The 99% are a diverse lot. When you try to be inclusive, you’ll find yourself conversing with everyone from ballerinas to butchers. What is it that brings us together, and more importantly what holds us together? In the five months since Wall Street was occupied, many of us have looked across a park or a meeting room and wondered how we would ever be able to work with the people on the other side. What does a retired university professor have in common with a drug user who is homeless?
We are unified by our shared pain. Change doesn’t happen until it is less painful to change than to continue in our current course of action. And a lot of us are feeling a lot of pain from the multinational corporate control of our political system. Whatever our personal “symptom”, the source of the pain can easily be traced to the financial corruption that controls our election system. It’s not just the politicians who are under their control; it’s our own thinking that has been twisted to such an extent that we turn on each other rather than band together.
The Unity work group of Occupy Ann Arbor is changing that. Every Sunday from noon until 2 PM, we meet informally to build bridges between groups that appear to have little in common.
Returning hope to people, so that they DO something, even if it’s just walking around waving signs, is a great first step. Meeting each week, connecting with like-minded folks, is much better than sitting at home feeling depressed and helpless.
Some people despair because we aren’t “making progress”. We have decades of brainwashing to overcome, so it’s a bit premature to declare that the Occupy Movement has run its course. The success of the petition drive to overturn PA 4 was built on a foundation of nearly 20 years of unsuccessful attempts to exercise citizens’ rights. And yet today, there was a Victory Lap in Lansing as the signatures were turned over to the Secretary of State for official verification.
If you want to feel less depressed and helpless, join us on Sundays to find common ground with the others who are looking for a change. We’re in this for the long haul, so we’ll be there when you’re ready. Check the events page or the Unity Group’s page for details about the time and location.