I am choosing hope and solidarity. Tonight, as the United States remains mired in sexism, climate change, a pandemic, and the greed of the 1%, I choose hope and solidarity. Together we are strong, and together we can win a new future for each other. I have to believe that we can win. It is our duty to win.
Ten years ago, I started going to meetings in Tompkins Square Park on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to assist in organizing an action called Occupy Wall Street. Though I hoped to make a difference and for the action to be heard, demanding an end to economic inequality in the United States, I had no idea what would happen. I had no idea that I would be sitting here, 10 years later, looking at the fact that more socialists have been elected into office than any time since the 1930s. I had no idea that nearly daily, I would run across one reference or another, in the media, to the Occupy Wall Street movement. I had no idea that the political imaginations of millions of people worldwide would be opened to new ways of engagement and organizing, on and offline.
I had no idea that 10 years later, we would be sitting here, watching the Earth spin into chaos. We are in the middle of a growing global pandemic due to lack of vaccines in the Global South and vaccine resistance and anti-science sentiment in the Global North. We are watching vast swaths of the Earth either catching fire or drowning under superstorms as millions of people are about to be evicted into the deadly whirlpool of homeless life.
We live in homes we cannot afford because wages have not risen, indentured servitude has made a comeback in life in the United States with the anvil of student loan debt, and adequate healthcare or housing is out of reach for most. The experiment of the United States is over. The experiment of what could happen in a society created by settler colonialism is over. The land is destroyed. Humanity is pushed forward with the threat of a cage at the tip of a gun.
Are you ready to organize? Are you prepared to galvanize your friends and family to support a General Strike? I am. These fools in elected office don’t represent us. Power is conceding nothing in the face of a global pandemic and the fires and floods of climate disasters. The time is now to shut down everything until we can see a path forward.
At the very least, in the United States, a Green New Deal and Medicare for All would soothe much of what is killing us presently. Yet, those who do not represent us keep withdrawing the resources we need to thrive. Billions more for the military-industrial complex, of course, the oldest profession in politics.
It is my hope that you will join me in the streets, walking out to greet your neighbors in local public spaces. Perhaps, not quite beyond the spying eyes of Facebook and all its incarnations or outside the manipulations of Google, but in the outdoors, we can (safely) debate and determine our future together. We can organize and work to fight the total catastrophe of the present moment.
Join me in choosing hope and solidarity. Together, we are strong, and together, we will win.
Priscilla Grim, is a digital strategist, writer, and Nuyorican based in Brooklyn. Her involvement with movement media teams have included the Occupy Wall Street social media team on Facebook and Twitter, The Occupied Wall Street Journal, and the We Are The 99 Percent tumblr blog. She served as a cofounder for RealPunkRadio.com in 2010. When not surfing a standing desk, you can find her gazing at graffiti and listening to music in a city park, typing in hope for a tipping point, benefiting all who live on the earth.
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