Mar 7, 2014
Compassion Is Our New Currency: Notes on 2011’s Preoccupied Hearts and Minds
Posted on Dec 24, 2011
By Rebecca Solnit, TomDispatch
Nothing has been more moving to me than this desire, realized imperfectly but repeatedly, to connect across differences, to be a community, to make a better world, to embrace each other. This desire is what lies behind those messy camps, those raucous demonstrations, those cardboard signs and long conversations. Young activists have spoken to me about the extraordinary richness of their experiences at Occupy, and they call it love.
In the spirit of calling things by their true names, let me summon up the description that Ella Baker and Martin Luther King used for the great communities of activists who stood up for civil rights half a century ago: the beloved community. Many who were active then never forgot the deep bonds and deep meaning they found in that struggle. We—and the word “we” encompasses more of us than ever before—have found those things, too, and this year we have come close to something unprecedented, a beloved community that circles the globe.
Rebecca Solnit, a TomDispatch regular, continues occupying the public library, the sidewalks, her deepest hopes, and the armchair in which she writes, supports 350.org, and joins Occupy San Francisco and Occupy Oakland in their general assemblies and actions.
Copyright 2011 Rebecca Solnit
New and Improved Comments