Meanwhile last week, both the Wells Fargo and General Electric shareholders' meetings were under siege from Occupy activists. The Wells Fargo meeting and protests took place in San Francisco, and afterward an arrested friend of mine posted this on Facebook: "I forgot to mention that Max gave me the Hunger Games salute in jail today. It was awesome."
In this way do fiction and reality meld in misery and triumph as, this very day, janitors in California go out on strike, and even Golden Gate Bridge workers will be protesting. May Day actions are planned across the globe.
Still alive and kicking, Occupy is chipping away in a thousand places at the status quo. 350.org, the little organization that defeated the Keystone XL Pipeline (so far), is holding a global Climate Impacts Day on May 5th and plans to take on the petroleum industry in its next round of actions.
Of course, this is only a beginning, and the banking and oil companies, the 1%, and the prison and education rackets are more than capable of pushing back. So we need one more tool in our arsenal, and that's a picture of what we want, of what a better world looks like. McKibben's Eaarth and Deep Economy offer such a picture, as does William Morris's News from Nowhere, even 120-odd years later, but we won't get that from The Hunger Games, which, for all its thrilling, subversive, and surly delights, is all dystopia all the way home. We may still get it, however, on our stranger-than-fiction planet.- Advertisement -
May Day is a day of liberation -- a day to be seized and celebrated, a day to remember who was shot down on it and who fought for it. It's a day to join those who fought and fight for liberation, to imagine what its most delicious and profound possibilities might look like.
So skip work, flip a bird at the Capitol, commit your deepest love and solidarity to the young whose lives are being gambled away, feed the hungry, take a long look at how beautiful our planet still is, find your way into solidarity and people power, and dream big about other futures. Resistance is one of your obligations, but it's also a pleasure and a way of stealing back hope.
Rebecca Solnit grew up in California public libraries and is thrilled to be revisiting them all over the state as part of the Cal Humanities California Reads project, which is now featuring five books, including her A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster. Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea books remain her favorite young-adult fantasy series, even though she found The Hunger Games trilogy irresistible.- Advertisement -
Copyright 2012 Rebecca Solnit