The First Communiqué from Occupy Duluth.
As citizens of Occupy Duluth move through our initial weeks of the occupation, it’s important to remember our strengths in this moment of uncertainty. It’s important to remember that we face difficult challenges, but have also made significant gains. The victory over Minnesota Power for our right to peacefully assemble has been meaningful, as well as our ability to organize a base of operations. We are participating in a great social experiment. There are going to be setbacks. There is going to be adversity. We can take comfort in the fact that we are not simply “radicals”. Rather, we are the people; we are mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, workers, students and human beings. We are the 99%, the backbone of this once great country.
There is a grand umbrella of social transformation above us from all over the world. A collective consciousness is waking that realizes some very simple truths. The resources of our earth are not infinite. They cannot be measured in terms of perpetual growth. We are entering a new paradigm of understanding with our relationship to nature. For thousands of years people have lived by the simple truths of the land. However, in today’s world, most of this truth has been bled dry and gutted for profits sake. What has happened to us? What have we learned from conquering nature? How has it harmed us? What does this say about the myth of human progress? If the future holds such magnificent potential through our amazing technologies, then when will we see these benefits in our daily sense of fulfillment? We are depressed, we are afraid, we feel alone. We slave our whole lives, while paying interest to “responsible men” sitting in ivory towers. We slave just so we can be educated, live in a decent home, and have a family. The only way to live the American dream is to be in debt. Debt is the engine of our economy. We destroy our true wealth- our air, water, earth, and our time- trading it for scraps of paper, Nestle drinks and Tyson nuggets. The question arises for us when considering our current human condition. How did this way of life carve itself into stone? If humankind has unlimited potential for intellectual creativity, why are we incapable of imagining a better way? As humans, we seem to question everything. Our science attempts to leave no stone unturned. And yet, we have systematically developed a social structure that literally eats itself alive.
We are Occupy Duluth. We are here to ask questions, and to listen. We are here to facilitate the great transformation of human consciousness that has been under the surface for far too long. We are under constant threat from unaccountable government and corporate power. We face unprecedented environmental catastrophes. If we are ever to evolve as a species, the time is now.
We implore the people of Duluth to turn off your televisions. Shut down your video games. Disconnect from the spectacle and join us in the real world! Every moment spent isolated in our homes in front of glowing boxes is a moment people in the real world are engaging in actual decisions that impact our lives. United we stand, divided we fall. The people are too big to fail, and we cannot back down now that we have spoken up. By starting local, working together we can plant seeds of change here at home, and work to cultivate change for larger global issues. By setting precedents, we can build a working model for sustainability.
Our one demand is that we participate in our own democracy.