Happy Birthday Ochi!


When Occupy Wall Street started, I was here in Stuttgart... glued to the livestreams and chats.  I wished I could be in NYC... and then when Occupy Chicago started, a year ago today, I wished I could be there too.  I was so taken by OWS that I considered giving up my studies so i could go occupy in a tent... or as Chicago had to, on the streets, roaming around, taking shifts.  But I followed through on my "finish what you started" ethic, and kept on with my studies.  One factor in my selection of a Master's thesis topic in Chicago was... yep!... so that I could take part in Occupy Chicago (and I admit that I ended up spending more time on Occupy than on my thesis work.)  Three days after I got off the plane, I was at a GA in the Ochi HQ on Cermak and jumped right in to the April 7th organizing. At certain points I felt like I had jumped in too deep, and felt burned out... but in retrospect, I suppose the accumulated eagerness to get involved at Ochi for the previous half-year ended up propelling me forward faster than I expected. The next 3 months in Chi were a trip... from A7, to Food Not Bombs, to Woodlawn, to Mayday, to NATO, the whole Chicago Spring... those that were there know what I'm talking about.  I learned lessons and transformed in ways that will affect my life forever.
Happy 1 year anniversary, Ochi <3
we will continue moving forward and pushing the boundaries of social and political awareness... slowly but surely... until the grass, the inevitable life-force, comes pushing through the cracks in the pavement, the marble, the institutional structures that protect the capitalistic machine... just like it does on all the old ruins... and a new, healthy, vibrant, and holistically- oriented society emerges, one in which people respect one another and the environment.
one in which people dont go hungry or have to slave away just to survive.
one in which success, or convenience, doesn't translate into trashing the earth.
one in which people realize that our earth can provide for everyone, rather than perpetuating this constant, violent state of competition.
one in which people recognize their own power internally, from within, rather than powering over others externally in order to feel secure.
one in which people realize that our strength comes from our community, from sharing talents, and love and compassion... rather than this individualistic, judgmental, "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" mentality... because it takes a village.  
one in which people examine information and evidence on their own on order to form an opinion rather than parroting out what they heard on the news or from their higher-up at work as if they know that's the truth.
one in which people respect a diversity of ideas and philosophies instead of putting each other down in order to feel smart, or worthy, or "chosen."
one in which people admit that they might be wrong, instead of insisting that they are right and then walking off the cliff like a fool with their eyes closed...
one in which people realize that we actually know so little about the universe, but we are open to learning about reality.
it's just a matter of time until we get there... the question is, which side of history do we want to be on?

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