Howdy! The Occupy Together movement has captured imaginations around the world, inspiring hope and action as well as loathing and violent crackdowns. In London it has forced discussions about the crossovers between Christianity and Occupy due to the Occupiers being on church land. Yet discussion about this in the rest of the world has not really happened despite the obvious connections of economic justice, less greed, and more inclusive societies.
To this end I’ve created a simple website for Christians to voice their support for the Occupy movement simply by signing your name and city. What these folks are doing deserves much broader and more active support than has been given so far, and as mainstream voices Christians we have a significant opportunity to play a role.
The Occupy movement also gives Christians an opportunity to witness to Christ’s love for them and all society via a consensus process which seeks to honour all voices, so I encourage you to be involved in your local iteration, whether that be through practical support, or encouragement, or involvement at General Assemblies where everyone has a chance to speak.
It’d be great if you could share the Christians for Occupy website with your friends, families and church communities the world over too.
A great deal of confusion regarding Occupy has been the lack of clear demands. This is partly because it is not a typical ‘protest’ movement – it has begun with the sense that not all is right within the current system, particularly with regard to economic equality and democratic systems, and that merely tinkering around the edges is insufficient. It proceeds on the basis that in order to create change an alternative system needs to be set up, even if on a small scale initially. Therefore the initial demand is for a process, based in consensus, where everyone’s voice is equal. This is why occupying a particular space becomes important, because it provides a hub in which this process to be run. It is also why different cities and countries have focussed on different things. Here’s the clearest explanation of this movement I’ve come across (from the philosopher Slavoj Zizek).
If you’d like to read a couple of things I’ve written on Occupy, see this Open Letter to Occupy Melbourne, and my response to Lord Mayor Robert Doyle’s piece in the Herald Sun following the eviction of Occupy Melbourne from the City Square.
Happy to talk about this further if you’re interested,