I daresay, if you are reading this, you are one of the 99 percent. Year after year, decade after decade, we funnel our energy and our dollars into the profits and pockets of the 1 percent, doing our part as good workers, good citizens. With what's left of our time and money, we give to those less fortunate. We work for justice. We work harder and harder to take care of our responsiblities for our health, comfort and well-being. We are good citizens.
Yet again and again, we see our work benefiting the most wealthy (1%) in far greater proportion than it benefits anyone else (99%). While they build ever more opulent mansions, we struggle to maintain any home at all. Exhausted at night, many of us lucky enough to have a home, return and slip into a near comatose state in front of the television--our escape, we call it--before returning to our jobs in the morning. (Disclosure: I used to do this frequently; I am now "retired" and working for myself at last.)
But something has shifted. In October, we began to stand together. We came out of our homes, out of our schools, out of our jobs, and stood and sat and slept together on the cold, hard concrete of our parks and municipal plazas. Those of us who could not sit in public, risking discomfort, violence and arrest, supported those who could in whatever ways we could. Some brought food to the occupy camps, some books. Some gave money. Some tweeted and Facebooked and blogged. (I am among the latter.)
The camps grew. After a few weeks, even the bought-and-paid-to-propagandize mainstream media began to take notice.
The media likes to characterize the demonstrators as rabble rousers, as homeless, as druggies, as, god forbid, young people, as though being young and passionate and willing to risk state-authorized beatings and arrest should be discounted.
The cameras tell that story. Yes they do. And the cameras tell another story. We see lots of white hair in those videos, not blonde, white. We see people in wheel chairs, people in military uniforms. Sometimes, we see police officers crying as they arrest peaceful protestors.
Watch this video. Watch the names of the cities around the world flash across the skyscraper's face. Each of those names represents hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of citizens--people of the 99 percent--taking time from their lives to occupy, to make this statement, in the cold, in the rain, in the face of batons and tear gas and pepper spray and rubber bullets.
People are waking up. People have begun to realize that we occupy Earth.
When we stand together in peace, we become visible. We are the 99 percent. We are teaching the 1 percent. Another world is possible.
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.