A Year…..

Sunday morning service,

Sunday lunchtime train,

Sunday afternoon discussion

Sunday evening statement.

And my awkward explanation of why.

This was the beginning of Occupy.

 

Heading North to the Monument

Another prayer tent at another occupation

And a visit to the Turner Prize

Hope being expressed across the globe.

Another awkward yet hopeful post or two

near the beginning of Occupy.

 

A time for sober reconsideration

And a hit of reality

Middle class, single mother

Returns to “her real life”

And types another awkward post

as she stops camping with Occupy.

 

Camp she’s left gets attacked

By the right wing thugs

And discussions occur

About whether to carry on.

Her response another awkward post or two

about the continuation of Occupy.

 

Theology in a public space

Was one lens of interpretation

About the camp back in London

And faith engagement around the world.

Cue another awkward blog post  and then onetwo more

about this thing called Occupy.

 

In December Time Magazine

Named “The Protester” person of the year.

Analysis starts to get darker

But still too shiny and full of hope?

In this very awkward post

about the protests of Occupy.

 

A New Year

And The Monument is cleared

The voice of disillusionment chimes

With respect for E and RR, etc

In this post about the end

of the camp in Newcastle linked to Occupy.

 

January moves into February

And Occupy LSX

Is cleared from outside St. Pauls

By court order.

I sort of blog with a post of back links

about Occupy.

 

Almost 8 months on from that post

And they are in London again

Remembering and Celebrating

Keeping alive the Spirit.

And this is another crap post

full of back links about Occupy.

 

Time to stop….think…..reflect

Would I do it again?

Were they right?

Was it worth it?

What does this writer,

just another average blogger,

think about Occupy?

 

Answer….

The country and the world are arguably getting even more f***ed by the day. Karl wrote an excellent blog post yesterday discussing some of what’s happening and why the ideas being pursued are wrong. Institutional politics might be argued to still be failing us but is engaging with that more the only real way to change anything? I don’t know anymore….

The church (in both institutional and wider sense) are still focusing on dealing with the impacts rather than questioning how we change the systems of power and the structural inequality they create. On an institutional level there are spotlights being targeted, as this Church Times article  on the Occupy anniversary explains, but we’re still too busy arguing about things like gay marriage to give a damn about changing what really needs to be altered….in part one thinks because it would pose difficult questions for the institutions themselves as investors, landlords and the like and us as individuals who like our lives as they are.

Occupy was good for starting conversation but did it ultimately just raise expectations and then leave them screwed up on the ground like pieces of discarded cardboard? Is it we the Occupiers who are to blame? Should many of us been willing to sacrifice more? But could we have sacrificed more? I had to work, I had to bring up Third Party…..personal excuses which echo the many realities of life people faced.

Is an alternative actually possible?

Honest answer is one year on I’m not sure. That said I refuse to give up….if I do what faith do I really have? Why do I go to church and profess faith in a risen Christ if I can’t hold onto hope of a better, more just future? Why do I pray “your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” if I’m not prepared to hope and work for change?

I don’t think that it means a neo-Marxist or anarchist vision of the future, but I do believe many of those involved in such groups have a glimpse of what might/ should be in terms of seeing the possibility of a world where social justice is a reality. They perhaps have more of an idea of what it means to try and live that line in the Lords prayer than many who would hold on to it and profess it regularly. That’s one reason why however little good I think it will do I’m intending to go on the TUC’s  A Future That Works demonstration next weekend.

So where do I/we go from here? Not sure…..not at all sure. Continue to try and pray and work it out one day/ one week at a time I guess. And probably alot more awkward blog posts along the way. If nothing else having something to look back on after Occupy – reminding me what happened when, and what I had to say about it at the time, has been useful for me.

About tractorgirl

Hi my name is Sally Rush: I'm a Christian, a mother, a community engagement officer, a listener, a dreamer, a partner, an experienced teacher, a friend, a daughter, a sister and so much more.

One thought on “A Year…..

  1. Having commented on your posts a year ago, here are my comments now too. The issue for the real 99% was that Occupy just seemed to be people with time on their hands saying “down with this sort of thing” but having no answer because they were bogged down with people not speaking unless they were holding the conch shell.

    There are masses of ways people can engage with the evils of capitalism. Buy a few shares and get into AGMs (there was a “shareholder spring” this year if you noticed) or engage with the Social Responsibility or Governance Committees; take your bank account elsewhere; contact the Christian Fellowship within a company; help with Business Alpha etc etc.

    Actively engage, not just make a mess outside a building and get everyone’s back up.

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