Nonviolent direct action clearly dramatizes the difference between the corrupt values of the system and the values we stand for. Their institutions silence dissent while we value every voice. They employ violence to maintain their system while we counter it with the sheer courage of our presence.
We have another kind of power, though the term nonviolence only defines what it is not. Some call it people power. It works. It’s powerful. It’s changed and it’s changing the world. We’re unconventionally dangerous, because we’re not threatening physical violence but the transformation of the system (and its violence).
From the Great Depression to the present day, many artists have expressed solidarity with the 99% against the monopolized wealth of the ruling elites. Art has been a powerful catalyst for building solidarity with workers and poor people because the artists saw themselves as workers and poor people.
Virtually everything about capitalism says that only the top one percent of upper-income people really count, while the 99% who struggle for everything don’t deserve to even survive. The Occupy movement is trying to point out this flaw in a very concrete way by camping out and protesting.
The belief that disabled people are incapable of surviving in real-life situations is belittling and harmful. Many persons who are mentally disabled can meet the challenges of surviving in society. Treating adults like children only prepares them for a lifetime of dependence and being institutionalized.
It is a victory that the occupations have led the media to even briefly question America’s economic divisions. Now we need to find creative ways to take the issues of the Occupy movement to every neighborhood, workplace and campus, even those that don’t seem natural hotbeds of change.
Any proposed development at the vacant lot on the corner of Haste and Telegraph Avenue that precludes the replacement of the 77 lost units of SRO housing is a theft of irreplaceable housing. Berkeley has systematically destroyed its SRO housing, replacing it with high-end condos and rental units.
Surely, homeless people are entitled to our daily deeds of justice and compassion. Surely, they deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. When we respond to that holy call to kindness, we bring blessing into our lives and into the lives of all we touch.
The Telegraph Business Improvement District wants to drive homeless people and meal programs out of People’s Park. Compassion for the poor was a foundational ideal of the peace movement that created the Park. Tearing out that legacy of compassion for the poor would tear the heart out of People’s Park.
Has aging become a crime in the U.S., punishable by a shot of Botox or various and sundry tucks, snips and pulls? Simone de Beauvoir, the French existentialist philosopher, in her book, The Second Sex, called our treatment of the aged “scandalous.”
It will cost money I don’t have just to fix my current glasses frames and their already jerry-rigged earpiece, where I used a piece of wire I cut with some toenail clippers from a spiral notebook and attached it between the lenses and the tiny hole in the earpiece.
Democrats are joining Republicans in Congress to shred the safety net for the benefit of the financial interests of huge corporations. Their rhetoric about “shared sacrifice” rings hollow when the vast majority of us are being sacrificed to the financial benefit of big banks and large corporations.