In just over ten days, over 40 cities have emerged to join the Occupy Wall Street effort. Erupting in an astonishing way, this movement is bringing together diverse backgrounds and skills to work together to address excessive corporate influence in government. Browsing through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the depth of participation and excitement is right there. Contrasted to the excruciating politicking of Congress, in which solutions, if they are decided upon, do not go into affect for a year or two, many are feeling the hope that real change can emerge from this leaderless movement in which people are leaving their homes to occupy their communities.
In New York, we have been witness to the generosity of many anonymous people dropping by Liberty Square with donations of food, medical supplies, tents, tarps and sleeping bags. Helping the campers is not unique to NYC. In Chicago, protesters reported the same solidarity in the occupation developing outside the Chicago Federal Reserve.
Meetings are being held almost daily to start a nationwide Occupy effort in October; already the list of cities that have signed on is jaw-dropping, and surprising. Birmingham. San Diego. Las Vegas. Omaha. Boston. Lexington. San Francisco. Philadelphia. Kansas City. Washington. Tampa. Denver. Pittsburgh. Buffalo. Charlotte. Richmond. Austin. Salt Lake City. Asheville. Miami. With new occupations popping up every day.
If occupiers cannot get answers and solutions from government through the ballot, they will do it through the power of their presence in an “inconvenient space.”
We are at the beginning of a monumental change in this country, and the world. The system won’t change itself. It’s up to us: our bodies in the street, our talents put to work, our passion given life. Systemic change requires more than “protesters” and “activists.” You. Your family. Your friends. Your neighbors. All of us. Now.