Occupy is Theater is Education
Our tactics become our strategies become who we are.
How do we step each demographic into creating a deeper, more beautiful, more powerful movement?
Choose some audiences, for example:
- Young people never given a chance to be energized and given only unhappy choices by the system, who might be inclined to noisy protest.
- Mellow middle-class liberals, mostly white, many of whom were more radical earlier in life.
- Less privileged people who have neither time nor sense of safety for rambunctious protest taken lightly.
- Decent people with more conservative mindsets who are not inclined to trust us, very disturbed by disturbances, but are swing voters, and clearly must be brought along as part of a deeper change in America.
What do they see? What happens to their sense of power? Do they sense real change, to pull them out of their stupor? Do we pull them in or build walls, or perhaps give them a sense that a new world is possible? Do we burn ourselves out or inspire ourselves?
- A big, loud, angry protest? Perhaps with a diversity of tactics, so a few windows get broken?
- What happens to people's sense of power? Who feels more empowered, or less empowered, when a window is broken? What happens to people who are showing up at their first protest when they go home and see that windows were broken?
- A strike that shuts stuff down?
- People meditating, doing yoga, lighting candles on corners. Smiling and making eye contact. Perhaps letting go of power. What do people see if they see a mob and a row of riot police, vs one person calmly facing and a row of riot police (or a tank)?
- Diverse races and ages? Or not?
My personal assessment: I feel half-convinced that real change happens mostly off-camera. Offering to help set up a garden on a neighbor's yard, having a potluck with local & fair-trade food, babysitting ...s are all amazingly effective ways to get neighbors to listen to your politics... that linking do-good individual actions with do-good movements is the key. Then when you have a protest or an election, the theater has more pull.
What happens when people see: