Spirit In Action

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Occupy Sandy, from relief to resistance

Occupy Sandy, from relief to resistance

I highly recommend checking out the link at the bottom-this article is only a smidgen of the awesomeness to be found there! 😉

by | November 13, 2012
 

Rockaway Park residents in front of YANA Community Center. (Facebook/Occupy Sandy Relief NYC)

Two weeks ago I was in my hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey, wading waist deep in a murky combination of floodwater, oil and sewage. More than a week later, after finally getting unstuck from New Jersey (even the deepest Jersey pride has its limits…), I found myself in a van full of Occupy Sandy activists delivering hot meals to housing-project high rises in Coney Island during a Nor’easter. We were taking cues from local leaders, and I was amazed at the way people were mobilizing by creating support structures and politicizing one another through practice. In the past few days I’ve helped facilitate trainings for hundreds of people who came to Occupy Sandy hubs as volunteers for relief work, and who left for the Rockaways or Staten Island well on their way to becoming community organizers or committed activists.

All along, I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that this is what climate change looks like; but it’s also what the beginning of a climate justice movement might look like.

Hurricane Sandy is a crisis in itself; it flooded homes, turned off power, kept people from work, made families cold — it even took lives and put families on the street. And of course it’s more complicated than just bad weather. This hurricane is one more expression of the erratic weather patterns that we can expect more and more as a result of global warming, which is the product of our society’s dependency on fossil fuels, driven by multinational fossil fuel companies. Hurricane Sandy is a reminder that the climate crisis sets off a whole set of other crises, based on social, economic and political systems that are already in place, and that those things land on top of crises already in play. Many of the communities hardest hit by the hurricane are the same ones hardest hit by foreclosure, debt, austerity and mass incarceration. The flood didn’t create those things, but it made them worse and washed away all the crap that made them hard to see.

At the same time, Hurricane Sandy has brought new networks to life and put thousands of people in the streets to rebuild communities with an explicitly political framing. It’s now widely agreed that, despite setbacks, Occupy Sandy’s organizing has put the official agencies to shame. Equity, solidarity and mass participation have been at the center of the effort from the get-go, driven forward by committed organizers with deep politics and foresight. All along the intention has been to see this as an organizing project rather than just a volunteer effort. Still, the question remains of whether those networks in motion now can rise to the occasion and begin to address the underlying crises.

Windows opening and closing

If we let things go the way they usually do, the coming weeks are likely to show a decline in community involvement in the relief effort. More and more people will gradually get their power turned on and go back to work if they still have jobs. Less attention will be paid to the crisis in general, fewer goods will be donated to Occupy Sandy hubs and other relief networks, and fewer volunteers will continue to go out to hard-hit communities to deliver those goods. Communities will do what they can with the rubble; most of the rest of us will go back to our business.

But volunteers and community organizers are not the only ones on the scene, not the only ones in motion. Already, an army of disaster-capitalist developers are plotting to use this opportunity to finally knock down the housing projects and replace them with the condos they’ve been drooling about for decades. We can begin to hear the whispers of businessmen and politicians who are always looking for ways to cut our budgets and privatize our schools, hospitals, homes for the elderly and every other public institution they can get their hands on. For them, the game has just begun, and they don’t take many days off. They will be out there, trying to beat us to the Rockaways, Staten Island, Redhook, Coney Island, Jersey City and other battered regions. If we don’t do something about it, they’re going to do a lot more damage to communities than Hurricane Sandy did. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Flexible networks like Occupy Sandy are incredible machines — more fluid than big organizations, more dynamic than government agencies. But they rely on having people or strong communities to network. Networks connect dots, but you still need the dots themselves to be ready. Crises and opportunities — like Hurricane Sandy or Occupy Wall Street last fall — put people in motion, but they only become part of a movement beyond those moments when participants are grounded in stable frameworks to keep them going.

We have to build infrastructure and create the institutional frameworks that can sustain a struggle over the long haul. Every movement needs them. The civil rights movement had SNCC and the Highlander School, among countless other organizations, schools, training institutes, churches and foundations. Even Occupy has had institutions all along, from the occupations themselves to the many groups that rose to the occasion to support it; part of the reason Occupy Sandy could mobilize so quickly and effectively is that the Occupy movement already had enough building blocks in place, enough experience with alternative structures, enough relationships built and enough organizing being done behind the scenes to leap into action when it was needed.

