When my friend Katherine Ball was being interviewed by the Oregonian here in Portland during the Occupation this fall, she asked me to write up something to address the so-called lack of demands on the part of the occupiers. This is what I came up with: the paper didn’t run it, but I think it works. Demand the Impossible! Impunity for All!
What do we want?
Empathy. Generosity. Solidarity. Creativity. Mutual Aid. Personal Responsibility. Inter-ethnic, trans-gender, omnisexual and pan-national notions of kinship and respect. A demolition of materialism and crass consumption. A washing away of bad fear. An end to the brute conversion of the glories of the natural world into abstract quanta that serve no purpose except to warehouse crude and gloating power. A notion of connectedness to the networks and webs of life. An end to our humanist hubris, our presumption of supremacy and dominance. A new rule of nature to supersede the rule of law- you must not take what can’t be replaced. More importantly even than that- you shall not lie to yourself about the good you are able to do, whether by action or by inaction or by refusal. You cannot buy your way out of a burning world. We want all of this and we want it yesterday, or better still we want it ten thousand years ago, and forever.
photo: Getty images