The Occupy Boston Movement is a week old now. It continues to expand to include so many different sections of our society, it is difficult to define any political bearing. This isn’t a bad thing, this is what Democracy looks like.
There are plenty of people willing to boil this movement down to [insert belittling, mean-spirited, counter-culture pejorative here], but that is not what is seen if the time is taken to look around. The camp is full of every walk of life, different ages, nationalities, races, social classes, political affiliations (or lack there of) and spiritual beliefs. The Iron Workers Union visited the site in solidarity; Veteran’s For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War are regular supporters, as well as many other groups.
It was inspiring to see this mixture of ideas when the Occupy Boston Movement united with with a Libertarian group to march to and protest in front of and against the Federal Reserve. The community unites for protests as well as celebrations and services. Tent City had a beautiful service to mark Yom Kippur in front of the Occupy Boston banner, while Buddhists meditated not far from there in the Spirituality tent.
Anyone who takes the time to spend a day observing the Occupy Boston Movement and its subsequent community can see this is a vibrant community of vastly different people coming together to demand change and to be the change they want to see: a functioning Democracy. Each group- and each individual- offers us all the chance to listen to a unique perspective, to broaden our understanding of the experience of the rest of the 99% of the people we share this country, this Movement with.
This can be the time to take in all the different voices and use them all to amplify the voice of the Movement; much like the crowd utilizes ‘The People’s Mic’ to project the words of the speaker at our General Assemblies for everyone to hear. The more diversity in the movement, the more accurate we can be in representing the entire 99%.
If you are interested in hearing the myriad of individual perspectives, check out ‘The Soapbox’ when you have a moment. The Soapbox is what it sounds like, it is a stage where anyone can stand up and offer their grievances and ideas to all who will listen. This has provided an excellent way for the voices to heard, and a wonderful place to listen. Thoughts shared on the Soapbox often inspire great conversations and debates within the people of the crowd.
This democracy, although still in its infancy, seems to be thriving and rapidly growing. In one week, the Occupy Boston Movement went from being an idea to an ever-growing group of hundreds of individuals living in and visiting Tent City daily, and even more volunteering their time or support to help this Movement continue to grow. It is exciting to imagine where this Occupy Boston Movement, and the National Occupy Together Movement, will be months from now!