Guest Post: Theology in Motion

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  November 6, 2011 — 75 Comments

[Pagan, mystic, and activist T. Thorn Coyle is founder and head of Solar Cross Temple and Morningstar Mystery School and lives by the San Francisco Bay. For information on her writing, podcasts, blog, and new video teaching series - Fiat LVX! - please visit http://www.thorncoyle.com]

We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.” – Paul Krugman, Economist

The occupy movement is important to Pagans because we understand just how important the right to a voice is and how it is essential in meeting the needs of all people… The voice and presence of any collective is the most important instrument that we can use.” – Wiccan Priestess Crystal Blanton

At its essence, the message of the Occupations is simply this: ’Here in the face of power we will sit and create a new society, in which you do count. Your voice carries weight,your contributions have value, whoever you may be. We care for one another, and we say that love and care are the true foundations for the society we want to live in. We’ll stand with the poor and sleep with the homeless if that’s what it takes to get justice. We’ll build a new world.’” – Starhawk, Activist and Co-Founder of Reclaiming

It may be a mostly “secular” movement, yet the term “Occupy” itself draws people to understand its meaning in broader terms—as containing an invitation to mindfulness and participation in ways that are simultaneously spiritual and earthly: Occupy the Earth, Occupy your Life, Occupy Everything.” – Pagan scholar Lee Gilmore

The Sacred Web

We do our sacred work on this earth, of this earth, with this earth. We enact theurgy -God action – theology in motion.

Not all Pagans or Magick Workers support the Occupy movement. I would not expect them to. However, I am unsurprised at the large number of us who do. We are used to linking the spiritual with the material, honoring the sacred in the baking bread, the programmed pixels, the words we speak, the trees, the earth, the sky. Some of us find comfort in humanity and some from our Gods. For me, the Occupy movement includes all of this. Also, Occupy is about the spirit of individual people striving to connect with one another, to feed each other, to fight for each other, and to lift each other up.

How have Pagans contributed to this, and why? Second Wave Feminists often said that the personal is the political, so I’ll start with myself: the whys can be found in my own personal history which you can read about here if you wish.

 


Meditating in public has long been my favored form of engaging in public action, that, working in my local soup kitchen, and providing spiritual tech to activists. After years of blockading, marching, and getting arrested, I took to sitting in silence as an anchor to large Direct Actions. So, after the incredible violence Tuesday the 25th, heading to downtown Oakland to meditate with others was my first response. Recognizing the need for porta-potties was my second. As a Pagan, one activity did not feel more important than the other. Both were responses to the sacred here with us, and both wished to fill a need. I continued to go out to the Occupy camp for meditation, while using Solar Cross Temple to organize funds for outdoor toilets and a handwashing station.

Many Pagans have had similar responses. Pagans and magick workers are supporting this movement of occupation in many other ways. I’ve had reports of Thelemites doing teach-ins in San Francisco, Witches organizing in Austin and Chicago, Pagans marching in Melbourne, bringing food and blankets to D.C., sending money and supplies from New Mexico, doing consensus trainings in Los Angeles, making magick in the streets, organizing rituals for justice, and spreading information around the globe. Some Pagans have even been harassed by Fox News for their efforts.

Owner of the Oakland magickal shop Ancient Ways,which hosts the country’s largest indoor Pagan gathering – Pantheacon – Glenn Turner helped with organization of Oakland’s General Strike, offering the shop as a distribution point for posters, talking with the mainstream media and closing the shop the day of the strike. As a long-term leader in Pagan circles she says this of her role helping with Occupy: “When there is a leader, people simply wait around. Here we know that no one but ourselves is going to step up. So we do.”

 


This is echoed by the words of Sam Webster of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn: “The Occupy movement is the first step in massively networked decision making, which is the only meaningful challenge to the hierarchical command structures that dominate our world and got us into the current crisis.”

Despite our petty squabbles, Pagans are good at networks. Those with a Pagan bent tend to look toward matrices of connection: in Nature, in our theologies, and in our groups. In this sense, Occupy is a dynamic enactment of our magical values. It also can reflect how we view and interact with magick and the world. David Salisbury of Capital Witch writes: “The first thing I noticed while attending Occupy DC was the type of energy the occupation as a whole was putting out. You could clearly tell that this was not just some solitary band of rebels camping in the park. What they held in their encampment was clearly connected to something far greater than just my city… Stepping into the encampment was like crossing the threshold into sacred space. I felt immediately grounded but also infused with power – the power needed to do major Work.”