If we want to last, we need to create the frameworks, processes and systems that keep us in motion — that keep the windows open — for long enough to win.

Where the rain boots meet the road

We need to think clearly about how to deepen, grow and nourish all of the different circles of people in action right now, so we can transition from surviving Hurricane Sandy to beating back the hurricane of profiteers to come, and use the momentum from that to build a vibrant climate justice movement.

Thousands of volunteers have come through Occupy Sandy hubs and gone out to the hardest-hit areas in New York to do relief work and support the community organizing taking shape there. Watching people react strongly in the trainings being facilitated at the different sites and watching them come back to become trainers themselves has been some of the most rewarding activist work I’ve ever participated in.

In my experience, people who come to Occupy Sandy get it. They want to understand the politics behind all of this because they’ve seen the crisis in action. They are ready to stand and fight, and they are excited to envision their task as part of something bigger. We just need to create structures to support that.

Political education needs to be part of our practical skills trainings, and that skills training needs to be broader than the particular mission at hand, so that well-meaning volunteers become grounded organizers with the capacity to be active movement leaders beyond this particular moment.

Hundreds of organizers are at work in this effort already. They’re developing rotations so that some stay at the main hubs to keep a level of consistency and institutional memory while others spend a few days at a time at different sites in the field to help build similar systems and create connections. We need more of that — more coordinating between different hubs, more unifying the different trainings and processes, more strategizing together about directions for moving forward. Before we know it, the communities slowly recovering from Hurricane Sandy will be under direct attack. We need to lay the ground for solidarity across communities and coordination in action, so that when the time comes our volunteers and community members are ready to transform into home defenders, direct action practitioners and occupiers.

Dozens of local community institutions, from churches to community centers, have opened their doors and become the vital infrastructure for this network of relief and recovery all across New York City. Just setting foot in one of the Coney Island hubs based in a church was enough to feel the weight of that institution, its deep roots in the community and the potential it has to make possible a movement to come. Now is the time to be intentional about cultivating these relationships, and to begin developing with them a shared analysis, vision and strategy. Just as the Southern Baptist churches served as the institutional foundations of the civil rights movements, these institutions serving as support systems for relief work today may be the basis of resistance tomorrow and a genuine recovery after that.

Tens of thousands of people have been drastically affected by the storm, and they are responding with courage and foresight; many are emerging as genuine community leaders and skilled activists. I was reminded of this by Tameka — a 39-year old mom in Coney Island who had organized her block. She knew who lived where and who needed what. She knew where to put the hot meals and had all the relationships necessary to make our distribution effort work. Tameka is a community organizer, whether she uses that term or not. What she needs now are direct ties to other people like her in neighboring communities, some support in developing her politics and her skills, and some material aid to help her meet her needs and those in her community. The stakes are high for her; it won’t be long before she will be a leader of a front-line community in a climate justice movement.

Hurricanes and social movements

Welcome to the climate crisis. There’s nothing abstract about it. It isn’t some apocalypse decades away or an event that comes down like one big hurricane to wipe us all out. It’s Hurricane Sandy. It’s all the economic, political and social conditions that were already in place. And it’s the opportunity for forces of profit and repression to push their agenda forward in the aftermath.

But guess what: The climate justice movement isn’t so abstract either. This is it. It’s dedicated organizers recognizing how their work can be aligned across issues. It’s relief providers and hard-working volunteers transforming into activists and community leaders. It’s the hardest hit neighborhoods taking control of their own liberation. It’s local community institutions with deep roots and long histories connecting to one another and mobilizing their efforts as part of a movement. It’s all of that alongside so many other fights for climate justice — from the blockade of the Keystone XL pipeline to the fight for water rights in Bolivia, from Indian women standing up to corporate seed monopolies to youth from 350.org launching campaigns to divest from fossil fuel companies.

