The Winter of Our Discontent

South Korea General Strike, Dec 28, 2013. Image via Twitter.

South Korea General Strike, Dec 28, 2013. Image via Twitter.

If you have not realized it, there is something happening that makes the protests regarding police brutality stemming from cases like Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown look quite tame and mild. It is something that has began sweeping across the globe in such a way that we recognize it as the most under-reported story of the year.

Egyptian demonstrators gather outside the presidential palace in Cairo on June 30, 2013. Image via Twitter.

Egyptian demonstrators gather outside the presidential palace in Cairo on June 30, 2013. Image via Twitter.

Because mainstream corporate media has little time to get the real story, most focus on the easy, sensational headlines with astonishing photos that will help form the opinion they think you should have about certain events. The Occupy Movement in the United States is one such example.

 

 

Taksim Square - Gezi Park protests in 2013. Image via Twitter.

Taksim Square – Gezi Park protests in 2013. Image via Twitter.

When Occupy erupted, media focused on the tent cities in public spaces and the fight the protesters had to occupy public space. They aimed their cameras at the most dramatic of people, shunning the multitudes of adult average middle-class college-educated and employed people that were participating in the movement. They interviewed people to ask what it would take to get them to go home, not what it was that had brought them all together in the public spaces in the first place. And finally, the media turned the cameras and recorders off once the police were done ransacking the camps, but before they were done arresting the protesters and destroying the momentum of the movement. The press declared that “Occupy WAS a movement” and that “Occupy is over” in their various reports.

An anti-American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) protest in front of the Palmer House in Chicago. Police made violent arrests of protesters gathered to protest the lobbying group’s conference. August, 2013. Image via Twitter.

An anti-American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) protest in front of the Palmer House in Chicago. Police made violent arrests of protesters gathered to protest the lobbying group’s conference. August, 2013. Image via Twitter.

When you don’t follow up on a story because you are so sure your conclusion is all neatly packaged with knots in the ribbons, you sometimes miss the big one. Within months of the “Occupy wrap-up” in the United States, we began to see voices that echoed the exact same messages we heard from the Occupy people in various countries. The last 6 months has seen an escalation in these uprisings to the point that the list is shorter for countries that are not currently seeing protests than those that are.

 

A Mi'kmaq protester raises a symbolic feather in efforts to stop natural gas drilling on what used to be her tribe's land. Canada, October, 2013. Image via Twitter.

A Mi’kmaq protester raises a symbolic feather in efforts to stop natural gas drilling on what used to be her tribe’s land. Canada, October, 2013. Image via Twitter.

Every continent, nearly every country has had this happen. The reactions are all the same. The government of the country cracks down on the protesters, the international community says that was a bad move, and the protests are silenced. These governments then say the same to other countries as protests continue to encircle the globe.

What is happening? Humanity is evolving. Centuries ago, we were based on cultures that did service work, farming and hard labor. As we approached industrialization, more of us became educated and invented ways for others to work more efficiently. We used to need governments to protect us from ourselves and each other. As we have evolved, we now find ourselves protecting each other and ourselves from our governments.

Protesters in support of Kobani. Image via FaceBook.

Protesters in support of Kobani. Image via FaceBook.

We have come to understand that children everywhere need and want the same thing; education and the promise of a future. We have come to recognize that to govern successfully, a balance of women and men must participate in the decisions. We observe it is the NGOs in the world that accomplish the greatest good, not those passing laws to control rather than lead their people. We are learning to embrace our differences at a time our governments and media are attempting to cause us to fear those differences. Our religions contain many of the same truths, yet we have been taught to not listen to this possibility.

Photo credit Imgur

Venezuela, February, 2014. Photo credit Imgur

From a different angle but with as much significance, we observe the changes in our social consciousness. We no longer are equipped to swallow the BS being fed to us by our respective authorities. We are literate, we are intelligent and we are tired of the stench we smell from the lies and hypocrisy we are constantly exposed to.

We no longer accept lies that our water is clean, our air is pure and our soil is fertile. We know what you have done to it. We no longer believe the empty promises about how you will take millions or billions of aid money to assist the most vulnerable, only to watch it disappear in corruption and embezzlement by those making the promises. We know when you say you will treat us all with equality and respect that it means we will be imprisoned, beaten, tortured or forgotten.

Photo courtesy Al Jazeera: Elections are set for February and political polarisation is intensifying [Reuters]

Photo courtesy Al Jazeera: Elections are set for February and political polarisation is intensifying, Thailand,  January 2014. [Reuters]

We trusted you with our futures. You stole that from us by denying us education for our children, not supplying affordable housing and sufficient healthcare, allowing our food supplies to collapse and our jobs to disappear. When we attempted redress, you closed your eyes, ears and souls to us and shunned your responsibility. When we came out in the streets with a unified voice, you turned military equipment against us as though we were an alien army invading your sovereignty. When did you decide we were your enemy, not your citizenship?

Events in Kiev on 2-18-14. Photo By Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe/http://www.unframe.com/ (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Events in Kiev on 2-18-14. Photo By Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe/http://www.unframe.com/ (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

We have also learned that you like to label us. When we say no to our lands being taken for corporate profit, you label us as environmental activists. When we protect our own villages and cities from attacks from government forces, you label us as terrorist organizations. When we reveal your lies, you label us as spies and traitors.

We can not sit in silence and complicity as you continue to kill our planet for the sake of profit. We refuse to accept that borders define who we can agree or disagree with. We reject the notion that governments know more of what a people need than they do. We see your greed while you force austerity upon us, giving our future to today’s corporate giants, politicians and top wage earners.

We are on the rise, not on the demise. We will surface in every city, every country of this great planet until we, the people, have united our voices and brought the waited and needed changes to the world. You have had you chance and proven you are unable and unwilling.

Now it is our turn. WE ARE OCCUPY.

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