Ignite: An Unspoken Address to the Occupiers (Occupy Melbourne)

A PDF of my 4,000 word statement can be downloaded here: Ignite.

I woke up in City Square again this Thursday morning. The sun was rising, the vibe was characteristically joyful and positive, and the conversation was critical and engaged. Not only that, seeing the City Square full with tents was an inspiring spectacle, one that never gets old, and it must surely be prompting some reflection among those who walk past with confused stares. Exactly why they are confused, I am not entirely sure – as if the need for our occupation were not perfectly obvious!

Anyway, I returned home this morning for a shower and found myself compelled to write an “unspoken” address to the Occupiers. What I produced was a polemical outburst, rather than a calm, academic address. But that was what my mood dictated, and who was I to interfere. Were I a great orator, I would have liked to deliver this in person with fire and passion. As I am who I am, my quiet pen must suffice as my weapon.

Whether or not my fellow Occupiers agree with everything in this statement, I cannot say. No doubt there will be many points to take issue with, and I certainly do not claim any authority to speak on behalf of the movement. However, I hope this is seen as a genuine attempt to contribute to the conversation. I look forward to continuing this conversation soon. For now, however, I’m exhausted and need a few hours sleep.

A PDF of my statement can be downloaded here: Ignite.


4 Responses to “Ignite: An Unspoken Address to the Occupiers (Occupy Melbourne)”

  1. Su says:

    While I support this protest, I mostly just work on the changes I want in my life that I think are a strong demonstration for others which means I am not waiting for others to make that change. This means that my life is joyous & rich and equitable NOW

  2. Samuel Alexander says:

    Thanks Su, I think your strategy may well be the best strategy. You may have read some of Ted Trainer’s works, and he is entirely on the side of making changes at the personal and community level, rather than engaging in “top down” political struggle. As you say, personal change and community engagement are things that can be done NOW, in a way that political reform cannot. This is essentially the Transition approach, which I know you are very familiar with.

    At the same time, I feel that the Occupy Movement is an opportunity to bring more attention to issues that might prompt people to initiate a Transition Town, and that is really what has been my driving force beneath my engagement in recent days. There is too little public debate about issues such as inequality, ecological degradation, peak oil, etc. so if the Occupy Movements can provoke some discussion, then that alone may justify them. But you are quite right, there is something very empowering about just making changes NOW, and living one’s values as best as possible immediately.

    It is probably also worth pointing out that the Transition Initiatives are arguably subject to some criticism for being insufficiently political. Structural change could assist Transition Initiatives greatly, as I’m sure you would agree. Ideally, I’d like to see some merging of Transition and Occupation. I certainly think that the best next step for the Occupy Movements is to return to their communities and begin making changes there in Transition-style, while still pushing important issues into mainstream political debate. I intend to develop this point in a future post.

  3. Steve Jones says:

    Great paper, the intro is pure gold!
    Alas I think there is a clear conspiricy to encourage property ownership as a form of passifying the population. I reckon as soon as most people own property, they are fooled into thinking the status quo is good for them…..or at least they fear if it was overturned, their precious property prices would plummet – which they would, because they are a bubble based on an unsustainable way of life…

  4. Mr. Point says:

    Thanks Su. Unfortunately there are millions upon millions who do not have a choice in the matter, and they suffer while their children go hungry needlessly, because not enough is done in their support.

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