When I wandered around the Strike on Wednesday my favorite sign was the one that said Occupy Your Heart. I think a few different people made them. That one appealed to me because it seems at the root of what needs to happen, in my opinion. Occupy Wall Street/etc is about being upset about financial stuff. That's true. But it's also about our country's desperate need for hope. We thought Obama would fix everything. Unfortunately he's just one man.
What I saw on Wednesday changed my life because even though everyone didn't understand exactly what they were doing, they were motivated to action. What can we accomplish with this much emotion? That many people showed up for the General Strike because they want hope for a better tomorrow. They feel like their needs are not being heard nor met.
And this all started with some anarchists, near as I can tell. Or at least people with different ideals than me. I don't mind. I'm grateful that the punk kids have had the balls to get this started while I hide at home. I absolutely respect the fact that they have more courage than me. I owe them a large debt of gratitude. They have more nerve, and more anger. I'm not sure if they have more vision. I don't understand much about the end goal of the destructive parts of the Occupy movement. I'm waiting.
I'm more interested in the building side. I don't think I am the enemy of the anarchists. I think I am the other side of their revolution. They have things to say. They have things they can accomplish. I don't agree with all of their methods, but I accept that revolutions have unintended consequences. That is why I originally thought to just repair the damage. Not because I want to shame the anarchists. But because I accept a few broken windows as the cost of business and I want to be on the business end.
I am frankly terrified of what is going to happen in Oakland over the next couple of years as the city recoils in horror from the shock of the financial impact of the Occupy movement. Millions already diverted. This is going to hurt the city. I'm sure that services will be cut. I don't know which and that scares me. I worry about who is going to bear the brunt of the unintended consequences of this movement. I wonder which innocent children will be affected.
I wonder and I feel deep guilt. Because it won't be my kids. I'm not in the 1%, but I'm in the 5%. My kids will be safe. That isn't true of everyone's kids. I feel so bad that some other woman's children may suffer because I was one more freakin body at the General Strike. Money is not an infinite resource. The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of someone else's money.
I believe in the principles of democracy in a small group setting. I believe that my voice should be able to be matter. Not more than other peoples, but just as much. I was told that offering this money to the movement is a way of trying to gain power, and I guess it kind of is. But a freaking small amount of power in exchange for me feeling like I did the best thing I could do. Other people have time, energy, and manpower to spend on bettering the city. I don't. I think those things are more valuable than the money I have, quite frankly. That is what will get the work done. The people who care. Not the money. But the money helps. The money can make or break the movement because money appearing at the right time means that the right strategic things can happen.
I want someone to be building. I don't care who. If you want to build, please come talk to me. I believe in you Occupy Oakland. You Occupied my heart. You showed me how much power you have. You showed me that you are mighty and influential. How can we do things to help other women's children be as safe as mine? It's not fair that so many children are unsafe. Please, I want this Occupation to make the world a better place. Not a place with less money to spread farther.
We have to build.