The Power is Rising

That power Salisbury speaks of has been mentioned by many people involved in Occupy, not just Pagans. I have felt it myself, tears springing to my eyes at several moments. It reminds me of accounts from earlier mass social movements – the Paris Commune, the English Diggers – and is encapsulated by this quote from Mary Heaton Vorse, reporting on the Lawrenceville “Bread and Roses” strikes of 1912: “It was the spirit of the workers that was dangerous. The tired, gray crowds ebbing and flowing perpetually into the mills had waked and opened their mouths to sing.”

That singing spirit was strongly present in the music playing, dancing, marching crowds on Wednesday, during the General Strike in Oakland in which at least 10,000 people – if not more – shut down the 5th largest working port in the U.S. Here’s a helicopter viewof the crowd.

Reclaiming Witch Riyana has eloquently written about her experiences that day: “Imagine listening to… powerful voices singing beneath a nearly-dark sky and brass instruments blaring and drums grooving when the news finally reaches us, for the first time, over bullhorn and people’s mic that we’ve actually done it – we’ve shut down the port.”

I ran into many Pagans the day of the strike, including a lively crew that contained Riyana, Pagan musician Brook , and Reclaiming Quarterly editor George Franklin among other faces both familiar and unfamiliar. They enlisted me to help lead a spiral dance indowntown Oakland. David Wiegleb, owner of Fields Books, the oldest metaphysical bookshop in the country, danced with us. In speaking to why he was there, he said this: “The pagan philosopher Plato describes the character of a good city thus: ‘Clearly, then, it will be wise, brave, temperate [literally: healthy-minded], and just. As a pagan, I want to see my city fully express Plato’s civic virtues. However, it can only really do so in a nation that is also wise, brave, temperate, and just. In a world that is wise, brave, temperate, and just. And only if I embody them in my own sovereignty as well.”

Photo by Gae Sídhe

Gae Sídhe, who walked close to 17 miles shutting down banks and the Port that day said, “Ever since I came to identify as Pagan I’ve been devoted to the path of the Pagan warrior as manifesting today in the liberation struggle and revolutionary activism. I’m Occupying against the Big Lie, and to help plant a seed of a beautiful and powerful new Truth to come…”

Rhett Aultman, who has been out at Occupy Oakland, and live tweeted the Oakland City Council meeting Thursday night reflected: “As an atheist Pagan, my sense of moral mandate doesn’t come from divine forces but instead from my philosophical conclusions that the human condition is universal– that we must all struggle with the profound challenges of our mortality and drive to resolve the challenge of our mortality by making meaning of our existence.”

We make meaning of our condition, right here, right now. We make meaning with our lives, with each other. For me, this is sacred activity. Ritual is the process of making meaning. Occupy, to echo David Salisbury, is a form of ritual, a banding together of those who are saying: “This space, this time, is sacred. We matter.”

Thelemite, author and musician Gerald del Campo puts it this way: “The Law of Thelema is. We are subject to it with or without our awareness. You can tell the ones that have alligned themselves with it by the way they stand in opposition to socio-political issues which are diametrically opposed to Truth, Equity and Freedom – like the folks inconveniencing themselves and putting themselves in harms way at the various OWS protests all over the world. To see the world as it is, is easy because it is only a projection of the Demiurge: it is what we’re supposed to see. Nuit represents potential, and as such those that see the world as it can be are her lovers and soldiers for freedom.”

There is a world that is, a world that was, and the world that is becoming. We have a chance right now to co-create this world, to put our best thoughts and actions together and manifest something we can feel proud to have built. We can do this magick, if we choose to.

 

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Obsidia

    I like that this is not a “Protest” but an “Occupation.” That way, it is Positive Magick. This is about truly Occupying a Space with our hearts, minds, souls and spirits. A great inspiration to me is Caroline Casey, a wonderful example and teacher of Visionary Activism. That is, Activism that finds Allies in every world and leads to Unity with our Center Openness where we are connected with All-That-Is…..Blessed Be! I will see you here, there, and everywhere.

    http://www.coyotenetworknews.com/productcart/pc/radioshow.htm

    • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

      Clearly, you have a different view of what “Occupation” means and just how “positive” an idea/reality that is.

      • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

        Makes me think of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine.

        • Pagan Puff Pieces

          OWS has rockets and UN recognition? DAMN.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            No no, I think AC is saying that the OWS is more like the Jews trying to carve out a little place to call home after being exterminated, surrounded by a billion people with the imperative to kill them simply because they were their god’s first choice rather than third stringers like the Muslims.

            or that OWS is a terrorist organization. I suppose either works.

