It’s been three months since the first Occupy Wall Street camp-out, and one year since Mohamed Bouazizi doused himself in gasoline in Tunisia and ignited the Arab Spring. If only somehow he could have understood, as he was dying, what he was setting in motion.
Those who put out a simple call-to-action to occupy Wall Street certainly never thought it would be the protest that started the biggest progressive mass social movement in the U.S. in decades. Can any of us ever know what our actions will accomplish?
Today, civilians are battling soldiers once again in Tahrir Square and Syria, while in New York and Oakland, police are arresting protesters in the streets in a movement that, contrary to many claims, is not waning, but shifting gears and finding its way.
The whole world really is watching and, so it seems, caring. After a thousand of us were gassed and attacked by police at Occupy Oakland in October, the Egyptians held a solidarity march to the U.S. embassy in Cairo, decrying police brutality in Oakland. We returned the favor with a solidarity march a little while later. Did either event make a difference? It did for those who participated and watched. As we globalize solidarity, these connections will become more and more real.
Three months of Occupy, one year of Arab Spring. So short, but it seems like forever, as if the clocks and calendars were reset. Where do we go from here? Forward. That’s all we can do.
Yes, keep going, whatever you do. The next page starts today. It has been intentionally left blank. What will you put on it?