Friday, December 16, 2011

Why I'm Joining Occupy

If I could time travel back to any time period, it wouldn’t be that long of a trip.  I adore the 1960s, in particular the hippie generation.  I feel I understand more of the hippie philosophy than my own parents who lived through the time period.  Ask them what a hippie is and they will tell you about bell-bottoms and marijuana.  Ask me what a hippie is and I will tell you about the rebellion of generation against a structured environment where gender, race, and religion all had roles to play.  The hippie generation broke down walls by visibly caring about all people.  They protested against hatred and violence done to those outside of their circle, made love across party lines, and strived for a world where everyone was accepted, to the point of even creating mini-versions of those worlds through communes. 
I use to get upset with my parents who didn’t participate in the movement to the extent that I would have like to.  An activist at heart I have tried my best to be a hippie in the 21st century.  I marched against the war in Iraq, spent nights on the street with homeless, visited communes, cared for future generations by helping sustain the earth’s health and even own bell-bottoms. 
I am constantly aware of my generation’s lack of reaction to the country we live in.  Constantly wondering why we are content to go about playing games online rather than volunteering to help others in worse situations or spending time with our children.  I am also constantly aware of movements that spring up.   I suppose I have a fear that someday my children will look back as say to me, “Mom, you were alive when people were protesting this, what was your role?” and my response will be “I wore bell bottoms.”
So that brings me to the current movement in which my generation is finally finding a voice.  Occupy.  For the first few months I ignored Occupy simply because the media made it seem like the movement made no sense.  However I recently started paying more attention and one does not need a briefing on the movement to realize what the movement is about.  I need only look at one protest sign and see that my generation is fighting for our future, to eliminate the gap between rich and poor, to secure a safe retirement, to fight against corporations running a government of the people.  These Occupiers may not be creating communes and lighting up (or maybe they are), but they are protesting, which is one of the most visible ways to create awareness.  It is saying something with your whole body.
Today I am ready to join. I am sorry I am late.