This is actually my first commentary on the Occupation in LA. I've taken quite some time to gather my thoughts, take in the various vibes, events and stories. End result: It's a diet occupation.
How fitting for LA to have a light, sugar free, decaf version of a political movement. Mind you, I don't want to completely discount it. There are some people that are working very hard to get things done, and to move forward. But...it's not moving forward. It's actually not really moving - it's a quite stationary movement.
Occupy LA is disorganized, discombobulated and too varied to make an impact. And that really sucks.
I live downtown and I've been down to the "campsite" several times. As you walk towards it, a myriad of signs and messages blast you. And they are all different. The Ron Paul fanatics have their chem trails signs searing blue against the dirty, grimy tents. You have the greenies hoisting tibetan prayer flags and imploring people to love their mother earth and recycle. You've got anarchists, socialists, communists and an arbitrary drum circle all clouding the political stage outside city hall that's already rank with compost, weed and B.O.
I spoke to three different tents regarding a presentation on corporate control and personhood that I wanted to give. It was like being on the phone with, ironically, a corporate help center. You need to talk to this person - oh, no not me, talk to this person - you know, whatever's cool, we're open to ideas, but talk to this person...AHHHHH!
I don't care how equal and PC you wanna be, but movements have to have a centralized leadership. The General Assembly that they hold every night at 7 is more like a come and air out your issues support group. No one is taking responsibility for this movement. No one is in charge. And in that same vein, this movement has no central focus.
Now, everyone has an issue that is the most important to them, that they feel trumps all others. That's fine. But understand the source of your issues. And no, I don't mean mommy and daddy. I mean corporate America. All issues: environment, education, health care, foreign policy, infrastructure, economy can all be traced to the corporate control of our government. Sound too simple and a little too conspiracy theorist? I don't want you to believe me. I want you to find out for yourself. Don't trust me - you don't even know me.
Ask Google. Ask Noam Chomsky. Ask Naomi Klein. Ask Amy Goodman. Ask former politicians, bankers, economists. Ask people that have more experience, more knowledge. I'm always searching for more information - always questioning the "facts." Read up and dig in. It's our country and that's our duty - to know what's going on with it.
And again, if on your way you find an issue that speaks deeper than others. Awesome. But know where it comes from, know the source.
Don't put a band-aid on cancer by screaming at politicians over troops in the Middle East. Understand that this thinly veiled democratic corporate crusade began on September 11, 1973 in Chile and has been ongoing ever since. Similar patterns arise in all the aforementioned issues.
This source connect, this common goal, is starkly missing from the Occupy movement. If leadership does not step up and claim a straight direction, this movement will fester and die in the muddy grass outside of City Hall.
And that would be a damn shame. Bringing people together is a feat, but mobilizing and effecting change is another battle that needs to be waged. And it needs to be waged now, before fleeting momentum crumples and the drone of nay-sayers and dark chuckle of corporate kings drowns out the intentions and passions of we, the people.