It’s a new world

I am greatly encouraged by three things about the Occupy movement, which began on Wall Street.

First of all, the commitment to both nonviolence and decisions by consensus–both choices so necessary to each other–is essential to peaceful change and to the growth of those who participate. Violence has a way of degrading the discourse and truncating any movement.

Secondly, the refusal to adopt an agenda before action was brilliant, and the open discourse that ensued has permitted the kind of networking and new networks that we haven’t seen since the 60s. Having been there then, I am elated to see a new generation adding their own brand– especially social media skills–to time-tested methods.

Lastly, they are holding teach-ins! Sharing knowledge on an equal footing is a mark of respect for each other and a strong commitment to the group’s wellbeing. Groups that share in such ways grow, learn, and, usually, survive long enough to really make change.

Is it too much to hope for one further development? Now that they (it would be “we” but I immobilized myself with a physical injury at the worst moment) have found inspiration and an example in the Arab Spring, will our young people make the kind of contacts with young people in Arab-speaking countries that will eventually forge new international ties and erase some of the damage from our ill-advised wars and drone attacks?

I don’t want to burden a young movement with too high a demand, but I dream it will be so. And I will be tagging along and learning from them as soon as I am able.

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