[Let there be no mistake about it: this blog post, like my previous 170 or so blog posts, is part of some strange ongoing semi-unconscious typing accident.]
VICTORIA, BC. (The City of Victoria and adjoining territory has been occupied by indigenous people for over 4000 years. The Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations people are a part of the Coast Salish ethnic group and descendants of the following family groups: Kakyaakan, Teechamitsa, Whyomilth, Kosampsom, Swenwhung, Chilcowitch and Chekonein.) — Last weekend nearly one thousand parrots quacked away downtown Victoria, echoing some form of vague but seemingly genuine probing discontent heard throughout the planetary centers of modern material accumulation…
That aboriginals, the global south, and radicals all over have been saying that something’s awfully wrong with “white culture” for centuries is, of course, not all that relevant, right? This one’s born of gadget-wielding postmodern kids, so… right: Pay attention! But, actually, from what I’ve read it’s notably a little different here on Vancouver Island. I’d even say… a little more intelligent. So credit where credit is due: at least here in Victoria, BC, The “People’s Assembly” started off right away questioning the appropriateness of the word ‘occupy’ within the context of ongoing colonization.
From an Oct 15 pamphlet [my emphasis]: “ […] OCCUPY & DECOLONISE VICTORIA
We are on occupied land. Victoria is located on Lekwungen (Songhees) Territory. The Lekwungen, along with their neighbours the Esquimalt and WSANEC (Saanich), are often referred to in English as ‘Salish peoples’. The occupation of these territories has an historic relationship with the colonial and economic forces that are being criticised in the global movement on October 15, 2011. The global critique is based on the notion that our social, economic, and political relationships must be organised in other ways. We urge that the organisation in Victoria be motivated through a different ethic and expressed through other metaphors than ”occupy.”
The persistence and growth of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the creation of a North American Autumn, perhaps even a Global Autumn beginning with the Arab Spring is impressive. Organizers and participants deserve admiration for the effective dissent they have accomplished, and the constructive possibilities they have opened up in an age defined by the despair. The despair of a uniform world defined the 9/11 era of home foreclosures, prisons, financial disaster, wars and a dis-empowered public that comes with it all.
“Occupy” is more than an unfortunate banner to run a new social movement through. […]” — SOURCE: http://www.smithpolitics.com/?p=94
But as for what’s happening in New York…. I don’t know. This is a “revolutionary” movement alright… a-hum… with its communiques read in full on mainstream media. “We The People!” “We are the 99%!” [A blogpost at Fellowship of the Minds,”Who are the 1%? is informative about this aspect.] “Tax the rich!” What is this, some rerun of 19th century ideologies? A side-show to keep viewing numbers up? Hopenosis, the sequel?
Perhaps we’re all so thoroughly embedded in the system, mere opinion is finally SO irrelevant, all and any viewpoint can be included with no risk for the system to roar along… Just like me: I can say whatever the hell I want. I doubt anyone cares. “Movement For Economic Justice Gains Global Momentum” Surrrre…. Like an unstoppable train. uh-huh. Right. “We’re winning!”, I read. Saw that on a wall in Seattle, too. Again? (Who’s the “we” here anyhow? Ancient forests? The salmon? Clean Water? Families? The US military?) Count me among the cynically “entertained”. The river of materialism has burst its banks… Orcas in Puget Sound are so toxic with human-made chemicals, they classify as “hazardous waste” when they die nowadays. To just name something. We’re winning… Yeah, tweet that one again… How delusional can a herd get?
CNN the other day: “From an ironic Ronald Reagan reference, “Mr. Obama, Tear Down this Wall,” to a police-friendly “Every cop is one of the 99%,” the posters reflect a movement that refuses to limit itself to a single, concrete goal, even when its elders say it cannot remain fluid indefinitely.” [CNN Source] “Its elders”? Unnamed. Right… Yow, CNN, reality has remained fluid since time immemorial. It’s not going to let up just for you any time soon. Just saying. But I digress.
But perhaps it’s just that I aim “to see the world… with eyes unclouded”, to put it in Japanese anime’s ‘Princess Mononoke’ terms… Eyes unclouded by hatred, that is. Including hatred of that supposed “1%” I’m told to be wary of. Count me out. I’m part of the 100%. So to speak. In fact, I’m part of the at least 108%. Multi-Dimensional Intergalactic would be nice, but for the purpose of planetary politics, mere ‘humanity‘ is as narrow as I’m willing to go. Pretty broad anyhow if you consider all our relations.
I have been following this “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) phenomenon since well before its media-grabbing breakthrough. In fact, already back in mid-July, I received an email from a friend with the poster [see on the left] from the Vancouver, Canada-based Adbusters (magazine) that started it all. Cool poster, I thought. For a brief second I even considered it, just in case this could turn revolutionary. The pitching was vague enough to have a chance to let the imagination fill in the space. The question, ‘What is our one demand?’ is like a koan that stops the mind. It’s like… “What is the sound of one all-inclusive group clapping in unified agreement?”, or something. Right… Clap clip clop? I’m not expecting an applause any time soon. And I like it that way.
–> If I really had to pick something, perhaps that could be “my one demand”.
