Thursday, 27 September 2012

On The Soapbox: Symptoms & Disease | The Occupied Times

It’s been a pretty life changing nine months since I took a tent and became a part of the Occupy movement in London. Following eviction I came home to Blackpool in Lancashire and found Cuadrilla (mining company) breezing through with plans for shale gas exploration and exploitation of the Bowland Shale in the region known as The Fylde; a well-populated area of prime agriculture and tourism. It feels like having been a part of tackling the primary cause of society’s illness with others in the Occupy movement, I now find myself with equally determined others, dealing with a symptom; albeit a really urgent one that must be tackled now, before any further harm is allowed to be done both here and in the rest of the UK. 

I sense a futility in easing symptoms, whilst the disease rages on; damaging so many aspects of society and am torn as to how to divide energy and time. It is as if involvement with single-issue (symptom) fights, entangles us in something that is all-consuming and leaves little left for cause-of-disease fighting. I haven’t found a balance or solution; just keep counting on winning the battle against fracking, quickly and cleanly with a sharp slice of truth through the ludicrous PR, marketing and powerful lobbying. 

Protest groups are always with us - whilst enduring solutions remain evasive
I wonder if this is what always happens? Do people act when they recognise a danger/injustice and then get so caught up, they cannot get out and tackle the true cause? Maybe that's why protest groups are always with us and enduring solutions, evasive? The struggle against corporate greed’s unjust control over our governments is fought in pockets of resistance and I see the Occupy Movement as a potential solution; through its ability to unify these pockets and focus attention on the cause rather than the symptoms.

There is though an advantage of being part of Occupy and then going on to join local groups that are so admirably standing their ground. The link between cause and symptom is ever-more clear and sadly, the resulting view, evenr-more ugly. Whether it’s fracking, banking, privatisation of services, LIBOR manipulation, corruption in government, dodgy election results, misleading media, intimidation of whistle-blowers and protesters, wars created for efficiency and profit in energy sector or any of the other clearly insane activities – it is the one disease of system that is at their root.

 Bloodied mothers & raping for resources
Watching the news, I’m bewildered by the tragic, confused faces of children; set against backdrops of war, with bloodied mothers by their sides. 

I don’t recognise landscapes raped for resources - being heralded as a way ‘forward’.  

I’m just plain dumb-struck that none of the bankers, financiers, lobby-loved politicians, lords or CEOs have appeared in court in light of the countless scandals (crimes) they are embroiled in.

But most of all, what I don’t understand are the people; the individuals who fulfil roles in councils, governments, banks, big media and big companies. How do these individuals carry out their soul-less tasks each day; tasks each must be aware, will eventually result in harm to people, harm to planet, harm for the future?

Whether it’s a Councillor, easily bought with promises of power; a politician no longer heeding his electorate and instead feathering his own political nest; one of the cogs in one of the wheels in some part of the financial sector that contributes to the whole that puts governments (and therefore people) in debt; or the CEO who knows the next cut to cost, though it will pay out big, may just involve a bit of risk to the environment, the people living in that environment and the future generations that were rather ‘banking’ (!) on that environment – each and every one of these people is an individual, of the whole that is ‘we the people’.

These granddads and mothers, husbands and aunts, they’re responsible for and to future generations, like the rest of us; yet, I watch their lips move and the sounds come out and I do not recognise them as being ‘people’. They are mouthpieces for whoever pays the money and seem more enslaved by their own lifestyles than those of us who haven’t clamoured up the pole to their level of ‘success’. Yet they seem trapped - too scared to slip down the pole. 

That there’s even a pole, disturbs me
They cling tight to their place in the hierarchy, grasp hard at the handhold in the pocket of the guy above and clench buttock cheeks in determination to remain, invisibly chained to the greasy pole marked ‘success’. But what is their success? Measured only in wealth and status perhaps it could rank them high but this measurement would be a slap in the face for fairness and true insight; it is proven (and individually known by the vast majority) that ‘success’ may include money and status but does not require it. Genuine success smells better than money and fits more comfortably than a manufactured status-suit. 

How can they do what they do, when they know (must know), what we all know? How can they tick a box that harms lots of people, places and futures? How can they give the nod to laws that make the future’s uncertainty – certain? How can they contribute to holding us on course, for ever-more unjust, abusive situations?
What happens when they go home? What happens when the warmth of family, pets and relaxation covers them? What happens inside their heads after having just said, “My day was fine” to someone who cares that they exist? What happens when they tuck into bed; does the dark truth of their day’s deeds finally hit them?

Originally published:
On The Soapbox: Symptoms & Disease | The Occupied Times

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