A message from my friend Jack McDaniel, founder of Common Ground Tucson and author of the book, What If? Jack tirelessly dedicates himself to community building (two events that I have been part of since arriving in Tucson are EarthWalk 2011 and Ecstatic Dance).
What does the Occupy Movement mean to you? How would you like it to open up your community? What kind of positive change would you like to make? Where/what is your common ground?
“Occupy Common Ground”
This is an invitation to occupy your imagination with HOW to turn the Tucson version of a swiftly growing national movement into a model of true Sustainable Local Community.
The Occupy Tucson encampment at Armory Park currently only represents a small percentage of the “We are the 99%”. However… it does represent some dramatic dedication to positive change in our country, our culture, and our world. If you look past a generally scruffy appearance you’ll find harbored there an impressive number of clearheaded and well-informed individuals with real vision.
If you look even further (including within your imagination) you’ll find the seeds of a most amazing potential are hovering at the edges of that park. The opportunity right here in Tucson is to harness that growing resentment of a corporate banking government world and focus it on local solutions, local economy, local food security, local culture. Yes, we live in a global world, yet the present economic structure of that world is based on unsustainable growth, disconnection and competition. Just as any system in nature that grows beyond its resources that structure must inevitably collapse. The models required for new thinking and new behavior are all centered on localization where interdependent community sustains both our health, and, some might say most importantly, our happiness.
So… this is the moment to seize, to become involved, to be hands and a voice in creating solutions, not blame, not anger and recrimination, Solutions!
It begins (as I’ve certainly said many times) by building relationships, face-to-face, connecting the dots between organizations and individuals, finding that Common Ground we all share and working from it. My invitation to YOU is to come down to Armory Park and spend some time, a few minutes, a few hours, the night if you like. Bring a friend or two. Bring an instrument, a whole band, an inspiring movie, books, articles, inventions, ideas.
The point is… we all recognize the need for massive change. As Mr. Gandhi is so often quoted, we must be that change we wish to see. Occupy Tucson is not just a protest. In fact, it is likely to fail if that is all it is or perceived to be. What it could be is up to each and every one of us. Common Ground wants to do its part to facilitate new dimensions in what takes place there. We want to host conversation cafés, public forums for education and discussion, yoga classes, healing demonstrations, open mic entertainment, talent shows, any number of innovations YOU want to see happen, but most of all, a gathering of community connecting.
At 2 p.m. (aprox) on Saturday the 29th Global Chant will invite any and all present to chant along with them. One Heartbeat will also be inclusively performing, as well as others into the evening. At 5:30 p.m. on Sunday the 23rd a peace march will take place. Every day (excepting Sunday’s, let’s make it a day of fest) there are two general assemblies, one at midday and another at 6 p.m., as well as marches every day, which target various parts of the city, from the courthouse to the University. More events are in the works and… What do YOU want them to be?
It takes a village. Here it is… our big chance to build one.