Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Occupy Wall Street's Declaration of Principles: A Reflection

And in the midst of dismal news (well, reading about my own church and many others these days tends to bring the heart way down), I take heart from the bravery and idealism of the young people who care enough about the future of the planet and their own future to protest on Wall Street these days.  And I find the Declaration crafted by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which the New York City General Assembly just officially accepted for its legislative record,  moving.

Common Dreams has just published the Declaration.  I like how it weaves together analysis of economic oppression with analysis about exploitation and destruction of the environment and about the deliberate way in which our economic overlords pit us against each other on the basis of class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.

The movement to occupy Wall Street is absolutely idealistic and youth-driven, and will continue to be mocked by the mainstream media (when it's not simply ignored by them) for that reason.  But movements like the movement to end the war in Vietnam also began among young, idealistic citizens who put their beliefs (and in some cases, their lives) on the line to demand that American democracy remain true to its foundational ideals.

Those young folks were similarly mocked.  But their courage and conviction changed history.

My hope is for similar sparks of change to come from the current growing new movement of protest.

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