Art and the occupy movement: Here is a poster from Occupy Print. How will we see change in the public arena? Certainly engage the thinkers who can then help shape opinion and practice in the public arena. New ideas of exchange: time banks; redefinitions of ‘work’; implementing practice at the local rather than the global level etc… But the artists – in this next phase of society the imagination has to be elevated to new levels. Not to fuel selfish ambition, but to capture in visual forms what is possible.
I appreciate that there is a wide divergence of opinion on Occupy – I am not suggesting it is 100% good… but then neither have I discovered that when looking into my own heart or the activity of the church. Taking it away from Occupy for a moment. I am glad for the civil disobedience of MLK Jr., et al., and very glad for the shifts that came about as a result. Maybe in years to come we will look at this decade of civil disobedience with appreciative eyes. Syria, Egypt, Lybia – the Arab Spring; the Indignados; Occupy.
I have tried to watch what is happening in London. The City / Corporation is something that the Labour government of ’97 was going to reform, but eventually did not touch. With so much power, I don’t think it is stretching the analogy to suggest that they have been involved corporately in acts that go well beyond anything we are currently seeing on the streets.
And when we come to prophetic acts – one being that of turning the tables over, I think there is a strong precedence for civil disobedience.
And no this is not a ‘left-wing’ political perspective. It is saying that the god that was made of the free market in the 80s and 90s is not going to have our allegiance. I like the image – the bull is a strong image for Spain, and with the background also in the Phoenician culture (a major trading people) it is time to rein in exploitative trade. Trade routes can be opened up again – redemptively.
Yigal Bronner, a former member of the Israel Defense Forces, in an open letter wrote in 2002. He and hundreds of others refused to serve with the Israeli army in the occupied territories.
And I am supposed to do all this with the natural simplicity of a robot, who senses nothing beyond the shaking of the tank as the shell is ejected from the gun barrel and flies to its target.
He also included this quotation from Bertolt Brecht.
General your tank is a powerful vehicle.
It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.
But it has one defect:
It needs a driver.