There is much work to do. But people are doing it — day by day, block by block. Windows of opportunity have opened here in New York, just as they have in other places around the world. Many people are working to keep those windows open and continue the transformation that is already underway — from volunteer work to organizing, from emergency response to a genuine recovery, from relief to resistance.

http://wagingnonviolence.org/2012/11/occupy-sandy-from-relief-to-resistance/


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Dana Mrkich – November 2012 Montly Visions – Supercharged Expanded Awareness – 13November2012

Dana Mrkich – November 2012 Montly Visions – Supercharged Expanded Awareness – 13November2012

 

Dana Mrkich

For YouTube version with Commentary please go here

 

This month we will see the continuing acceleration, with increasing intensity, of that which we have been witnessing and experiencing all year – extremes of actions, emotions, responses and revelations. The higher frequency energy flooding our planet, and our cells, is triggering and bringing to the surface everything within us that is in alignment with that energy.

We are seeing this with increasing numbers of people experiencing a greater sense of community, a greater desire for peace and unity, a greater need for fulfilling relationships and meaningful work and a greater drive for truth, fairness, justice and equality. It is also bringing to the surface everything within us that is not in alignment with that energy. We are seeing this with flare-ups of old feelings we thought we’d dealt with, and the inability to tolerate situations that we accepted in the past.  We are seeing major upheavals in our social, religious and political structures as the cornerstones that have been holding them together no longer have the required energy available to sustain them.

We are also seeing individuals and groups with a lot of resistance to this shift.  Some of these folks are moving forward kicking and screaming, feeling very angry about changes that are happening, seeing it as an attack on everything they believe to be ‘right’.  Others are unable to move forward and change as they are inwardly being guided to do, due to strong fears, yet it is impossible to stay in the old energies at this time without experiencing a great deal of discomfort. So these folks are experiencing various degrees of ‘frozen stuckness’ manifesting as depression or physical health issues in many.

Our next chapter is about us moving forward as conscious, awake and aware beings who are truly free and empowered to creatively co-create our world. As we move forward into the next chapter of our human evolution we are experiencing a massive quantum leap of expanded awareness as so much that we have been unaware of is now coming into our conscious awareness. More of our higher self, that part of us that holds a higher state of vibration and consciousness, is currently in a process of descension – descending into our physical bodies so that we are more and more becoming living embodiments of who we are on that higher level.  There has been much focus on ‘ascension’ as our physical world moves up into a higher vibration, but the process of descension is happening simultaneously as our higher consciousness grounds into our bodies and physical reality.

The fact that this higher consciousness is of a higher frequency to what we have become used to cannot be over-stated, and that is why it is so important to clear our old stuff.  This is why we have all been receiving the same inner message for years: wake up, clear your stuff, heal your issues, change your thoughts and patterns. For those who haven’t, it’s like putting a high voltage appliance into a low voltage socket – the appliance will short circuit or blow a fuse; which we are seeing happen in people physically and emotionally in so many ways. Old paradigms, old ways of thinking and old ways of acting are self-combusting and imploding in so many arenas.

This expanded awareness is giving us lightbulb moment after lightbulb moment, giving us more pieces of the jigsaw as to what is contributing to the creation of our reality: on a personal, family, community, country and global level. This expanded awareness includes everything from gaining major insight into our inner beliefs, patterns, cellular stories and soul potential to finding out more of the truth about political and intelligence agency cover ups, child sexual abuse cover ups, corporate wrongdoing and what those in positions of power really believe and say behind closed doors (no longer closed thanks to sneaky camera phones and instant you tube uploading).

We are finding out so much, on a daily basis, about the power games being played by those who put their own agendas ahead of the needs and rights of other people.  It’s said that Earth is a planet of free will. Well that sounds like a lovely playground idea but it’s time to grow up and step into our next level of consciousness and realise a couple of things about this whole ‘free will’ situation.  In actual fact, we have not had true free will, and many on Earth have completely abused the amount we’ve been given.  Free will is the freedom to do what you want without restraints. Yet we have had plenty of restraints on us. We’ve been limited from knowing and embodying the bulk of who we really are, where we’re really from, why we’re really here and what abilities we all really have. What we all really know on a higher level has been hidden from our conscious knowing all our lives! It has been incredibly restrictive to have had to live our lives oblivious to the fact that our lives are how they are predominantly because of non-physical aspects of ourselves that we were never taught to look at or acknowledge. If we have ten potential doors in front of us, but are only aware of three, and are ‘free to choose’ any of those three, is that really free will?

