Think for yourself… Question authority.
Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.
In the past weeks since my debut post, I’ve found a recurring comment from people each time I’ve shared about my Occupy LA Blog. Family and friends alike have posed the questions, “Aren’t you too late?" and Is it still around?”
What surely remains are the barricades and fencing around the south lawn of City Hall affectionately referred to as “Solidarity Park” throughout the course of the Occupation of City Hall. Did you know that this same space, long before tents were pitched, was dedicated Plaza Simon Bolivar in April 14, 1944 in honor of Simon Bolivar who is often referred to as the “George Washington of Latin America”? A man considered the most responsible for expelling the Spanish out of South America in the 1820s. What better a place for Occupy Los Angeles to have converged, in dissent, than in a space whose name still echoes the sounds of revolt? But again, what has become of the movement?
Our local affiliates of the Mainstream Media no longer have much interest in covering Occupy, but they continue to do a great job of not informing the public that regular GA (General Assembly) meetings are still held on the west steps of City Hall – several times a week, encouraging community and action.
Our local media does little to share the impact that Occupy has had on us all, whether we’re aware of it or even like it. Occupy has become a household name, recognized throughout this great land when referred to as the 98% by President Obama in his recent State of the Union address.
Our local media has not shared that Occupy has brought a new awareness of the inequalities affecting the 99%...or 98%.
What the media shares is what is in their best interest and ultimately in the best interest of their corporate sponsors. Those same corporations are the same “persons” who steer our politicians are steering the media to provide you and I, the viewing and listening public, a steady drip of the information they want you to consume.
Corporate sponsorship isn’t in the interest of sharing news such as people acting in community to support their neighbors when faced with the threat of foreclosure from the same banks that we, as tax payers helped keep from going underwater themselves. These same financial institutions that preyed upon the weak and ill-informed, should be held responsible as much as the irresponsible consumers who took out a loan far beyond their respective levels of affordability. Fiscal responsibility is a two way street. But I digress…
What the media wants us to focus on is the negative impact Occupy has had through wasted resources and damages to public areas. The Media didn’t widely broadcast on the destruction of the OWS Library or food distribution and offers of simple medical care. Rather they promoted the authority’s stance that it was becoming a health hazard. Many have said how these millions of wasted city dollars could have been better spent. But no one seems to elaborate “how” they could be better spent. They share how similar complaints from other Occupy locations are posted up on various media outlets. But where the Media and pundits fail is in the fact that Occupy is succeeding. Occupy is on their minds…and this new, uncharted place we’re travelling towards makes them uncomfortable. It makes them vulnerable. They’re lacking control.
The recent vandalism and aggressive actions of a few in Oakland allow the media to influence public opinion and fuel their impressions that these are the intentions of the whole. As an occupier I want to see this struggle continue on the non-violent path to success. The Movement should continue to take on the status quo but should also strive to gain empathy from others, build a larger fan base and not turn people off.
What’s become of the movement? The Movement is very much alive. I participated in a conference call where nearly 60 participants were sounding off from places like Davis, El Paso, Madison, Syracuse, etc. This was the Booster Shot I personally needed to ease the frustrations that are part of the birthing of a new movement.
Wouldn’t it be great to hear a local news affiliate, maybe Channel 5 News at 10, announce the open invitation to attend your local GA meeting in Los Angeles, Whittier, Venice, The Valley, Culver City, etc.?
This Movement is very much alive and it is moving beyond just the physical occupation of space.
Seek for yourself. Draw your own conclusions and "Question authority" as once shared by the late Dr. Timothy Leary, Ph.D.
If you'd like to read the OCCUPIED Los Angeles Times, please click here.
If you'd like to read more about Occupy Los Angeles, please click here.
If you'd like to read more about Occupy Wall Street, please click here.