          • Pagan Puff Pieces

            So… Wall Street wants to kill Occupy Wall Street because OWS is God’s first choice other rather than third stringers like Wall Street, and OWS was given their encampment from a treaty as a nation of their own because OWS almost got exterminated, and so we’re seeing formal evictions, actual permanent housing, and military action on the part of an OWS government?

            Or that OWS has as history of bombings and violence that claim significant death tolls, making its point by terrorizing the organizations it protests against with threats of violence and committing mass acts of violence to set an example.

            I suppose neither works.

          • Anonymous

            Keep up with that hyperbole, NA.

            If OWS is a “terrorist organization,” then the Tea Party is one too…only more heavily-armed.

            Stupid comparison is stupid.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            And apparently Byron’s sarcasm reader is broken and can’t take a joke XP

          • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

            Nope, reading too much into it. I just don’t care for the name. Why not “PROTEST” Wall Street? Oh, well, too late now, the letterhead has already been printed…

        • Pagan Puff Pieces

          Ah, yeah. “Occupation” generally being something that’s used in the titles of rather negative things. That’s totally understandable, actually. I sympathize with you there.

          It’s hard to resist the smart aleck urge. It’s kind of part of why I post here at all, when I probably should hold my tongue, because, well… See my screen name? I guess I got everything in deep this thread unnecessarily and exacerbated the arguments. I’m sorry.

  • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

    “It may be a mostly “secular” movement, yet the term “Occupy” itself draws people to understand its meaning in broader terms—as containing an invitation to mindfulness and participation in ways that are simultaneously spiritual and earthly: Occupy the Earth, Occupy your Life, Occupy Everything.” – Pagan scholar Lee Gilmore

    Hmm, that’s not what I get from the term “Occupy.” Let’s see here…

    Oh, wait, here it is: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/occupy

    Etymology

    From Latin occupare (“to take possession of, seize, occupy, take up, employ”), from ob (“to, on”) + capere (“to take”).

    Oh my, well that sounds rather less than positive, but perhaps the word has changed meanings…

    Verb

    occupy (third-person singular simple present occupies, present participle occupying, simple past and past participle occupied)

    (transitive): To fill either time or space.

    (transitive): To live or reside in.

    (transitive): To fill or hold a position.

    (transitive): To conquer somewhere.

    (transitive): To hold the attention of.

    Well, the Occupy Wall Street movement certainly has done that. They have filled both time and space, and lived in it. They have held their positions, indeed it can be argued that they have successfully conquered the areas in which they have settled, and they have certainly captured the attentions of people everywhere.

    But this doesn’t sound all that positive to me. In face, the idea of an Occupation to me sounds much more threatening than it does liberating. The continued reports of mass arrests, violence on the part of the Occupiers, the rumors of sexism and racism (some of which has been backed as much more than rumors).

    Heck, the only real difference I’ve heard in their rhetoric and the rhetoric of another certain group is that they left off a racial qualifier when they are talking about the Bankers that ruined the country and their lives.

    When I hear the term Occupation (filtered through the lens of both philosopher and historian) rarely has the term ever had a positive connotation. Actually, it’s generally held a negative connotation. As for the “workers rising up” well that sounds a lot like the old revolutions that led to the Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany, or if we replace “worker” with “peasant” then the French Revolution. I can’t say I stand with the TEA Party, but I do have to admit that despite the allegations of racism, facism, and so on put on them, they’ve never been arrested, nor have they caused as much property damage as the Occupy Wall Street people have. The fact that a portion of the OWS is made up of Anti-facists (a group that traditionally looks as fascist as the fascism they claim to fight) doesn’t fill me much with hope at some of these events.

    No, all I see is a bunch of people screaming “we are the 99%! X has screwed us, make X pay! Down with X!” and I see a group that’s too eager to believe everything it’s told by those secretly funding and pushing it, while not taking the time to look at what really caused this situation or who is actually responsible.

    So some out there can insist this is a glorious movement to bring enlightenment and hope to the people. All I hear are the echos and the potential for more jackboots.

    • Pagan Puff Pieces

      I’d say that getting arrested isn’t necessarily a bad sign.

      Now, don’t think I’m applying this as a universal qualifier, because that would be dumb, but, as someone with family members who were arrested in the fight for civil rights, I think if you’re not getting arrested, tear gassed, beaten, and all that you’re probably not upsetting the status quo enough.

      • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

        I agree with you, but it also matters the why and how you were arrested. Arrests during the Civil rights movement tended to be of people engaged in non-violent protest, generally while engaged in respectful dialog. However, the majority of the arrests that I’ve heard about from the OWS is from people who were getting violent, or intimidating people, or invading private property. The arrested members of the OWS weren’t cuffed for sitting at a lunch counter or riding a bus, remember the cops did nothing while the OWS people would do things like take a crap on a cop car. For the cops to act, it generally has to be pretty serious.

        • Pagan Puff Pieces

          You don’t think sitting at a lunch counter or riding a bus would be written up as intimidation or invasion of private property?

          Not that I wouldn’t put it past a largely disorganized movement to lack a uniformly peaceful protest, or for a similar flavor of discontent to spur the growth of violent factions (which doesn’t seem to have happened, although in other political leanings, we have seen very violent-sounding rhetoric coming from protests that have seen no arrests or very little questioning from the media and the public, as well as public acts of violence suspiciously not called terrorism and quickly forgotten or disconnected from movements they share ideas with).

          Nor would I put it past cops to claim a movement has turned violent or disorderly as an excuse for arrests as they cover up their badges, to plant people in there to try to incite violence, to encourage unruly-looking types and drunks to go over there. I don’t know about where you live (where a minimum wage job gets you a decent sized apartment and plenty left over for goodies and entertainment), or to act and then come up with an a whole story and explanation that constantly changes after the fact, but the places I’ve lived have QUITE the history of hair-trigger police and bizarre acts of police brutality, or, at the least, things that don’t make me say “It must be serious if the cops acted.”

          • Pagan Puff Pieces

            Oh, fuzzbuckets. It got garbled and mixed up, and now I have dangling modifiers and such.

        • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

          Or raping people, or stealing, or destroying private property, or assault. All have happened during OWS movements.

          For the most part, the people of the Civil Rights movement were arrested for standing or sitting or marching, non-violent, legal activities.

          • Tara Miller

            I haven’t seen the new reports on these rape incidents. Could you share the links?

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            I’ve heard it too. I think both Fox and CNN mentioned something about it, but I’m not sure either gave them full news stories. Links would be nice though.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Ditto.

          • Anonymous

            I searched the news and found that there was this one guy who has been arrested for raping two women. (http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2011/11/02/man-arrested-in-sex-assaults-at-occupy-wall-street/)

            If this single dude’s actions mean that it’s a common occurrence, then I shall conclude that ALL members of the Tea Party are actually Neo-Nazis, because of Billy Roper.

            See how that works, hyperbole-philes?

            Turn off the talk-radio and Fox News for a day. READ your news, from a VARIETY of sources. Your blood pressure will decrease, and you will also find yourself much more educated about subjects in the news.

            And when something sounds “sensational,” double-check it with other sources.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Bryon, if that’s the only one, this puts the occurrence of rape among OWS and its spinoffs phenomenally *lower* than in “normal” society.

          • Anonymous

            To be fair, it seems to be more than the one arrest Byron mentions. Here’s a link to ABC news. http://tinyurl.com/6tnh3zw

          • Anonymous

            Folcwald: The article you posted only mentions one other incident of rape, (the statutory rape of the 14-year old), besides the ones committed by the guy in the article I posted. Hardly a crimewave.

            On the other hand, I did a quick search and found some articles about a prominent member of the Oath Keepers and Tea Party, who was arrested for raping a 7-year old.

            http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/tea-party-leader-arrested-rape

            You get a large, disorganized group of people, and plenty of nuts are gonna show up.

            The difference between the allegations that the Tea Party is racist and Christian Supremacist are different from these kinds of allegations…because there are plenty of examples of people making racist and Christian Supremacist comments as speakers of TP rallies. The TP did not sufficiently deal with these elements, so they became the “speakers” for the movement, and derailed what was not _originally_ about race or religion, and turned it into something that was.

            From the looks of things, the OWS people are trying to “police their own,” and that is even mentioned in your article. Maybe if the Tea Party had done that to the guys carrying racist or Christian Supremacist signs, or shouted down the racist or Christian Supremacist speakers addressing their rallies, then people like me wouldn’t have such a negative opinion of them.

          • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

            Someone already posted several, above; for more, please see my Facebook page.

          • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

            There is the difference of the Occupy movement being disorganized by design and the Tea Party is completely owned and operated by Tom DeLay and his cronies.

            The disorganization by design makes me a lot more confident in the Occupy movement, since anyone with any level of authority WILL eventually be corrupt.

