I’ve got a lot to say about Occupy Together, the hub which sprang forth from all the Occupies inspired by Occupy Wall Street. It will probably take several posts, over several weeks to sort out all my feelings.

First of all, and for today’s post-I’m for it; the change that is being sought. If it hasn’t been clear to anyone by now, I’m a liberal progressive (or progressive liberal), with a left wing, sex positive, intersectional mind set that doesn’t really square much with current Corporate America, greed and the 1 percent getting all the fun.

I’m also a pragmatist in many ways. A diplomat and skilled translator of human systems and dynamics. I believe in incremental change but I honor the value of the radical leaps and jumps. How those two work together…that’s the question isn’t it?

I went to two events last night, which demonstrate both styles of change and what I love about both. One was the Theater Action Project Happy Hour, and the other was Occupy Austin.

TAP makes incremental change on a daily basis. They have tireless volunteers and staff and work with children in all levels of school all over Austin. Their mission?

“Theatre Action Project uses the creative arts to activate the academic, social and emotional development of young people. Through interactive classroom performances, after school residencies and community based programs, TAP’s team of professional teaching artists inspire youth to be creative artists, courageous allies, critical thinkers and confident leaders in their community.”

They reach 16,000 students and teachers each year and they utilize theater arts for social change. Imagine the seeds being planted in children all around Austin. Imagine the adult leaders that will grow from those children and make big radical change, all because adult volunteers and staff (and the donors who support those volunteers) provided a framework or scaffold for them to think about being human. Powerful stuff.

The other was Occupy Austin Downtown. It was a wild and wooly motley crew of folks all calmly and happily taking over City Hall. When we were there, there were probably 1500 people drumming, speaking, chanting and hanging out with the very lovely Austin City Police Force. A lot of painted bodies, youth, and “radical” fringe (whatever that means) but also folks in “regular” mom clothes, suits, old and young, black and white, making a loud noise in solidarity to those in other cities (NYC, Philly, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, SF, Seattle, LA)

Occupy has the potential to make those leaps and jumps, the change that kickstarts a system and a culture. I’m happy to see that, and expect that we’ll see more action, and sadly probably more push-back from media, violence from authorities, but perhaps that will bring more of the “middle” to the left where more change can be made.

From little seeds to big leaders all in one night. Amazing, and all of it is occupying my thoughts.


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