Nothing Day was originally the brainchild of the Adbusters Collective, and in
their typical way they put the idea out into the world, and moved on. BND
has clearly taken on a life of its own with events all over the world, no two
alike. Among the more well known is the Reverend Billy of the
Earthallujah Church, formerly the Church of Stop Shopping, holding an event in
front of Macy's in New York, the epicenter of excessive consumerism on the planet.
This year Adbusters burnished their reputation as culture jammers
by being the first to call for Occupying Wall St.
I am not sure what everyone thinks of Occupy Wall St, though the polls say Americans support the effort, believe that plutocracy has gone too far in undermining our country and our shared value of being in this together. Wall St and some very powerful and rich businessmen, in conjunction with the Washington politicians, have taken a very radical form of capitalism and tried to mainstream it in the media to the direct detriment of both the people of the world and the ecosystems of the planet.
This year, as I work on the Buy Nothing Day Winter Coat Exchange, I am going to keep in mind the work of Occupy Wall St and our local efforts to Occupy Providence. Those of you who have not been to Burnside park might want to make a trip. Something very interesting is going on. People governing themselves, sharing and really practicing democracy. People from all walks of life are there, including many who have no jobs or no homes; people who have always been part of Buy Nothing Day, buying nothing; people needing winter coats; people who have donated coats and volunteered their time.
Occupy Wall St and Occupy Providence is the first evidence in a long time that the cracks in the walls are starting to show and can not be painted over. We are going to address poverty and ecological destruction, the lack of democracy and the power of money to cause destruction in the wake of Occupy or it will be even harder to address down the road as the planetary ecosystems get more out of kilter and the looting of our country by Wall St further impoverishes more people.