on our strengths, allow us to grow, embrace a wide diversity of participants, and make a powerful impact on the world?
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Occupy Samsara ~ Support From Spiritual Teachers

An Open Letter from Buddhist and Yoga Teachers and Leaders in Support of the Occupy Movement

Posted on November 6, 2011
As teachers and leaders of communities that promote the development of compassion and mindfulness, we are writing to express our solidarity with the Occupy movement now active in over 1,900 cities worldwide.
We are particularly inspired by the nonviolent tactics of this movement, its methods of self-governance, and its emergent communities founded in open communication (general assemblies, the human microphone, the inclusion of diverse voices, etc). These encampments are fertile ground for seeing our inherent wisdom and our capacity for awakening. We encourage all teachers, leaders, sanghas and communities that pursue awakening to join with these inspiring activists, if they have not already done so, in working to end the extreme inequalities of wealth and power that cause so much suffering and devastation for human society and for the ecosystems of Earth.
This movement has given voice to a near-universal frustration with the economic and political disenfranchisement of so many. It offers a needed counterbalance to a system that saps the life energy of the overwhelming majority –– the so-called 99% –– generating vast profits for a tiny handful, without maximizing the true potential for widespread wealth creation in our society. While our practice challenges us to cultivate compassion for 100% of human beings without villifying an “enemy,” our practice also calls on us to challenge a system that causes such clear harm and imbalance.
We share in the thoughtful calls to address massive unemployment, climate change, the erosion of social safety nets, decaying infrastructures, social and education programs, and workers’ wages, rights, and benefits.
Moreover, the current legal structure of large corporations compels individuals to act with shortsighted greed, acts for which they are not held personally accountable. If we aren’t encouraged to act with awareness of our connection to the seven billion humans who share our global community, the social fabric of our society is torn apart by legalized acts of selfishness and fear. These acts are performed in human society, by nonhuman entities, oddly granted the legal and political status of people, which have no ability to adequately perceive or react to the negative repercussions of their choices. The whole planet pays the price.
Most importantly, we believe that individual awakening and collective transformation are inseparable. For members of spiritual communities, mindfulness of the situation before us demands that we engage fully in the culture and society we inhabit. We do not view our own path as merely an individualistic pursuit of sanity and health, and we believe it would be irresponsible of us to teach students of mind/body disciplines that they can develop their practice in isolation from the society in which they live. We are inspired by the creative and intellectual work of the Occupy movement as an essential voice in facilitating a more compassionate and ecologically grounded basis for practice.
The Occupy movement has re-ignited our belief that it’s truly possible to build a culture of non-harm, honesty and respect for all creatures. We recognize our human failings and know that we’ll fail ten thousand times in our efforts to awaken. We now vow to bring our practices and methods of teaching more into alignment with our deepest values.
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. We call on teachers and practitioners from all traditions of mind/body awakening to join in actively transforming these structures.
Letter Signed, Ethan Nichtern, Shastri, New York, Shôken Michael Stone, Toronto
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Love & Shadow in the Occupy Movement

“We are cultivating intimacy, that’s arising out of difference. This the spark that I would call Love. And it’s what’s carrying us, and what’s warming us up. And it’s the reason why we’re going to win.”  ~ Michael Stone
Michael Stone is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, Buddhist teacher, author and activist, committed to the integration of traditional teachings with contemporary psychological and philosophical understanding. 
A video by Ian Mackenzie Shot on Nov 6, 2011 at Occupy Vancouver


Watch his entire speech here

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