        • Noman

          Arrests during the CRM were of various kinds. If you do not think there were violent people in that movement you’re crazy. Obviously you have a political leaning here as is evident in your recent post. I think there are bad apples everywhere and in every movement. MLK did his wife dirty for all the good he did.

          You say, “For the cops to act, it generally has to be pretty serious” which is pretty much bullshit because history is ripe with cops acting unfairly to the people they are sworn to protect. We do not pay them to kick our ass. Also let’s get it straight that the people who were part of the CRM who were not white did not have equal rights. Women still do not.

          I come from a family of cops and military men with friends in the military. Believe you me just because they wear the uniform of a kshatriya does not make them good at what they are supposed to be doing. My friend told me how his unit raided a home in Afghanistan and some of the guys shit in the people’s home. Is that cool? Is that right? So what they wear the uniform of the U.S. military.

          Based on what you have said the “how” and “why” of the arrests is soley the arena of the protestors. I’m not saying there are not assholes in OWS. I’m sure there are plenty. I’m an asshole in my family. The world abounds with assholes.

          “we are the 99%! X has screwed us, make X pay! Down with X”

          So far as I know the problem is with the politicians and their sponsers in the circle in which they pay politicians who work for them. This is why you will always come across loopholes in laws and why they can be exploited by people. This is why the rich don’t actually pay the taxes they are supposed to and why it’s okay for them to get huge welfare checks. The wealth gap has grown but according to you that’s insignificant. Poverty has grown, the lawmakers are still swayed by money and I’m sure any bill they come out with to deal with problems will be watered down.

          I suppose some of these OWS people want their country back but not like certain people in “another certain group” you mentioned where taking the country back meant how horrible that I have a man of color over me.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            A) I know there were violent people in the CRM.

            B) For the cop thing, see my response to Si-Hathor, please

            C) I’m not sure what the kshatriya have to do with American police or their procedures. As for the taking a crap in houses in Afganistan, did they use the proper facilities or was it right there on the floor, because while I’m sure there may or may not be issues with taking a crap in another man’s home, I am of the understanding that when you have to go, you kinda have to go.

            D) I’m not saying the OWS doesn’t have just cause. I’m just saying I do not like their methods, tone, and some of their language. The Nazis and the Soviet Socialists had just causes in their complaints, as Germany had been devastated for something not it’s fault, and Russia just plain sucked, but the outcome and language of those movements was not good by any definition.

            E) I have yet to see anything really significant in the Tea Party that has anything to do with Obama being black. Issues of citizen ship for the crazies, sure, but as for the rest I think it is supposed to do more with the trillions of dollars of debt, a bad economy, and the feeling that they are being screwed by their government. :P

        • http://paosirdjhutmosu.wordpress.com Djhutmosu Si-Hathor

          So pepper-spraying unarmed peaceful demonstrators is warranted, then?

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            Okay, let me clarify to both you and to Noman. When I stated that it had to be pretty serious for the cops to act, I was speaking to the modern day, where after decades of lawsuits, public outrage, and numerous other factors, the police aren’t as eager to whip out the cuffs and gas for fear of “police brutality” charges. Especially in regards to a group that has the moral support and backing (as well as possibly financial support and backing) of the media, unions, and the government.

          • http://paosirdjhutmosu.wordpress.com Djhutmosu Si-Hathor

            Yet, even given the lawsuits, outrage, etc. that you speak of, unarmed peaceful demonstrators have still been pepper-sprayed,etc. by the police. I am unconvinced.

          • Pagan Puff Pieces

            “Modern day?” As opposed to what? A single decade ago? A few months or years ago? A few weeks ago?

            And even with massive public outrage, it’s rare to see a significant corrective or punitive action when these things are brought to light that’s more than a simple slap on the wrist.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            I was thinking like the 1960’s when the cops used dogs and fire hoses on peaceful protestors.

    • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

      “No, all I see is a bunch of people screaming “we are the 99%! X has screwed us, make X pay! Down with X!” and I see a group that’s too eager to believe everything it’s told by those secretly funding and pushing it, while not taking the time to look at what really caused this situation or who is actually responsible. ”

      That sounds just like what people said about the Tea Party.

      • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

        hmm, very true. But there are a couple differences. I don’t go for the tea party, either, but there’s been a much different set of reactions to both the TP and the OWS. For instance, the TP protest the government, and tend to get called fascists and racists by the media and the Government. The OWS actually has fascists and racists in its ranks, but because it protests private citizens simply because they have more money, they are supported by the Government and the Media. Both have secret funding, both want to shake things up, but only one is having its “sins and crimes” whitewashed, despite evidence being that it is a far darker and more hateful movement, while the other is black balled simply because they don’t like “Mister Hope and Change.”