Most people are innocently living their lives, doing the best job they can to raise their families and be good citizens, oblivious to the fact that a bunch of shady characters are running the world as they see fit, polluting the Earth, corrupting the political and financial systems, creating a war here and there for personal profit, and participating as players in toxins, injustices and abuse galore. All the while keeping hidden knowledge and resources to themselves that could help humanity and humanitarian crises in a flash.

This is not a Hollywood movie. This is not science fiction. This is not conspiracy theory. It is our world. Thankfully the time allocated to the shady characters for their way of doing things is over (and for the spiritually ‘politically correct’ folks, yes we learned a lot with all these restraints, yes we chose it all, yes we’re all one big happy family at the end of the galactic day). However, we’re moving now into a new time with new ways of doing things.

Our expanded awareness will be such a turning point in our evolution. An increase in consciousness is not about being more zen and blissed out, although that’s a lovely added bonus. It is about living life awake and aware, knowing what’s truly going on within and around us, knowing what factors are contributing to the reality we are living in. It is about using that expanded awareness to consciously create our reality. Our quantum leap in consciousness will thus be, and already is for many, a very grounding experience for those who choose to use this leap to create new lifestyles, new ways of building homes, new media intentions, new ways of working with our health, new styles of governing, new education models and so on.

Between the old time and the new time is the transition time, and we’re in that right now. The transition time is the time when everything that has been hidden is revealed. It has to be revealed in the same way that everything under a carpet is of course revealed when you go into a room to re-decorate. Just like any ‘under the carpet’, what you see and discover is not always pretty but thank goodness you looked because now you can sweep it away and have a clean, shiny floor! Our new chapter will be built on new foundations of truth, greater consciousness and higher awareness, with respect for all living beings including our planet being a priority.

Revelations and revolutions are happening now in so many ways.  People are currently living through the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, and our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected in the Caribbean and U.S.  The days, weeks and months ahead are going to reveal many ‘holes’ in the way ‘authorities’ deal with humanitarian crises. Of course, these ‘holes’ have existed in previous situations, but the difference now is that so many more people are going to be aware in a conscious way of these ‘holes’ and will vocally call for those responsible to be held accountable or change to respect the needs of the people.

The United States just re-elected President Obama which surprised many given the concern about the economy.  It was not surprising to anyone who is aware which way the vibrational wind is blowing these days.  While many are disappointed in Obama’s perceived performance over the last 4 years, to shift to the alternative would have been a shift to beliefs, policies and mentalities that are of the old world.

This doesn’t mean that there has been a resounding endorsement of President Obama. While the majority prefer him to the alternative, they are being very clear that the next four years need to be different.  Inspirational speeches are no longer enough. While it’s now clear to most that in order to get into a position of power like that you have to ‘play the game’, the people are being very vocal and saying “We have had enough of the game!”

“JV:   I think every politician should wear a NASCAR race suit at this point.

KR: Why’s that?

JV: You know how the NASCAR race suits all have the ads stitched on them from the driver’s sponsors? Politicians should wear that too so we can see who owns them.”

–          Jesse ‘The Mind’ Ventura On Politics, Porsches And Paddleboards by Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes.Com

This election was not so much about the election of a new President. It was about people coming together to declare what they wanted, and what they did not want. We are entering the era of the heart, and the election came down to which candidate most resonated with the people on a heart level. If the current President, in conjunction with his government, doesn’t act in alignment with the trust people have placed in him, if the political machine insists on continuing to ‘play the game’, we will see outright social anarchy and rebellion to overthrow the entire system. This is not business as usual time.  Everything not in alignment with the higher frequency energy we are entering has to transform or collapse, and that is just how it is.

“The heart won’t fix our economy or create jobs” many of you might be saying. This will be hard to hear but certain aspects of the economy are not supposed to be ‘fixed’, they are broken because they were built on a corrupt foundation.  Certain jobs and industries are not meant to continue. The shift is not a spiritual concept, it is a real, physical process facilitating transformation on every level. We will eventually see a new economic system emerge. We will see new jobs and fields of work develop.  But the fact of the matter is that we are in the transition time and this time was always going to be bumpy. No President or Prime Minister or person is able to avoid the turbulent waters we are in, however there is a vast difference in outcome depending on how they choose to navigate their ship.

