Submitted by Gabrielle Price
This was my contribution to a book that was re-released on the two year anniversary of its publishing date. I am in good company in this publication -- and do not deny this blessing, but none of my readers may have had the cash to buy this book. There IS a serious class war going on. I would tell you to buy this book -- but it is no longer in print, nor are any excerpts from it found online. I am not under contract, so I offer my contribution to those who have wanted to read it since its release. I was damn proud to be part of it. Anyone who was interested in buying the book -- the funds, I am told "went to Occupy". Who that is, I cannot verify. I waited too long to buy a copy of my own, so I have no receipt, have no idea how many were sold and was not provided one as a contributor. I'm quite uncertain whether the book was published in paper form.
So it goes...
This essay was my gift to the brave souls during Occupy who asked the toughest questions, and got their hands dirty. Occupy, to me, was about cooperation and sharing of knowledge as well as talents. I'm unsure whether the publishers behind the book were working for themselves only, or another org but my experiences on the ground with real people who were injured, pepper sprayed, jailed and gave a damn, from Portland to Phoenix -- also opened their hearts, homes and their minds enough to question everything...
I continue to do that, regardless of what another soul thinks of me for it. ~ G
"As a long time writer and activist from the Midwest, I was moved and
thrilled beyond words to see the Egyptian people take to the streets in
January of 2010. Witnessing the outpouring of support from all over the
world on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, I thought, "Please
don't let America be far behind." To bear witness to people in Egypt
standing in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin as they occupied
their capital -- sending messages of support and pizza to sustain them, I
knew something was coming. Something big. Then came September and OWS
and everything began to change, including the national dialogue. That
is by no means a small accomplishment.
the people of Egypt want is democracy. Not the 'democracy' facade that
we have been sold in so many jingoistic, American flag-waving, truck
commercials. What Egypt did and what Occupy does is force us to see
past the facade, to call into question what kind of democracy we really
have that slanders, beats and pepper sprays its citizens. We are made
to ask ourselves some painful questions. Many of those questions have
been asked before, during the Vietnam war, Kent State, the Civil Rights
Movement to name a few. The difference then? There was a responsible
press to cover it.
When we begin to see the state of things and ask those painful
questions, we begin to find answers in each other; in the people who
also see and share that same pain with us. There is an awful lot of
power in understanding. Many are learning to be patient enough to honor
that process in others who are unsure of getting involved or don't
understand that they are the 99%. Corporate media keeps a lot of people
sleepwalking and you'd be surprised how many blame themselves for their
quality of life. They would rather blame themselves then what they
perceive as their 'free country.' What this corrupt system has done
and continues to do to the spirit and the psyche of the people is beyond
amoral. Many Americans are in a co-dependent relationship with this
abusive power structure. Occupy is the way of breaking the pattern of
abuse and finally saying, "Enough!"
Throughout the fall, the strides made by this movement have sparked
so many to action. People of all ages, colors, beliefs, skill sets and
yes, classes, have come together in compassionate action and incredible
creativity to understand each other, inspire and discuss the state of
our Union. What has been said and done in GA's from California to Maine
since September likely has more bearing on the future of this country
than any address or debate on national television and this writer hopes
that they are all made a part of this country's historical record. The
continued People's History of the United States. If Howard could see us
Tonight, I watch and share the livestream of Occupy Oakland
protesters as they're being kettled, beaten and under mass arrest. I'm
also seeing some incredible magazine-worthy photos from Egypt's second
mass protest. A year later, we are still witnessing history. We The
People are the 99%. We are the first names mentioned on our living
document and we hold that power the elite can never take away from us
unless we consent or submit. It is the kind of power that cannot be
bought, sold, traded, cheapened, slandered, broken, beaten or silenced.
It is the power of the human spirit. Occupy is the genuine article and
the stuff that legend is made of. I wish my grandfather were alive to
see it. As a WWII veteran, he fought against fascism. Now we all are.
I have been deeply moved in bearing witness, incredibly honored to
record and participate in a movement that has single-handedly renewed my
faith in a passionate citizenry, given me hope for the return of real
journalism and restored pride in my country. I can hardly wait for
Founder/Editor, The Refreshment Center Blog
Working for a better media...