        • Anonymous

          I’m not part of the “Occupy” movement…but I have to ask, “Where are these ‘Fascists’ in OWS?”

          I can most assuredly easily point to Neo-Nazis, and self-described Fascists, that have been active in the Tea Party. (Google “Billy Roper” for example…)

          Also, for the record:

          FASCISM: an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
          (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices.

          (Source: Oxford English Dictionary)

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZC4IW4YGIQYK7P46R7PWEDK7WE Shannon

            That pretty much sounds like our government.

          • Anonymous

            That pretty much sounds like hyperbole…even if you were talking about the Bush administration…

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            Huh, that sounds like some of the stuff I’ve heard coming out of the Obama white house and his union friends. :P

          • Anonymous

            See what I mean? The word “Fascist” loses its meaning when everyone uses it as an epithet for anyone with which they disagree.

            http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm86/BryonMorrigan/political-pictures-adolph-hitler-bu.jpg

          • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

            That’s a great picture of Hitler.

          • Anonymous

            Marc: I hope you clicked on it and read the message. I wasn’t just posting a picture of Hitler for the sake of it. (And I don’t know that there are any “good” pictures of the guy anyways…)

          • Pagan Puff Pieces

            I think next time any graphic like that is brought out, it should use that photo with the doofy grin that looks suspiciously like Trollface.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZC4IW4YGIQYK7P46R7PWEDK7WE Shannon

            To you perhaps, but I yield to the authorities…

            ““Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”” Benito Mussolini

            This government has had a fascist continuity of agenda since at least the 90’s. And in the sense that “right wing” means militant and pro-corporate, it is decidedly that. Ask General Wesley Clark;
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUhlFO5qjVE

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            I said Anti-Fascists, who happen to use much the same tactics that Fascists use against those they don’t like and call Fascist.

          • Anonymous

            No, your actual words were: “The OWS actually has fascists and racists in its ranks…”

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            When it comes down to tactics and behavior, it is rather hard to tell the anti-fascist from the fascist, for both are totalitarian in their intolerance for dissenting views. So I use the word interchangeably for them. XP

          • Anonymous

            The Totalitarian Right is “Fascist,” “Christian/Muslim/Etc. Nationalist,” or “Nazi.” The Totalitarian Left is “Communist” or “Stalinist.” When you use these terms incorrectly, it looks ridiculous, and dumbs down the conversation.

          • Pagan Puff Pieces

            What. Just. What. Come on. Whatever that was, an attempt at a save or humor, you’re doing it wrong. That’s just poor form. Seriously.

        • http://paosirdjhutmosu.wordpress.com Djhutmosu Si-Hathor

          Actually, the Tea Party gets fancy-graphicked debates on CNN and stuff. Also,lots of Occupy people don’t like Obama either and see him as a tool of the oligarchs.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          Main difference between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street: the former was promptly mainstreamed by a major political party and the latter has resisted that.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZC4IW4YGIQYK7P46R7PWEDK7WE Shannon

      Give them some time. America has just said “hey is it hot in here?” gotten up from another “Buffy” marathon, only to discover that their city is on fire and the firemen are running around with gasoline.

      Economics is complicated, Politics is complicated, Fascism is doubly so.

      At least people are starting to figure out things like the secretary of the treasury is always a Goldman. You know how many people in congress think the dollar is backed by commodities?

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      “Heck, the only real difference I’ve heard in their rhetoric and the rhetoric of another certain group is that they left off a racial qualifier when they are talking about the Bankers that ruined the country and their lives.”

      *znort* *giggle*

  • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

    I’d be a lot more sympathetic to this movement if the participants had clearly defined goals and well-thought-out methods of actualizing those goals. They don’t seem to, unfortunately.

    • Anonymous

      Sounds exactly like…The Tea Party…

      • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

        But you see, the Tea Party has been popularly branded as ‘conservative’, but OWS has been branded as ‘liberal’, so people like Alice and NA, who predictably show up and play apologetics for anything right wing or conservative while bad mouthing anything left wing or liberal, could never bring themselves to find anything redeeming in OWS. Hey, let’s invent elaborate rationalizations for hating OWS:

        Occupy= occupation= OMGZ!!! Israeli Occupation of Palestine!!! OMGZ IT’S EVIL!!

        or

        The police have arrested some of those darn questionable OWS people and the police never ever do anything wrong or overreact, so OWS must be evil, anachists out to bring down all those good law abiding people.

        or

        The Tea Party was only protesting the government, which is always by default an evil thing, but OWS is protesting those poor, defenseless, powerless banks and corporations. What was that? The disparity in wealth over the last 30 years has looked something like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Inequality-by-Kenworthy.png ?
        Well, obviously all those lazy people at the bottom just need to get off their asses and get jobs or work harder if they have jobs.

