Occupy London – 3 weeks of Truth, by Robin Smith
Few understand what made St Paul’s a model of a society that could really sustain itself – me neither until months later.
It was rough and ready, but it worked perfectly for a while. Then after 3 weeks it declined… and fell.
In that short time, a majority of Occupiers had put aside their prejudices by:
· Giving all people equal space to speak, right or wrong
· Made it a first duty to help others before themselves
· Abolished respect for all leaders and experts on camp
We were asking on a level playing field: “What is the cause of all the problems?” We were blaming no one and proposing nothing. WHAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE?
And the result was?
Something we call “Energy”. An almost magic force that just made things work. Some said we were lucky. I say it is because we told the truth and helped each other… from the heart, not the pocket or the mind.
Occupy London successfully pushed back on, and exposed corruption for all to see, within the most powerful institutions in the land: The City of London, The Church, The Media, The Law. And the people of the country to a large extent saw it all play out because we told the simple truth. No spin, no experts, no intellect. None of us realised this at the time
This “Energy” is strange thing. I often found myself speaking to the camera in a way I had not learned. I was getting “help” from somewhere. Was that the “spirit” of our small social organisation, or something else?
We had shown that if the people get up and make a stand, change could happen. But you have to get up and do it. Yes that’s right, we took our bodies and sent them to the front line.
There is nothing special about an Occupier. I loved every minute of it. I will do it again, happily. We simply changed our minds and made a free choice all people have, to no longer submit to the corrupt. How quickly the powerful caved in. Astonishing. For me that free decision to commit to protest gave me enough confidence to overwhelm the cold, the danger, corrupt power.
The wider result, I think its fair to say, gave all people the confidence that they have the ultimate power too, if they make the free choice to use it. IF. So my approach to reform now is not to blame the powerful. But first to look deep inside ourselves as individuals and ask the big question:
“Do I really mean it. Am I part of the problem too. How can I improve things?”
Alas, we only had so much “Energy”. I’ve never burnt the candle more fiercely than this. In 3 weeks the Energy started to run out. We should not be ashamed of this. We could not keep such a high maintenance, un-grounded, dangerous activity going forever. The authorities knew this but it took them a while before they stopped having a go. They knew we would cave in soon if they just waited. In Wall Street, they were not that smart.
So, even we finally became recaptured by the corrupt regime we were protesting against. Isn’t it ironic?
Occupiers started to get flattered by the camera, became arrogant of the success, saw a future career working for the 1%, got media bribes to say what the press wanted, were given front seats in the church and within legal counsel, were misdirected with “coaching” from outside experts. We succumbed and let our ego’s steal that magic, “The Energy”.
Sound familiar? All things that today’s mainstream society carries out without even knowing it. The people have got used to corruption. Does this mean the people have become corrupt?
I was guilty too but stayed for another 9 weeks, in denial of the loss of something so special. This takes nothing away from the protest. It simply shows how deep the problem goes. We are all at it, Occupiers are trying hard to stop it but are still a part of the system. We cannot live in an arrogant vacuum of perfection.
For a grown man I shed a lot of tears at St Paul’s, many times when observing the completely unnecessary depravity society knowingly commits some to and then leaves them to die. Or how the same utterly hopeless cases immediately found a purpose for life and began to benefit others after realising they were now part of their own small community.
But the most tears came when normal people, maybe a 1000 passers by at my tent, who made special trips from across the nation, to tell their story. They would say:
“All we have done is worked hard, built good businesses, the system has fleeced us. Now we are in desperate trouble, we want to get a tent and protest with you, to be Occupiers too, but cannot because we are so afraid of losing our jobs and families if we do so. We have come to say thank you for doing it for us.”
We say, these visitors are as much Occupiers as anyone who chose to share tents with the vulnerable.
Or the police who actually protected us during our stay. We were not in conflict. They had nothing to do. The camp managed itself well compared to how the City and the Church treats its vulnerable. Initially under command they refused to speak to us. But after a few days of utter boredom they would open up. They asked the same questions as anyone else:
“What are you here for and what do you hope to achieve?”
Within 10 minutes of chatting they were talking about why even their wages were falling compared to the cost of living. We would say:
“Yes we know. THAT is why we are here. Come the eviction, please remember that?”
The moniker of the Occupy Movement is “The 99% versus the 1%”. I do not believe in this marketing for a moment. It too is inherently corrupt – divisive rather than uniting. It blames rather than accepts own complicity.
I believe that my life, our society and the world we have been loaned are about the 100%.
Only when putting the care of others first, is written on our hearts, can the enormous gift of abundance, freedom and security be permanently sustained.