A Sea Of Umbrellas: The Police Claim 'Only A Hundred Thousand'
There is something happening on our planet.
The World Wildlife Federation released a report which stated that, since 1970, the numbers of all animal species on Earth have declined by over forty per cent. The numbers of Mountain Gorillas, Snow Leopards and Bengal Tigers, and African Elephants and Rhinos have been reduced by encroachment, climate change, and poaching. Today's children may grow up to see them all vanish.
The world is suffering through two major military conflicts (Syria / Iraq; Ukraine) which affect millions -- as refugees, and brutalized, subjected populations -- and a half-dozen smaller wars, all the result of religious intolerance, generations of hate, greed, and a high-level power game between a very few players. And short of one side killing the other, there seems no solution.
Kurdish Refugees Escape Into Turkey (Reuters / Murad Sezer)
Across the world, in the name of ... well, somebody's god, anyway; people are subjugating, raping, stealing from, and murdering other human beings -- who, in fact, are dying in extreme pain and fear. No one seems to understand that this is wrong, and that nothing in any world could ever make it right.
Particularly in the United States, the gap between Those Who Rule and The Rest Of Us grows wider, to the point that we can't even see how well off the truly rich are. And they continue to work to create a future of inequality -- a new Gilded Age of unseen Owners, and a sea of Proles -- and to them, this is the natural order of things.
We endure the continuing weight of a rigged international financial structure, of the WTO, of Monsanto's GMO foods; we buy gasoline-powered automobiles that are unsafe, drugs that are too expensive. We take on $300,000 in debt for an education to land the perfect job that will allow us to buy overpriced suburban McTract homes full of formaldehyde fumes. We're told to want sex and power, to win the Lottery and leave the Sea Of Proles behind.
Our communications are monitored. Whichever major political party we choose, every side appears bought with the same coin. Entertainment conglomerates owned by corporations or Oligarchs tell us to sleep, always sleep, and suppress the voices which whisper in the backs of our heads that It isn't supposed to be this way. We are being lied to, and led, for someone else's benefit.
Obligatory Cute Animal Photo In Middle Of Blog Rant
Then something else happens. Something spontaneous.
People stand up -- whether in Tarhir Square, or in spitting distance of Wall Street, or in Hong Kong -- in an understanding that all oppression, lies, and exploitation is the same, no matter where it occurs and whom it effects.
The people stand in opposition. They stand with each other. And in those moments, they are examples of our best selves -- brave where we often retreat, resolute where we falter, and principled where we bend in compromise.
And if we can't physically join them, we can stand in admiration, and remember a lesson that a group of people on this continent understood a long time ago: That ideas have physical substance, weight and meaning -- and that there are ideas worth "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor".