so occupy london has moved on. and people are asking what it was all about? me too.
well for me, it represented people with different (though related) agendas. it showed them coming together. it became a space where they spoke, put forth their ideas and shared them. above all it was a place WHERE PEOPLE LISTENED. there are many voices in society and not enough ears. we are all guilty of it, being so busy shouting our opinion we have no time to listen to anyone else’s.
if you visited, you would have seen people listening to each other; listening to opinions, hopes, wishes, concerns. and because they listened they were able to consider whether they agreed and their own opinions could be modified. nothing will start to change without people listening. because people listened in this space and respected views they may or may not share, the debate was able to move forward.
of course it didn’t answer questions or solve the problems of society. do its critics really think that could happen simply because some people went and camped outside a building? it never pretended it had the answer – unlike politicians and those omniscient voices from the right. but it did say ‘this is wrong and it must change’.
it posed questions. it showed anyone who was uneasy about the never-hope, never-believe, never-question death grip capitalism exerts on all of us and our desire for something more human, that we weren’t the only ones thinking like that. it was the putney debates of the 21st century. it may well achieve as much – and as little – as they did. like all umbrella organisations, it came, had its moment and then went. but it shoved a crowbar into the door marked ‘no entry’ and opened it a tiny crack to let us see just how blinding and beautiful the light can be on the other side. it begged us to open the door a bit further and see what happens.
where do we go from here? well, where do we want to go?
and to the everlasting fury of those who close their ears and will not hear of anything better or different; those whose own dreams have been denied so long they cannot bear to see anyone else dreaming; those who wish everyone else to fail the way they have, it was achieved without violence. how pissed off were they about that?