        • http://paosirdjhutmosu.wordpress.com Djhutmosu Si-Hathor

          Thank you for saying what I was too frustrated and tired to articulate. :)

        • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

          I wasn’t aware I was playing apologetic for anyone. :P

          Look, I got issues with all sides. But I see a bunch of people jumping onto something insisting it’s the next thing since sliced bread, and I wanna say whoa, hold on a minute. If everyone was going crazy for joining the tea party, I’d be doing the exact same thing. I also don’t like people bad mouthing others simply because they are “conservative” as if that was the next thing of the devil (who I thought as Pagans we were supposed to be a bit more sympathetic too, btw)

          Look, call me Loki’s advocate, or Lucifer’s advocate, or what ever. But don’t write me off just because you don’t like the fact I don’t lock step with the rest of you.

          • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

            “BEST” thing since sliced bread.

            I love the term “Loki’s advocate”. A good friend of mine takes the trickster as his patron; knowing him from long before he became pagan, it’s a good match.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            Ah, yes, “best” forgive my omission. Sometimes I think faster than I can type. :P

        • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

          Actually I was merely pointing out that I don’t much care for the name, but please, feel free to put words in my mouth.

      • Tara Miller

        Sounds exactly like our religion. But it’s just as valid and vital and has important points.

        • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

          When you say “our” religion, to whom exactly are you referring, Tara? I see some amazing organization and wonderful goals within Paganism.

          • Tara Miller

            I’m referring to Paganism in general. After all, these are responses to an article written by a Pagan about Pagan involvement in the Occupy movement. I agree there is amazing organization and goals within Paganism and it happens without a central authority or central leader. The Occupy movement is trying to take advantage of a similar grassroots structure by encouraging each local group to gather and discuss what the issues are and what can be done on a local, state, and national level. These have been stated on various Occupy local sites and within forums. A more national version can be found at http://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/ The 99% movement works closely with the Occupy movement. It’s more then people coming together to say “let’s end this law or implement that law” there are people who also are rethinking ways in which to structure society. For example in Olympia, Canada they would like to see the public square used as a place for people to gather for lectures and learning opportunities. This reminds me of how public squares were once used when they were truly a part of the social life and not just a place to pass through and take pictures. There is a lot going on and it can’t all be covered in a thirty second news bite on national tv.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZC4IW4YGIQYK7P46R7PWEDK7WE Shannon

    I love Thorn’s writings, but I gotta say… That Krugman, a man who champions the inflationary policies of the federal reserve, the very engine of wealth disparity, (and the policies that lead to the 08 real estate crash, for that matter), to get out in front of the OWS movement is flabbergasting.

    I mean, was that quote bragging?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZC4IW4YGIQYK7P46R7PWEDK7WE Shannon

    Could I just say that defining the merits of a movement that is “open-enrollment” by the fringe elements that associate with it is disingenuous?

    People quick to condemn the Tea Parties for their “associations” with racist groups ought to be mindful that racist militant groups (complete with tactical gear and assault rifles) attend occupy rallies.

    People quick to condemn the occupy movement for its association with historically totalitarian political ideologies (socialism/fascism/communism) ought to consider the Tea Parties attended by people who want “whites only” statehood, people that think we should “nuke mecca”, and pro-theocracy Christians.

    Just saying…. There is no way to “throw people out” of either, and there is no central authority to denounce either for that matter.

    • Pagan Puff Pieces

      That’s true. It takes quite a lot of of weirdness to even be in the position to have that kind of control and responsibility for absolutely all of the actions of “open enrollment” (nice description) groups, and I don’t like the implications of a group capable of doing that. It’s pretty impressive enough that groups can get as organized as they do, as chaotic as finger wiggling and Pagan Standard Time may seem.

      (But that’s not saying there can’t be any self-questioning to wonder if there’s something about your policies that tends to attract or encourage certain types, and wondering what to do about it, when certain trends pop up)

  • http://twitter.com/ThornCoyle T. Thorn Coyle

    One correction: The General Strike happened on Wednesday, not Saturday. I miss-typed.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    All of the blessings of Sterculinus on your efforts, Thorn, and on those of the wider OWS movements as well. Both literally (in your case) and figuratively in the larger case and context, I’m quite certain you have pleased him! :)

  • Adam Burling

    Thanks Thorn for not only your measured thoughts on this but for your active participation in this significant movement for progressive global social change. As always it is great to see pagans stand for what they believe in instead of only sitting at their altars praying.

