At 9 a.m. march is planned from 14th St to the Port of Oakland, but no one is divulging the route The reason given for that stubborn secrecy is that is the police were to find out the route they might attempt to stop the march, but such an argument makes little sense.
Keeping the route secret is silly. After all, the police do know the point of origin of the march -- that's no secret. Frank Ogawa Plaza. 14th & Broadway, printed and distributed. So if they want to stop the march, they'll show up there . . . if they don't want to stop the march, they'll just tag along, intervene if thing gets out of hand, but why should anything become eruptive if tomorrow's action is one meant as a show of strength, non-cooperation with evil. Non-violence. Ahimsa. Satyagraha.
It seems to me that paranoid secrecy suggests that violence is inevitable (thus the necessity for secrecy) and therefore discourages greater community participation. Violence is not inevitable nor desirable. Tomorrow can be a day of peaceful non-violent action. May it be so. If the route were known, more folks might feel comfortable participating and folks who live along the route (like maybe me) could plan to offer support.
Secrecy is dark, spongy, and breathless.
We need openness, creativity, participation.
We want Connection.
Connection encourages communication. Communication engenders sharing.
Sharing opens our hearts, allows us to decide in favor of life and living.
It is my prayer that tomorrow will be peaceful. Peace people to the front. Dogs will bark. Children will laugh. Men and women will sing. There will be no riots, no violence, no tear gas.
Today, as I walked through OCCUPY: OAKLAND, I found the encampment unsettled, uneasy, somehow disabled.
Worried perhaps about tomorrow. Nonetheless, other than the unhappy young woman at the information booth, who would not divulge anything about anything, most with whom I spoke were friendly but tired. Many remembered me from earlier visits and wanted to chat about tomorrow, about erasing fear, weaving kindness with peace.
My little dog Earnest was confused by the smoky anxiety that drifted through the camp. He stayed close to my side but gratefully said hello to those who reached down to welcome him. Watching him react lovingly to those who showed him love, shy away from those who stomped or yelled, I was reminded how trust grows through kindness, corrodes through fear. Fear confuses and dismantles, creates violence, but kindness grows love, creates peace.
It was Gandhi who once suggested that
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. . . We need not wait to see what others do.
Our actions can be simple. We can change the way we think. Knowing as Emerson did that a man is what he thinks about all day long, we can think of peace and gentleness. If we abandon the desire for more and more and more, if we recreate our lives so that we appreciate living simply, if we no longer crave luxury, if we stop consuming and consuming and consuming, if we find joy in small things, in the everyday, in what sparks moment by moment, second by second, we can perhaps rebuild our world as a world more equitable and graceful, capable of embracing us all.
Every American citizen deserves to have adequate shelter and food and health care. Every American should be able to enjoy creative and useful education. Every American deserves to be Happy, but in the midst of all this turmoil, perhaps we should remember that Happiness is a choice. We can create peaceful connections, kind interactions -- even with those with whom we might disagree. We can choose to be happy. We can allow for Joy, encourage gentleness and grace.
We can be kind.