A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from a comrade urging me to turn on the TV to CNN, he told me that there’s a growing resistance in New York and they are fighting for the very principles we believe in. #OccupyWallstreet began. The news clips publicized were reminiscent of the 60s in California and I had this strong voice deep inside of me that echoed “finally citizens were awaking to the injustices of this country”. I read blogs from some trusted sources and this seemed legitimate. I wanted to be there at the frontlines to be a part of the movement that was going to free the people from this financial system. Even though all my favorite musicians, activists and writers fully endorsed this march on Wall Street, I was in Texas and it was difficult to judge its veracity from thousands of miles unless I took it upon myself to make the trip up north.
Finally this Occupation movement spread around the country and Dallas was next up. I received over 5 calls days prior to the marches as this excitement brewed among grassroots organizations in North Texas. Signs were etched out on posterboads, T-shirts printed, food and supplies stocked. This was “it” and I could swear all my plans for the next week would drastically change until I started critically thinking about it. One of my mentors always taught me that before I join an organization I must draw up a mathematical equation then try to place the event at hand in it to see if the solution is favorable. Things just weren’t adding up this time around.
As an activist before I join a protest I ask the MOST important questions.
- Is there a CLEAR UNIFIED PURPOSE and GOAL to this,
- Are the people ORGANIZED or are they HOPING to get organized when they get there,
- Is this protest aimed to DISMANTLE SYSTEM and if so what are the STEPS TO VICTORY,
- Is the protest geared to REACH THE MASSES or is it begging on the footsteps of media outlets to get “some diluted footage” on the 5 o’clock news.
- Is the LOCATION STATEGIC or is it just SYMBOLIC
- Is this there a REALISTIC PLAN TO BUILD A BETTER SYSTEM AGREED UPON and an alternative to the corruption or is it just a plea for attention and a demand for the oppressor to be the SAVIOR.
So I made some calls and visited the sites and I have to admit that I agreed with most of it but still this march did not fit in the equation at hand. It felt like a wasted chess move. I heard there was a meeting before the march but most of the participants in the march were not thoroughly briefed on the goals. Everybody built a poster with their own personal grievances and it was quite a revolutionary sight. It definitely looked beautiful on camera but if any issue was to be addressed by the “GOVT” which one would be first or would it resort to a democratic “whoever has the biggest sign wins”. A lot of minority groups opted out claiming that the event did not address the plea of the black, brown, red and yellow. Some said that every revolution has to start from somewhere and everyone had to be on one accord first and this “might” happen during the events at hand. Others stayed to organize and bring the people together. There were too many voices to handle in one event, at least I thought.
I also asked how this protest was a step towards taking down the corrupt system or if it was made to get the word out to the masses. You see I love to play chess so in relation to this I thought, “Was this a strategic move or a quick move in the fever of spreading the Wall Street movement?” Dallas organizers closely worked and cooperated with Law Enforcement and this became almost a manufactured “civil obedience”. No entrances, streets, or alleys were blocked. None of the businesses in the financial district felt the hurt from the protest, matter of fact this was like an event. Officers sat on their squad cars chatting as the “protesters” held their signs as they made way for the business men. Just another day in Dallas. This step didn’t seem to hurt the system. Only thing it did was quench the sense of guilt from the people who felt that something was truly wrong with this country. I stayed home because I would rather hold on to the guilt of not doing a thing as I plan for something significant. I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT THERE WAS A GREAT NUMBER OF ACTIVISTS FROM ALL SIDES WHO DIDN’T WANT THIS TO BE JUST ANOTHER HIPPIE EVENT, AND THEY STAYED IN DOWNTOWN TO STRATEGIZE AND ORGANIZE. I HAVE SO MUCH RESPECT FOR THEM. With that said I CANNOT JUDGE OR DISMISS ANYBODY or even the event completely. Rarely do activists from all creeds get to appear in the same place and have a chance to speak. Maybe I missed the beginning of something awesome.
I also questioned the LOCATION. If the protest was NOT meant to disrupt the normal business operations of the financial district, what was the clear strategic plan for it? I understood the symbolic value of the location because the protest was aimed towards the financial system but if the system did not feel a thing, the other option I thought was to bring the message to the MASSES who would not have known about this. The numbers of protesters was amazing but the everyday unknowing masses were nowhere to be found. 99% of the people obviously truly do not work in the financial district. I thought of the State Fair, The Stadiums that held world class events in the same week with dozens of thousands attending, the huge concerts in town almost every week. I thought of the TX vs. OU game this week just down the street from the Occupiers and I just thought WHAT IF. WHAT IF. I imagined thousands of us out there. That would’ve been something.
I’m not even going to speak about the media, I care not for their cameras, their 30 second coverage drowned in 20 minutes of weather forecast and traffic updates. We speak so much against the media but because we did not reach the masses where they were, the media did all the speaking and editing “eloquently” for us.
PEOPLE OF DALLAS! , I love you all and I pray within myself that this Occupation will make some changes. I am not just another critic who doesn’t believe in change. I’m your brother, friend, comrade, son and a grandson to some regardless of race creed or political biases. I have A NO HATE POLICY for everyone but the SYSTEM. I have love for everyone who promoted this event, the organizers, as well as the critics who support or oppose it. Somehow all the talk about it is a factor in change because tomorrow I might gain a better understanding of this and I might be Occupying Dallas with my poster raised in the Air. We truly ARE the 99% and I still support many of my comrades spending rainy nights out there working towards a better future. I’m not arrogant neither do I stick to my opinions, I’m just a humble soul trying to make sense and change the world just like you who Is reading this as I type it.
In the Spirit of Revolution
ALL COMMENTS ARE WELCOME. THANK YOU