Sunday, November 20, 2011

Silence is Power

Societal shifts happen explosively and expressively, in an instant, sometimes taking everyone by surprise with the suddenness of the collective togetherness of an event, such is the Occupy Movement.

This has morphed beyond the limited borders of left-right politics, despite the more "leftist" leaning concerns for our societal responsibility for our fellow man, perhaps we have all realized that the 99% has much more in common than the 1% has spend centuries making us believe we did not.

The universal outrage at the university police at UC Davis pepper spraying sitting students sent many of us into protective mode and expressing our anger at them for hurting children.  This movement is about the young people, it is their future that the 1%, the Wall Streeters, squandered for the thrill of yet another dollar that they can not possibly spend in a lifetime.  When is enough ever enough that the protect the moneyed-classes, even the 99% would turn on the 99%, waiting on the cops, the university police to realize that they have more in common with the protestors than the steel and granite they are trying to "protect."

I've kept up with the Occupy Movement, even lecturing on the management implications of it with my students, and I have been applauding.  I may not agree with all of the people there and their particular issue, but I do agree with all of our rights to be able to peacefully protest what is such a grievance, how can the moneyed classes think that this vast ocean between the haves and have-nots can continue in silence?  We have seen what we have known all along, they do not care, they would like it to go back to the ownership classes where they owned people for their profits, where one group truly was enslaved for the benefit of another.

This movement will not end without change that benefits the majority.  Too many people, intelligent, talented, eager people are wanting to contribute to society but being blocked because those with the means have moved the opportunity to another country.  It is not even about just that if they, the moneyed classes, were being fair, they are not, they are not helping the people in the other countries, they are exploiting, like Shell Oil in Nigeria, they are not benefiting the people overseas who make the Gap jeans!

It is a wave, a moment, that affects us all, I, at forty-seven, am so proud of the young people, it is their future, their voice, and we must listen.  They are enacting their rights, the rights my generation and the ones before me fought for them to have, the rights to have a promise, a hope, a future, the pursuit of happiness.

The students at UC Davis sat in silence as the Chancellor walked to her car, a walk of shame for her, a walk of power for the students, they realized that sometimes the right thing to do is be quiet, collectively, and let it be seen how wrong the powers have been.

In this silence, there is power.

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