Like you I have been watching the Wall Street Occupation this week. The images and sounds make me remember the final moments that I spent in New York City. One of the strongest of my parting memories was during the Republican National Convention in 2004 where I was one over 3000 people who was plucked off the street, caught in the same orange nets used this week on the peaceful protesters of Wall Street, arrested, and jailed for over three days. The cops told me at the time that it was to make a better media image for the Republicans convention that week. You know, clean up the streets.
In times like this one wonders why the cops stand on the wrong side? When I was in jail and asked a minority cop if he realized that peaceful protest was how his civil rights were won he said "I'm getting my pension next year." Turned his head down and walked away. Ah yes, money. We're back to the theme of the week!
The video of my arrest is almost identical to the one shot this week showing several young girls being maced by the NYPD. This kind of police violence produces a response in me that can only be known by those who've been brutalized in this way. It makes one know they've been abused, changed. I wonder, how many of us will have to know this by direct experience before we put an end to it?
Even though the format of the police brutality is the same as what I experienced in 2004, there is something different about the people banding together in solidarity on Wall Street this week. They are talking about unity and our shared humanity. Artist Immortal Technique spoke eloquently about the need for us to find our "shared bottom line," our humanity. He reminded listeners that the strength gathered by the elite to obtain the power they now have was done so by unifying together on their bottom line in spite of their differences. Too bad for us all that their bottom line is money and power and has led to suffering for all but themselves. And others too, just keep watching the videos, people are saying that it's time for unity and in the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan,, "unity is not uniformity."
At the end of a video by Occupy Together someone says, "If you paid any taxes last year than you paid more than General Electric, and you should be here!" Yes, we should all be there. If you think the folks sleeping on the streets on Wall Street this week are not there for your rights than your naiveté is bringing you dangerously close to the day when the orange nets come to your front door.
I wasn't sure I'd post about the events in NY this week. I doubted that I could write anything that matched the respect I feel for everyone on the street representing the 99%. I decided to post for volume, another voice saying "I wont shut up!" a thumbtack on the bulletin board of the internet, a cry from my computer from where I am wishing that I was there. I posted to remind us all to keep thinking about them and about our world and what it is and what it can be. Look at pictures every day, watch video, listen, feel.
Krishnamurti said, "It is no sign of wellness to be well adjusted to a sick society."