    This is a fluid movement challenging greed and oppression. I ask those who sit on the sidelines in their comfortable lives to ask themselves who do they stand with, those who seek a fair and just society or those who seek to maintain thier excessive wealth and dominance?

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    I am quite proud as a Unitarian Universalist Pagan that the UU anti-oppression organization Standing on the Side of Love has organized a contact with Occpy Boston (UU HQ) and helped foster amiablility between OB and Occupy the Hood, a Roxbury movement.

  • Charles Cosimano

    There was a general strike last Wednesday? I didn’t know Generals had a union. I imagine it would be surprise to the Defense Department. Of course no one outside of a few locations noticed it if there was one and the whole OWS thing is getting really old and boring.

    Of course the important thing to remember is that the Tea Party figured out that virtually no one outside of the media gives a hoot in hell if someone is calling someone else racist. So they simply ignored it and the folks doing it and got people elected to office in rather large numbers, largely by playing off the folks calling them racist, because everyone on the right knows that “racist” is nothing more than leftspeak for “We can’t beat you in an election so we will call names” and they know that their voters could not care less. Or is the left really so damned stupid as to think that if you insult people they will vote for you?

    Now we will see if the OWS folks can get any sort of act together and get someone elected. Because if they can’t, they are just producing a lot of hot air and litter. Right now it all sounds like the yammering of the left about “new politics” back in 1972 and the old politics just rolled over them. And my guess is that it will roll over the OWS too for the simple reason that when it comes to actually accomplish something, the OWS folks are going to have to get into the dirt and fight for offices.

  • Kilmrnock

    Rather than argue the sematics of a words meaning or strange comparisons , i ‘m personaly tickled people are pissed off.The economic diparity and our polarised , broken government is intolerable..Past politics and policies , both right and left have created our current mess . As a member of the 99 % i too am pissed , to coin a new expression my mortgage is underwater as well, my house is worth less than it’s financed for . Also as a family firmly entrenched in the middle class our income is stagnent , actualy in real terms is shrinking . The rich are getting richer , while the rest of us are getting poorer. The whole thing sucks , royaly. I fully understand and support the occupy movement and what they stand for .The 60 yr old family bussiness my dad started is failing and bar a miracle will probably close soon . This economy is killing us . Big business doesn’t care and our govt , will not or cannot help us . This is what has people pissed off . Kilm

  • Phoebe

    There are some alleged rapes and some incidents designated as sexual assaults or sexual harassment.

    http://thefeministwire.com/2011/11/occupy-rape-culture/

    Occupy Wall Street —
    http://www.observer.com/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-kitchen-worker-allegedly-raped-molested-girls-in-tents/

    Woman molested, says assaults are covered up and “handled internally”:
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/zuccotti_perv_Qd8v3hCAnspzJ7VGC9nJZP

    Woman-only tent erected to protect women from sexual assault:
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/occupy_protestors_set_guard_gals_GrHaRZAhzAXBGnjRfXsnCJ

    Occupy Cleveland —
    Woman allegedly raped:
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/occupy_protestors_set_guard_gals_GrHaRZAhzAXBGnjRfXsnCJ

    Occupy Lawrence —
    Allegedly sexual assault:
    http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/oct/25/occupy-lawrence-members-report-crimes-south-park-c/

    Occupy Baltimore —

    Occupy Baltimore revised guidelines after originally discouraging victims of sexual assault from going to authorities:
    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/blog/2011/10/occupy_baltimore_revises_sexua.html

    Occupy Oakland —

    Alleged incidents of sexual harassment:
    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_19139574?nclick_check=1

    Occupy Portland —

    Alleged sexual assault:
    http://www.katu.com/news/local/131399153.html

    Overview:
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/sexual-assaults-occupy-wall-street-camps/story?id=14873014#.TrLaHLLpfs4

    • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

      “Alleged” BTW means not proven in a court of law. Objectively some of these incidents may prove not to be crimes.

  • Kilmrnock

    NA , i for one prefer a spirited dialog w/ differing points of view . I consider my self politicaly a Liberal Libritarian and am not in lock step w/ anyone. I can apreciate your points of view , even agree sometimes .My views fall , fiscal conservative , small unmeddling govt , but liberal on many social issues . keep it up , my freind . Kilm