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September 19, 2012

The First Year Anniversary of Occupy-- and the beginning of the Toppling of Top-Down Power

By Rob Kall

Occupy had a great first year anniversary. Discussing the success of occupy through the lens of the Bottom-Up revolution

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It's interesting. I've written a few pretty hard hitting articles the past few days, advocating for tough actions to fix America and to punish the criminals, sociopaths and thieves who have ripped off the middle class and the future of America. And some respond in a way that makes me think they're victims of top-down mind syndrome. They're afraid to trust bottom up approaches, meaning solutions that trust people, that take power away from centralized, hierarchical powers. They attack these ideas as dangerous. That's true. The ideas are dangerous to the existing hierarchy, the current holders of top-down power. 

On Monday, I took two trains to get to New York, then a subway to get to the financial district, where the One Year Anniversary of Occupy was taking place. 

It was a bit chaotic. 

There were a bunch of groups marching, banging drums, carrying signs, chanting, shadowed by hundreds of police, everywhere you turned. Every now and then the White Shirt police would, seemingly capriciously, grab a protester and put the plastic handcuffs on him or her. 

When I first arrived at Zucotti Park, it was blocked off by the ubiquitous gates the cops use to keep people out. By 2:00 PM, the park was full. I'd been there last year, in October, at the peak of Occupy, and on Monday, the crowd of thousands seemed just as big, just as strong, just as joyful, diverse and undisciplined. 


Zucotti Park 9/17/2012-- packed from edge to edge photo by Rob Kall

Yet the mainstream media failed to cover this, or, worse, they reported a very different picture. 

People, even progressives, ask me what Occupy has really accomplished, as though the movement was a failure that did nothing. 

I see part of the problem being what I started this article discussing. People are so stuck in their top-down minds, so addicted to seeing things from a top down perspective, to living with top-down rules, that they are terrified of the ways that the bottom up revolution is emerging manifesting itself. Some ways, like the explosive success of Google, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are not as frightening. But changes to the social structure, to the way change happens, to the way the economy is managed-- those can be terrifying to people suffering from top-down mindset. 

The idea of shrinking corporations, fighting too-big-to-fail, eliminating globalization treaties that were created for the benefit of the biggest multinational corporations can evoke attacks of foolish, of illogical, impossible, even dangerous. And, in fact, some of the ideas are dangerous-- to the lords of the kingdom-- the people who currently wield the reins of the top-down system we now live under. 

These top-down mind people see the roving Occupy marchers from Monday as ineffective, disorganized failures. 

I say that is top-down blindness- the inability to see, just as some animals only see in limited light band frequencies.  

Before Monday's first Anniversary, when people asked me about what Occupy had accomplished, my first response was that it's changed the conversation. It's brought the ideas of income inequality, of the 99% and the one percent, corporate personhood, excessive corporate influence on government, Citizens United, money in politics, Student Debt... to name a few. 

But it's bigger than that. Occupy put protest on the table for several new generations. It put getting in the streets on the table. That's a big deal for a nation that has been suffering from an extreme case of boiling frog syndrome, slowly allowing the two party system to become hyperpolarized while at the same time merging into a single corporatist duopoly. 

This idea that people can and will go out in the streets to make change happen is something that people need to open up to. Occupy has done it. To see it, you don't look at the occupy protesters. You look at the people looking at them.  Here are some pics I took on Monday of onlookers. 


photo by Rob Kall


Photo by Rob Kall


Photo by Rob Kall


Photo by Rob Kall


And here are a few taken last year, in Washington DC, as I walked in the middel of a protest march to the National Air and Space Museum to protest the use of Drones. 


photo by Rob Kall


Photo by Rob Kall

and here's what they were looking at, taking photographs of-- photos that they posted on facebook, showed to their family, friends and co-workers. 


S17 Occupy 1st Anniversary Protesters in NYC-- the two men in the front were arrested in front of Bank of America a few minutes later.  Photo by Rob Kall


October 2011, Washington DC photo by rob kall


And here, below, is a video of marchers I took on Monday at the first year Occupy anniversary. Note that there are less marchers in this protest march. That's because simultaneously, there were many marches going on, all over the financial district and other parts of the city. There were onlookers for each march-- and just seeing the marchers changes the way they see the world, they way they relate to the possibility of change.

 



It doesn't matter with the onlookers agree or not. They can hate occupy. Just seeing the protesters, of all ages, gets the  onlookers opening up more to the idea that even THEY could be in the streets, as hundreds of thousands eventually did in Argentina, where the government was forced to resign. 

Vote, but don't expect any substantive change from electoral politics. Occupy is the future of hope for the USA and for the world. 


Zucotti Park S17 on the First anniversary of Occupy Image the Hope Poster at the start of this article is based upon. Photo by Rob Kall. 

Our culture, our economy, humanity itself is in the midst of a shift-- a transition from a top-down controlled world to a bottom-up world. It's going to change everything. It will be very difficult for some, particularly those born and raised in the top-down world. It easier, even natural and obvious for those born since the start of the internet. For many, the ideas that the bottom up revolution brings will be strange, bizarre, crazy, stupid, impossible. For some the ideas will be dangerous, the enemy, the worst possible future-- particularly those among the one percent. They will fight tooth and nail, using hierarchy, centralization, old control system-- religion, government, big corporations-- to prevent the change. People have already died and many more will die. Others will, through understanding the bottom-up revolution and mind, find great success. Even success will be defined differently. Welcome aboard for the ride. You can't refuse to come along. You're on it whether you like it or not. 

 




Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 


To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.


Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

Rob's articles express his personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.


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