Published in Church and Life (1829) 19.1.2012 – 8.2.2012 No3
I must confess that for all the publicity that the occupy revolution around the world has received, I still do not understand what they were all about. While there may be a few places in the world left where the tents are still up, the movement seems to have wound down slowly. I have no doubt that there was a very valid reason for the movement.
They were on to something and perhaps they did a lot of good. They made me smile about some of the politics which were broadcast about life within the camps. I do not know if it is a valid comparison, but they reminded me of the “hippie” movements of the late 60’s and 70’s. Tragically drug use and abuse seems to be a major element of this protest. Some people actually died of overdose.
The movement seemed to be about social justice and a fairer society. It appears that society, as seen by its governments, does not distribute money evenly.
I was in Canada during the height of the movements in that country. A few home truths about equality and fairness were experienced within the camps themselves. In one case, while the owners of a tent were out protesting and spreading the word, a few homeless people came and occupied their tent. When the owners returned they found that their tent was occupied by someone else. Naturally a melee started and this reflected the injustice of the landlords throwing out people who could not pay rent. Another group bought food for themselves and were invaded by a larger group of fellow travellers who proceeded to eat their food – another lesson for the protesters about the unfairness of rich people – society. In another case, it was disclosed by fellow campers that some of their number were actually going home to sleep during the cold nights only to come back in the morning when it was warmer. This poor example of the richer among them again reflected the basic argument of the movement itself, namely that everybody was equal.
All these incidents only show that we can protest against injustice, but the answers to the world’s problems are indeed very complicated. I do not think that the occupy movement changed the world as yet. It’s not that easy to change the world. It takes a lot of unity, faith, determination and principles which I feel can only come from God himself. We should protest injustice because it is important to do so. But without the solid foundation of God’s will and plan, we will not get far. Our house in that case might fall down around us.
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