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Occupy London 22/02/2012

February 23, 2012


The news was rightly dominated today by the tragic death of Marie Colvin, and a French photographer, holed up in Syria. The brutal scene being played out in Syria is pause for thought, and, I dare to suggest, a reminder of why some of us choose to challenge the status quo in overt ways. Whilst we witness the hammer coming down in Syria, and the long thin needle being inserted in Greece, we, at Occupy, I think acknowledge the relative comfort of our situation – for now.

Although what we, at Occupy St. Paul’s, are demonstrating has, it seems, little relevance to these more brutal realities, we might be wise to reflect that it’s only a matter of time and timing.

So, today, the court rejected our appeal – this raggle-taggle crew of  people were given their judgement – get out of here or we will force you out.

Tonight we held a General Assembly under the entrance to the cathedral, it was blowing a gale and the rain was horizontal, so, under this relative shelter, we came together and strategised the future.  We used human mic. (meaning somebody says a few words and then those words are repeated by the assembly) and we talked about the eviction, and peaceful resistance and what next.

Then quite a lot of us went to the pub.  The pub, on Ludgate Hill, that we have been going to since October 15, and in which we have held meetings, used their facilities (loos) and generally felt welcome.

As I sat there, surrounded by people I have worked with for the past 4 months I was aware of how I feel I know these people, and, how aware I was that I don’t know anything about their biographies.  We all started talking about this. Talking about how little information we have about each others’ personal lives.  Little glimpses here and there, of course, but nothing substantial.

In conventional life we ask : what do you do? do you have a partner? where do you live when you’re not here?  In other words – who are you ?

Somehow, we haven’t done that, but, as we agreed, we have worked, intensely, together all this time, without this information, and still, somehow, without all this ‘information’ we have got to know each other in the precise freedom of who we are, and, what’s even more evolutionary, is the reality that we actually care for each other – warts and all.

At one point I questioned what almost seemed to be the a-sexuality of the occupation.

Tonight I thought it was a triumph.

I celebrate the fact that Occupy London has created an extraordinary balance of the personal and the political, and that we haven’t upset that balance in the way we relate to each other.

I also celebrate the fact that, although I didn’t believe that anything would match my experience at Greenham Common, this has.

As we did mic check in the pub thanking them for their hospitality, and gathered on the pavement outside, somebody went to the middle of the road to take a group photograph. A young couple, passing by, got into the shot, and we gently ribbed them about this being a ‘group photograph’ and he said “Who are you?’ and we said ‘We’re Occupy’ and he said ‘I’m from the US . WOW’ and she said ‘I’m French, merci’, of course we had to say St. Paul’s, just up the road, blah, blah. But we kind of made their night.

I want to make your night, or day.

We all know that how it is won’t work, or, at the very least, it won’t work for very long.  So, I guess I think we ought to do something about it.

It ‘s hard work, it’s very hard work, but my goodness, it’s worth it for the love !



From → Thoughts

One Comment
  1. Gillian Booth permalink

    I am so with you all at St. Paul’s in my mind, went to bed last night imagining……wondering…..praying.., and while I slept, you sent this to us. Thank you for your clarity and your honesty, Liz. Sending love to all of you there.

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