The Batsignal Crew Could Hear Us From the Window!

There’s a still image of the 99% batsignal in my previous post.  It was far and away the most amazing part of the event.  It gave us a sense that there was more going on than the mere act of marching from Point A to Point B. I walked far enough across the bridge just in time to see all of the text displayed:

Cars were honking like crazy when the batsignal came into view as they crossed the bridge. BoingBoing interviewed Mark Read, the man who oversaw the batsignal project:

Opposite the Verizon building, there is a bunch of city housing. Subsidized, rent-controlled. There’s a lack of services, lights are out in the hallways, the housing feels like jails, like prisons. I walked around, and put up signs in there offering money to rent out an apartment for a few hours…I got one call from a sane person. Her name was Denise Vega. She lived on the 16th floor. Single, working mom, mother of three.

I spoke with her on the phone, and a few days later went over and met her…

Her parting words were, “let’s do this.”

The scale of the environmental and economic crisis we are facing, it’s extraordinary. This movement is a response to that crisis. Our leaders aren’t responding to any of that in a way that is commensurate to the crises we face. And that one sign has always spoken to me. We have to throw off our despair about the future world we might be facing, because if we come together as people and humanity, we can change it. And what Occupy Wall Street makes me feel is that for the first time in a long time that might be possible.

That means a lot to me. This is choosing hope over despair. This is actively and resolutely making that choice. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be over in two months. It’s not going to be just the result of conversation.

…we could hear the crowd from the window. We heard them screaming, yelling. We had this idea that we would be able to mic check a short speech, and we timed the words so that it would fit with exactly how people would chant, just as they had been chanting these things for weeks.

There are multiple sensibilities drawing people into the Occupy movement.  One is a sense of anger over the economy and, increasingly, the response of municipal governments and mayors to the occupations.  Last night, that sensibility was palpable in the tone with which the marchers–myself included–chanted, “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street!”  However, the sensibility of which Mark speaks is much more productive.

As much as I want Bloomberg to pay the consequences of his attitude toward OWS, I much prefer a sense of hope and social connection as the motivation to create influential political and social structures. It’s healthier for the mind and it fosters a much more long-term focus on the outcome of the many efforts made by occupiers around the world.

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