A heart-based perspective will provide a more easeful passage in the current energetic climate, even if a mind-based perspective would seemingly make more sense in the current economic climate. In the old reality, people have the attitude that as long as the economy is okay, everything is okay even if it actually only benefited the few at the expense of the many. In the old reality, hearts are constricted and souls are driven by fear, creating a ‘what’s best for me’ mentality.

In the new reality our hearts are opening and our souls are yearning for love and connection. We strive for ‘what’s best for us all’ solutions. We are discovering that a healthy economy on the surface covered a multitude of corruption underneath. This corruption has to end.  Politicians and business employers have to have new ways of working and new ways of treating their fellow people. So, in this way, the heart will create a new economy and will create new jobs.

This month we will be blessed by three major alignments: the November 13 Solar Eclipse, the Nov 19 Pleiades Alignment and the Nov 27 Lunar Eclipse. This series reminds me of the process that happens when you drive through the carwash: soap is squirted on, the water comes at you from all angles, and the automatic washers start pummelling your vehicle. You can’t leave halfway through if you get a bit scared. You signed up for the whole deal, so you just have to sit there while your car gets a good wash and rinse. Then comes the hot air and the driers, removing all the drops and making you nice and shiny. You wait for the green light, and off you go into December, a cleaner, clearer, sparklier version of your former self.

(c) Dana Mrkich 2012.

Permission is granted to share this article freely on the condition that the author is credited, and this byline is included. Dana Mrkich is an Energy Intuitive, Writer, Speaker, Teacher and Author of A New Chapter.  Join her on Facebook or Twitter for regular energy updates. www.danamrkich.com www.danamrkich.blogspot.nl


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It appears to me there are multiple factions and “conspiracies” with multiple actors and storylines going on. No one really knows what everyone is up to so we get a lot of info but not a lot of clarity. I like VT because they don’t candy coat the rotten stuff. Everyone I know who has been in the military has seen how much the public is lied to;It’s nice to read things from that perspective. I just keep praying for everyone. We will get thru the rough parts, past the machinations and conspiracies and out into the bright morning when all this crazy stuff will fade like the nightmares it so resembles!


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

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Serenity Spell

“Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives.” —Mary Ann Brussat

Scorched — but not necessarily dead — slash pines are profiled against their more lively brethren at various natural areas and parks. Their tenacity is ever-inspiring and a not-so-gentle reminder, as they continue to stand tall with new growth peeping amid burned limbs.

Controlled, or prescribed burns are an integral part to sustaining Florida’s natural habitats.  Such burns mimic natural fire cycles to restore healthy natural communities, thus reducing the undergrowth that accumulates over time — a contributing factor in severe wildfires. An increase in native plants, birds, and wildlife can be viewed at these burned lands.

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Renewal

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Common Dreams – Bailout ‘Of The People, By The People’ Exposes Bankers’ Greed – 13 November 2012

Lucas 2012 Infos

(Lucas: This is an example of people thinking in 3D creative solutions for the financial injustice and inequality.)

Coalition kicks off ‘Rolling Jubilee’ campaign to eliminate debt

– Common Dreams staff

A coalition of activists looking to build popular resistance to predatory lending kicked off a new initiative, The Rolling Jubilee, to challenge the status quo of debt collection by purchasing distressed debts and then—rather than collecting on it—wiping the slate clean.

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WHERE TO GO FOR WINTER VACATION

As My World Turns

This is where I want to go for a winter vacation – !!!

Central America’s Mesoamerican Reef system stretches more than 600 miles along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. It’s half the size of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef yet easier to access, with some sections of the underwater reef platform beginning within a few hundred yards of shore. Belize’s three coral atolls—Glover’s Reef (36 miles from the mainland), Lighthouse Reef (home to the rare red-footed booby), and Turneffe Islands (the largest and closest at only 25 miles off the coast)—offer exceptional beginner-to-expert sea kayaking and snorkeling along shallow reefs, plus secluded white-sand beaches and unspoiled nature reserves. 

Belize: Reefs, Rain Forests, and Ruins, a National Geographic Adventures small-group expedition, includes safari-style beach camping on Lighthouse Reef atoll and snorkeling along the perimeter of the Great Blue Hole, the nearly thousand-foot-wide sinkhole first explored by Jacques…

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