December 9, 2011
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I celebrated my birthday recently and was asked the question that is always asked after another year has passed: “How does it feel to be [insert age here]?” I am now 21 and I have to say that this time I do feel different, older. I don’t mean that I feel older physically but I am experiencing a greater sense of responsibility, to myself and to what’s around me. I have a desire to deal with situations on my own, to have a hand in how things that affect me are resolved. As Gerad wrote below, I no longer wish to just accept things as they are.
Which is why I am particularly eager and excited about today’s Occupy The Future events. I have received so many emails about this monumental day, all stirring and moving. The one that resonated with me the most, however, ended by asking people to roll out to the teach-ins and the rally to show that “we will not be bystanders.” I agree with this wholeheartedly. Inequality, injustice, and everything else in between—they are happening all around us everyday and we cannot ignore them. They are real social issues. I want to put special emphasis on the word social, because these issues do not just affect one person or a few people, they affect everyone.
They affect all of us. This means that we cannot allow one person or a few people to dictate how these issues should be addressed. These problems, in my opinion, can only be solved by a collective: we should all be working together to overcome them. We must not think that others will handle these concerns. (This is exactly the effect that should be avoided; if everyone thinks this way, no one will take care of things.) We cannot let a small number of people make the decisions for the majority, and then voice dissatisfaction if those decisions are not to our liking. This is reactionary. What we want is to be proactive, to control situations by causing something to happen rather than waiting to respond to it afterwards. Breakthrough: Occupy the Future is one way we can do that.
Join the movement. Attend the events. Take matters into your own hands. Own your responsibilities. You don’t have to wait until you’re 21 to do it. You can make it happen now. We can make it happen now.
For a full schedule of events, and to learn more about the movement, please click here.
December 6, 2011
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On December 9, we have the opportunity to show our discontent with expanding inequality and the undermining of American democracy by special interests.
We have the unique ability as an elite institution to both add legitimacy in support of the various ocupy movements and to appropriate some part of the movement for our own (privileged) selves. We must work to shift the consciousness of the university towards decisive action not with the hope mollifying the consequences of systemic inequality but rather in order to breakthrough injustice so we can fix the broken system.
I refuse to accept that what “is” cannot be altered for the better. The way things are are not the way things have to be.