Letter at Length

Occupy movement gets stronger, not weaker

For what it's worth, not surprisingly my view of labor unions and the Occupy movement could only be more distant from Lachlan Markay's commentary if we lived on separate planets (Nov. 28, headlined "Occupy Wall Street becoming just another labor protest"). Perhaps we do.

While he sees the protests as waning, co-opted by unions and a function of left-wing activism, unserious about addressing special interests' influence over the political process (his words, not mine), I see this Occupy movement as a richly powerful organic process, operating in the same manner that mycorrhiza function in the deep soil of our forests, nourishing and sustaining its trees. Mycorrhiza are fungal organisms that operate in teamwork with the roots of plants and trees to feed them the valuable nutrients necessary for healthy growth. These mycorrhizal associations are characterized by being independent with an existence of their own.

This is exactly the way I see the various occupations operating. They spread like mycelium, the underground vegetable part of the fungus, popping up everywhere, independently and interconnected, in mutual support, intention and encouragement. I see a network much deeper than "grass roots," spreading out horizontally, democratically, vigorously growing and engaging with issues of fundamental concern to the ordinary members — the work force — of society, in an attempt to improve its health.

Hopeful signs abound. This democratic structure keeps showing up and persisting nationwide, despite concerted, premeditated, top-down, coordinated efforts to eradicate it — including the use of brutal police tactics, which, in fact, seems to be unifying and strengthening the movement.

If Lachlan Markay were to come out of his safe office at the Heritage Foundation (a conservative think-tank) and actually attend a General Assembly at any Occupy scene, he might realize that these folks are serious indeed — seriously out of work, seriously and righteously angry about the inequities in our economic and financial system, seriously respectful of each other and seriously confident in their determination to effect change. This movement is Wall Street's comeuppance, the karma of its greed and disregard for the common good.

Enrich the soil by joining the Occupation. For more information contact: occupyashland@gmail.com

Dot Fisher-Smith


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