Saturday, June 30, 2012

Open Space

Jason makes a point

So Jason has his meeting. He has drawn a diverse group. And as I asked him, everyone who has come has a constituency, people who will follow them. There’s a black pastor from Harlem, Alinski trained and familiar with what organizing means. A Latino organizer from the Bronx who organizes sports clubs and youth peace marches. A young Muslim couple who are fed up with living in a police state. A young Jewish human rights activist from the Bronx. Steve from Occupy.  A man from New Haven who rode the train almost 2 hours to get here. A young Occupy activist who’s upset that other purists criticize his interest in electoral politics. 
Micah from Berlin. And Kelly, long time AIDS activist and Open Space facilitator. 
Everyone is here because Jason asked them to be. And because they all sense a deeper connection between what they are doing and what others are doing. And no sense of how to make that connection. These are the serious seeds sown by OWS, seeking their way to blossom into full scale...full scale...well, full scale.
Stop and frisk seems to be a magnet that draws energy. The city policy that presents itself has having lowered the crime rate when in fact the rate had dropped drastically before stop and...went into effect. 
And this too, begins to spin. Jason has been meeting with threatened health care workers. He sees how it all fits together. Too much so. The more it expands, the harder it is to get hold of. 
And the issue does this work link up with what the black grassroots clergy have been doing? And Metro IAF who highlighted this issue  this in their assembly. There’s this whole ego/ownership thing. 
Somehow the discussion morphs into how the last time around  the shootings at Kent State pretty much tore the heart out of the progressive student movement in the US. When the other side gets the guns out, all of a sudden the equation changes. To look up at a rooftop, see the guns pointed at you, well, thats different. Peace and love will not necessarily change the world. 
The black pastor shakes his head. For us, we take our lives in our hands just going to the bodega to get some skittles. You hear me? 
And of course I do. 
Long term. Patience. Step by step. Relationships. There is something real here. Jason is doing it. I will come to the next meeting.
Micah feels it too. Something happening. Sometimes he feels like coming back to the states. To be part of it. I think of the road from the day Occupy moved in to today. The road from Kent State and Ohio to New York City. To today.


  1. As I am quiet new in Jewish, looking around for some Jewish information> Got something important here. Nice to get it.
    Have you seen this video It helped me get over my internal anger.

  2. Jenifar...thanks for your comment....the video on forgiveness gave some very valuable advice....