Sunday, 16 April 2017

A New Occupation...

At Preston New Road Rolling Roadside Protest, like so many other protest sites in the past 6 years... people come fresh to activism each day and it's bittersweet to be part of. Each time we are forced to act 'against' the state/industry, we're slow-walking away from the life that each once had. Becoming an 'Activist' may turn out to be an essential decision in the long run - but in the immediate aftermath, it's about pain and loss.

The pain of seeing stark truths that show the lies of this 'system of democracy', the 'integrity of academia', the 'impartiality of media', the confusing purpose of things.,, and pain at the realisation that you can't let yourself be soothed by imagining things will be OK anymore; in opening your eyes to one wrong - so many more wrongs become apparent by clear association and collusion.

And the loss... of normality, familiarity, comfort once derived from lies of state/industry... loss of former hopes and dreams, loss of friends who don't yet 'get it' (no fault of theirs - we are so misled and it takes a bit to get to truth and the day before any of us was an activist... we weren't too) and loss of faith in solutions by any formally trusted bodies.

I feel overjoyed that we grow but so sad that we have to - especially when I see the stress, sadness, pain and loss in the faces of more recent Activists. It doesn't get easier but it does get more familiar and the company for the most part... is inspiring. Other humans who found their inner-Activist too and can't go home anymore to the same type of life. We sometimes have what feels like huge ups and downs in this intensely diverse tribe of Activists... but these are nothing in the face of what comes if industry/state go unopposed and unchallenged. So we plough through the bad bits, knowing there's no way out anyway.

Normality for me ceased the day I literally got an Occupation; 15 Oct 2011 outside the London Stock Exchange. Was just reading back over the testimonies of those who were part of Occupy London and realising how many I still encounter - because they're still here too. The link below goes to a site where the reasons and impacts of our Occupation are explored:
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[I recognised the struggle within my own interpretation of the world I was living in; the one where education and health were seen to be market commodities rather that logically beneficial and essential; the one where too many in government, entertained lobbyists from industry and later ended up on their boards of directors and we were supposed to pretend that no favours were done; the one where bailing out bankers went hand in hand with cutting disability benefits; the one where the arms trade emanating out of my own country, meant that from my taxes, I paid to kill people and in none of the wars we started or armed, was there an ounce of honourable purpose… and then there was the deadly foolishness of keeping alive industries that should long ago have died but were clinging to us in a death spiral of fossilised pollution and waste that was overflowing into the bodies of our young,


Those tools Occupy gave me meant that rather than tell anyone how to do their activism, we delivered what I call ‘The Unwelcome Gift of Truth’ to communities and then asked only that they please act individually and together to find out more and respond. I didn’t want to say ‘save the planet’, that was too big an ask, nor did I want to tell them that along the way, all their original beliefs would come crashing down and that before it got clear and the self-empowerment kicked in – it would be a bit awful, isolating and crushingly real. There was no need to say though because I knew that once they started tackling this ONE issue, they would discover that the media lies (and come to ask themselves, what was ever true?), their MPs serve their party not the people, their Councillors are ill-informed and mostly powerless, lobbyists from industries as big as the energy sector, have the power to change our politics and laws and that THIS is NOT what democracy looks like.]