When the gods dance...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Oakland crackdown backfires: the genie is out of the bottle

Oakland crackdown backfires: the genie is out of the bottle

Posted: 27 Oct 2011 04:45 PM PDT

You can crack down on a human skull, but not on a revolutionary spirit. The genie is out of the bottle — and there is no way to put it back in.

Revolutionary citizens of the world. Last night, we started a Facebook page in disgust with the police brutality against peaceful protesters in Oakland and in support of Scott Olsen, the US Marine Veteran for Peace who suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling after being shot in the head with a “non-lethal” projectile during the violent police crackdown on Occupy Oakland. The fact that 6,000 of you have ‘liked’ the page in less than 24 hours, leaving truly heartwarming well-wishes and messages of support, is a testament both to the unsurpassed bravery of Scott and the spiritual strength of our movement.

What we are rediscovering every day, as we take to the streets and squares of our cities around the world, is that there is no greater force than love and no greater catalyst for change than solidarity. However many blows they may bring down on us, however many bullets they may fire at us, however many tear gas canisters, flash grenades and water cannons they may unleash on us, however many of our heroes they may try to injure, arrest and take away from us, one thing is now abundantly clear: a revolutionary spirit has awoken that can no longer be repressed through brute force. The radical imagination has been stirred. The genie is out of the bottle. And there’s no way of putting it back in.

What we are witnessing is a change in the collective consciousness. The shedding of fear and the demise of the invisible dictator inside our heads. This is the awakening from a long and lonesome slumber. Something has changed in our perception of the world. When we see the images of people mobilizing in solidarity around the globe, we realize we are no longer alone. We are part of something infinitely greater than the mere sum of its parts. Each and every single one of us is a magnificent being worthy of dignity and respect. But it is only when we come together that the true essence of our humanity is revealed for what it always already was. At last, we are reclaiming our true nature. We are a social animal. And love and solidarity are the glue that binds us together.

When we saw the images of Scott’s bleeding face in pictures and videos being distributed over the Internet, something changed deep inside. First, incredulity. Outrage. Sadness. But then, a mere 24 hours later, the backlash. For every action, there is a reaction. And a “hippie” reaction… is quite a fucking thing. As word about Scott’s precarious condition emerged from his Oakland hospital, the news quickly did its rounds in the global village. In a matter of hours, thousands of concerned citizens took to the streets of cities across the US and Europe. And lo’ and behold: just one day after they had been violently evicted by an army of riot police, 5,000 unarmed Oaklanders led by a corps of US Marine Veterans marched into the heart of their city, tore down the barricades that police had set up around Oscar Grant Plaza, and took back their square!

At the same time, as solidarity protests took off across America, thousands mobilized in New York, bringing Broadway to a standstill and sending police forces into desperation as they playfully evaded the claws of repression and danced defiantly through the streets of Lower Manhattan. Shortly thereafter, the general assembly at Zuccotti Park voted unanimously to donate $20.000 and 100 tents to their brothers and sisters at Occupy Oakland. On the same night, the assembly at Oakland called for a general strike and mass day of action, urging students and workers to walk off work and join the movement. It is in moments like these that we finally realize we are no longer alone. We are no longer just individuals. We are one. We are legion. And we are ready.

An injury to one is an injury to all. The world is watching. We are all Scott Olsen.

Scott’s medical condition has been upgraded from “critical” to “fair”. We wish him a full and speedy recovery and will stand by him and his family as he continues his heroic struggle for life. I also want to use this moment to express my heartfelt sorrow, support and solidarity for my good friend and brother J — you know who you are. I love you man. You have been in my thoughts all day yesterday and today. I share your pain.

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