This has been an particularly moving few days of importance for all of us, and a very important week.
On early Tuesday morning the Occupation was cleared out of Zuccotti Park. People were arrested, and are still in jail for simply sitting in peace in a park. The NYPD, DHS and Sanitation Dept disrespectfully cleared out were people’s belongings, all the encampment groups, the kitchen, the 5,000 books of the library, media, everything… All trashed. Including the beautiful altar space that was built with the care and donations of thousands of visitors to the space. This was also unconsciously and disrespectfully trashed.
I personally am not particularly attached to objects or symbols of spirituality or religion. I don’t currently have a deep hurt in the loss of these objects. Yet, for many people, these objects were extremely sacred. Rightfully so. What I am most deeply concerned and hurt about is the total disregard and disrespect the local and nation Government and Police have towards people, the harassment of peaceful protesters, and the disrespect of people’s religious freedom to express themselves. It’s an unconscionable, yet, coordinated and condoned action that was handed from the highest order of our Government – not by Bloomberg – but through the Department of Homeland Security, The FBI, and ultimately, our elected leader, President Obama. (see: http://occupyolympia.org/fbi-
Subsequently, in deciding on the park Occupation, the courts reversed a decision made earlier and said that we did not demonstrate our 1st Amendment Rights to have tents and sleeping bags on site. That may be correct… In so far as camping gear goes. But I strongly believe that our rights WERE taken away in our expression of religious freedom and unity, in the shape of community altars, and as a group establishing a platform of community and worship. This may even in fact, be the central legal argument we do have a group to maintain our presence where we like.
I call upon each and everyone to consider this as a pivotal point of our future together as a people and society. When we cannot maintain or establish a place of worship, prayer, and a platform for expression where we would like to, because the Government and President find our ideas threatening, or our local Politicians ignore us, and they supersede our citizen’s rights through the direct use of force, harassment and psychological warfare which they normally export against terrorists, then this is a time for us to stand together and say enough is enough!
I do not believe that any one consciously moves with wrong or unjust nature in their acts. I believe people are afraid and misguided. Like Mother Theresa once said: “I am not against war. I am for peace.” Our movement is not one that is against anyone. We are “the 100%” in my eyes, and anything less, is creating a divide. We can only succeed in unity. But we have to be FOR principles and values. We must stand up FOR our rights. Anything less, and all else will fail. And I don’t believe we have that luxury of standing by without dialogue and group action any longer.
I am thinking about moving or branching out our Occupy Yoga group meditation class to Union Square. In fact, I believe the entire movement would be best served by moving up to Union Square. I believe it is time to expand and move ourselves into visible and open dialogue with the public. I believe it is nearly irrelevant to hold down in secluded Zuccotti Park… I say let them box in the park. Let them box in an EMPTY park. Look how stupid they will look. When they box us in… We will simply move. And we will Occupy every park in the city if we need to. I believe the cleaning was a positive action. I believe we have actually been liberated to meditate, pray, protest and dialogue where ever we like.
Today is a huge day of action. Let’s show New York City how we peacefully congregate, dialogue, meditate in public, how we pray, and how we bring the spirit to the movement, with peacefulness, love, grace, with nimble and active intelligence, and with dignity and respect. Show up at 3pm at Union Square… Then march with the groups at 5pm to Brooklyn Bridge.
Then please meet at 6pm tonight at Zuccotti Park. Please come dressed in all white if you can for a large group meditation, so we can gather together. We’ll tune in and create a place of spirit. And then we’ll decide where we want to move, and we want to accomplish in unity.
Best and Bless,