Skip to content

02/02/2012 Occupy London

February 2, 2012

There was a wedding at St. Paul’s on Saturday.  The wedding party came out whilst we had an event celebrating the right to protest.  A guy called RowdySuperSt*r was doing a great set on ‘our’ stage and the wedding party seemed really happy to pose for photos in amongst us.  Of course we gave them enthusiastic good wishes !  and they seemed even happier !  The occupation is under quite a stress at the moment.  It’s very cold.  The eviction is delayed until at least February 13 and the balance of the camp has changed, so that our more vulnerable occupants can seem to pre-dominate.  What to do?  It set me to thinking about the realities for those of us who have ‘caring’ responsibilities beyond, or away from, Occupy.  I now have care of my grandson – a pleasurable, ongoing, commitment which I have happily undertaken since he was a few months old.

Once upon a time I was occupying Greenham Common.  I was the mother of 4 children and for a series of reasons I lost custody, care and control of them, with my residence at Greenham being cited in court.  It’s a long story and not one I intend to revive here.  Just the same, as I have seen people at Occupy stretch their significant relationships to breaking point, heard the stories of other people who have lost the care of their children and spoken with the homeless  at the occupation, the relationship between activism here, as at Greenham, the loss of family and/or a sense of community, is too significant to be ignored.  The dedication required to maintain a momentum to address issues of social and economic injustice inevitably attracts people who have a direct experience of either or both.  Not, to be sure, everyone, but a proportion large enough to be mentioned. If you add into the mix the lack of a significant challenge to the status quo, the vacuous responses of  party politicians, the alienation of most of the population from any sense of  personal empowerment or any belief that their voice can make a difference, you have all the ingredients which make the Occupy movement so important.

I’ve written this because I understand that most of you, understandably, are not going to pitch a tent on a pavement, but what you can do is consider supporting Occupy vocally, (loudly or quietly) thinking about the issues we are trying to raise, change your bank account to the most ethical bank you can find (at the moment we only have credit unions, the Co-Op, Brittania and Triodos, with varying degrees of satisfactory accountability,) please add to this list if you know of something else ordinary people might do.  What I also know is that the only other possible challenge that can be made, within mainstream politics, is to demand that the remnants of what used to be called ‘the left’ regroup and re-energise to support the reconstruction of a movement that can sustain and support the aspirations of ordinary people.

Meanwhile, wish the bride and groom much happiness .

Advertisements

From → Thoughts

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: