Dear Society to Which You, We, She and He All Belong:
So we rocked it, right?
Dang diggitty we did. And are. And will, still. The beat don’ stop until the break of dawn.
And it’s always dawn somewhere.
We know some people out there find us raggedy, unkempt, and perhaps congenitally disorganized. And by nature we surely are highly suspicious of organization. Chaos, we get; chaos we like. We understand that from the joyous, raucous frenzy of the subatomically chaotic flowers the life we all know.
Organization, however, we fear. Because we know—because we, like 99% of all of you, have in the hardest ways learned—that, all too often, what “organized,” practically speaking, translates into is, “Screw you, outsider.”
Next thing you know we’re all on the outside, and the only people on the inside—where, as it turns out, all the things like food and money are—are those who, in one way or another, have made organizing a primary purpose of their mean, exclusionary little lives.
So, yes, we tend to take a more organic approach to the whole idea of power hierarchies.
Speaking of which (and as you’re probably aware) city governments all over the country have now deployed against us their black-booted militia, rousting us, in the middle of the night, from the public spaces we have been both literally and figuratively occupying. It wasn’t hard for their baton-wielding machine to achieve its goal. We are, after all, a peaceful collective. We are to a marching armed battalion as a sand castle to the rising tide.
Now you see us.
Now you don’t.
And sure enough, darkness does cover all manner of sin.
They called garbage stuff that meant so much to us. They so casually hurled so much of our lives into dumpsters.
The media machine, in its constant need of a safe narrative hook, likes to talk about how OWS lacks a cohesive statement of purpose. So, before we disappear altogether (or, more exactly, before we morph into a new manifestation), let us say this:
You know, we know, why we’ve been here—and are here yet. And we know that most of you, in spirit if not in body, have been here right along with us, through the cold nights, the exhaustion, the inspiration, the stress and joy and laughter of it all.
You know the source of our anger. You know the locus of our fear.
You’ve watched your money disappear. You’ve seen your opportunities diminish. You know with what disregard you have been, or could be, pushed aside. Many of you have seen the open road of your life become a narrow, unnavigable little path into a darkness you don’t want to go.
You’ve held and watched your young children, and felt the furious terror of knowing that their future has been greedily, wantonly leveraged against them.
We’ve all done these things. To one degree or another, most all of us have experienced the great American dream becoming the disgraceful American nightmare.
We who Occupy don’t have a “clear message,” because we are the clear message. We’re the canary in the coal mine. We’re the first responders to the American economy blowing up, to the tragic break in the system. The only difference between us and those who haven’t physically joined us is that we live upstream, nearer to where the dam broke.
And now we’re swimming, treading water, trying to keep our possessions from floating away. Look at us out here—and so many of you, out there—so wet! So cold. So shivering.
And with winter now coming hard upon us all.
And look at those who purposefully and meticulously caused this terrible flood, so high up in their warm buildings, so confident the frigid waters they so blithely let loose will never reach them.
We fear that decency, for its own sake, no longer counts.
We fear that right no longer makes any might at all.
We fear that what matters most about the human heart and soul matters least to those who now control America.
They took what is ours—our homes, our money, our jobs, our future, our concerns, our right to control what happens to us—and turned it into fat, rich food—which they then ate.
Gobble, gobble, gobble.
Speaking of which: remember us this Thanksgiving. If only for a moment, please include us in your prayers about what you want, for what you hope, for what you’re glad you have. And if this year your Thanksgiving isn’t all you wish it to be, bear in mind that there’s always next year. Maybe next year things will be better for you.
And maybe they won’t be, of course.
Either way, it couldn’t hurt you to buy a tarp. Eight by ten is a good size: triple-stitched, water-proof, heavily gusseted at the corners. We recommend you get one with brass grommets spaced two feet apart on each side. That’s the kind of thing that can be of real importance when the hard rains come.