But, unfortunately, applause is already being directed on cues. Just as the Tea Party in the US was completely hijacked by right-wing paranoid Republican Party sociopaths like Palin & Co, here the pathetic Democratic Party lefties are hijacking the show for their own agenda-setting too. The Michael Moore’s, Chomsky’s, Amy Goodmans and Barsamians are framing the phenomenon, and their framing becomes the goggles through which unsuspecting spectators perceive what’s going on. Same bunch of entrenched spineless liberal suckers who tried to co-opt Seattle’s anti-WTO protest in 1999 too… Just add PsyOp “Anonymous” statements blurring fact and fiction… into channels of predictable outcomes… Left Gatekeepers to tell us what liberalist über-nonsense to believe in… This is quickly turning into some of the most entertaining (and sad) bullshit I’ve seen in years. Tweet tweet… (Get a grip. The revolution, if there’s even a remote chance for anything deserving that word, will not be tweeted, either.)
I see, though, that the anarchist organizing principles, from open dialogue, inclusion to formal consensus decision-making [<– click for a manual], and direct action have immense potential. It’s fun and empowering to be part of a non-hierarchic dynamic that naturally brings out creativity (and natural hierarchy even!). Perhaps because of this learning opportunity this model will be applied in some of the businesses participants work at. That might be as good as it gets. I won’t hold my breath for more. Personally, I’ve never been able to introduce it into a workplace, though. From spiritual associations to educational institutions, the resistance to non-hierarchic power dynamics appears to be insurmountable. Apparently, conventional “leaders”, no matter how unconventional what it is they’re busy with, appear die-hard attached to their imposing power roles, and simply not willing to give that up. That’s what I’ve seen. All that rests is the option of simply walking away. More often than not, it seems non-participation (in key aspects of modern civilization) is the only way to maintain some sense of sovereignty and dignity. I believe it has been that way for traditionalist aboriginals for many centuries, and it still is that way for anyone else also blessed with a sense of inalienable sovereignty.
And while I choose to participate in many ways (using modern money and high tech for example), fundamentally I do not consider myself a citizen of conventional society. I have made several attempts in the past decade to “reintegrate into conventional society” and they pretty much always left me deeply disillusioned and sometimes even pondering suicide. I’m at a loss. I want to belong, but I do not subscribe to nation-state identity, I do not believe the legal system has much merit, I don’t resonate with representative majority-rule democracy (hence I’ve never voted in my life and I’m actually proud of that). I consider fish, trees, even rocks ‘people’ too. I was born into this global modern industrial messy situation and any consent I’ve given to it has essentially been given under de facto coercion. (Although I got a bag full of tools to make this sound a lot nicer too…). I’m a sovereign human being. See also THIS.
My choice of non-participation now lies in mainly my refusal to collude with the causal paradigm, that typical modern way of perceiving everything along linear time lines in terms of cause and effect, with its side kicks of blame, perceiving problems and insisting on ‘solutions’. This sort of zooming in on “a problem”, with the demand for “a solution” is just mind games, re-digesting the known. I have no faith in that anymore. Many people are seeking a conclusion. All conclusion is judgement, all judgment is conclusion, whether it is blaming the 1%, fiat currency, war spending, technological progress, some ideology we don’t like, or the global casino… How about no blame? How about admitting simply being utterly confused? At least start with acknowledging people as sentient beings, not just “resources”.
How about engaging a creative process, letting our imagination loose, getting insights through shamanic journeying, consulting with higher-dimensional intelligent beings, and honoring everything that repulses us for its mysterious medicine? How about INSPIRING some of those 1% “super-rich” (yet oh so poor…) to support the arts more or sponsor programs that improve lives. It’s inherent to humans to want to help others. We’re like that. Goodwill and compassion are what has always united humanity, the 100%. Stop cutting it up into camps. We’re all in this together.
I think it’s perfectly okay to say that we don’t know what we’re doing. Well, I don’t really know what I’m participating in, to be honest. I don’t quite know what our technologies, including the machination of money, is doing to me. I get hints from the natural environment. Looks like it’s being exploited, compartmentalized, paved over, altered beyond recognition… Money is a nightmare. Otherwise perfectly kind people act like manipulative deceiving and/or undeniably greedy assholes. The modernist semiotics of ‘money’ seems to have something to do with it. But I really don’t know what to make of it all anymore… Yet I do think that that (the semiotics of money) is “the code that should be cracked”.
I hear the wind in the oaks and distant highway noise. The roar of a small water plane. I haven’t heard the honking of the cruise ships when they come or go in some time… Saw in the paper the last one left, thereby officially bringing an end to the ‘tourist season’. Only ferries now. A black and white cat walks in the sun by the oak I like to sit under. I hear the hum of my laptop’s cooling system. Most of the electricity is actually produced on the mainland, brought in on ugly power lines. I’m reminded of how plugged-in I am, for everything… from communicating through global telecommunication networks, petroleum-based art supplies, my gas-guzling car, all the way to my favorite foods, sometimes shipped in from thousands of miles away. (Mmmm coffee…) It’s depressing. A little awareness always seems to involve such penetrating sadness. Who can raise a fist with a truly open heart?
This Victoria People’s Assembly proposal sounds pretty good, though…:
– Acknowledge that we are on Lekwungen land, territory that has never been ceded and although complicated is Treaty territory.
– Acknowledge that Lekwungen, WSANC and other First Nations from the area continue to endure despite great pressures.
– Will take responsibility to learn the history of Vancouver Island and surrounding area, including colonial legal history and the Douglas Treaties.
– Will resist framing Indigenous Peoples in evolutionary and euro-centric ways, whether through environmental, technological, civilizationalist or racial terms.