I went downtown to hear Chris Hedges speak and to continue my support for the unprecedented gathering of every conceivable type of folk that makes up Occupying Wall Street. Hedges was as brilliant and passionate as always and attracted a good-sized crowd who asked good questions. He implored his listeners to stick with their ideals and reminded them all that no one predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall until the hideous thing was almost falling.
This was followed by a virtual united front of religious leaders and clerics from Judaism, Christianity and Islam who joined together around a paper machete Golden Calf — the Biblical symbol of idolatry — to conduct an interfaith prayer session on the steps of the park.
It was very beautiful.
There were also Teamsters, a near naked women being painted red and a fellow who suggested Mayor Mike Bloomberg be tarred and feathered — a notion certainly no worse than that of allowing the little multi-billionaire to overthrow term limits and reign like a sovereign.
As I was wandering around I met a women from Philly who was mourning the pointless loss of her son in a Baghdad invaded because of a mountain of official lies to which no one has been held accountable.
As I was leaving, walking my daughter down Broadway to Battery Park I ran into three retirees from Rhode Island who had traveled hours to participate. All three carried placards. One quoted General Smedley Butler who called himself a “Gangster for Capitalism” and famously said “War is a Racket.” Another suggested that the proper price for a pill was one penny. I have no argument. The third advertised for National Move Your Money Day to take place on November Fifth. Move it where, I asked. Move it from a mega bank like Chase or Citibank to a local credit union, she replied. An excellent idea which I intend to take up and hope many others will as well.
A month ago I could not imagine such an encounter.
There is something that feels almost miraculous happening and it is happening right in front of our eyes. May we have the strength and faith to see it and to follow it out to where it needs to go.