An Artist’s Response to the St Paul’s protest – Editorial by Rebecca Mellor
Occupations continue at St Paul’s, across the UK and worldwide. Protestors face continued dismissal by disconnected members of government, media and those with their eyes and minds firmly closed to the reality of the impact of inherently unjust and corrupt infrastructure directly on their lives; including banking, warmongering, big business and governance systems and their practices. It is a predictable, but short-sighted strategy in gesture by government, mainstream media and church that fundamentally misses a trick to take the prompts arising from a mismatch of needs and practice, to instigate meaningful changes that are relevant to the individuals, that make up society, quality of life. People en-masse are peacefully demanding that inequalities are addressed for a fairer society and more balanced financial systems are put in place for the greater good of the majority rather than the current relative few.
A stifling ennui is being challenged with the availability to connect the dots, from what is being expressed, across various media, exploring the dialectic evident in the many different perspectives being openly and availably communicated. This process encourages some, whom otherwise might not, to suspend belief and not to readily believe the ‘information’ that is presented. Rather, to think critically about what is represented, the scope of the perspectives they may come into contact with and the language these sources use along with a wider contextual awareness. In these terms, thinking may be considered to be encouraged to increase in its breadth and diversity, as possibility and connectivity and, by proxy, inclusivity become evidently realistic and potential to see ourselves as individuals, fellow human beings and our natural and built environments, as a part of. The Occupy movement does this in its congruence across the planet and the integrity of the demands that are being decided by consensus and peacefully and steadfastly stipulated.
Cameron’s and Osbourne’s defending of the notion that in banking, per se, if you employ someone for a role, they will receive huge bonuses whether they make or lose invisible money, that unwitting taxpayers are liable for; in order then to lose said agreement, do they need to demonstrate gross and irrefutable misconduct? These, some would say criminal, contracts and the obscene amount they add up to, act against any notion of a balanced economy; is that not essential for a healthy economic system? Short sighted MPs who dismiss the London Occupations and beyond, then rally for amoral and dangerous lobbyists, should be wary of the rod they make for their own backs and start to listen to the voices raised around them. A steady stream of responsive supporters, including some politicians, have visited Occupations; many having spoken publicly to express their solidarity with the St Paul’s occupation as well as those happening across the globe. Realistic alternatives exist and the dialogue is in motion. Is now not the time to tune in, to reconnect?
Change is a process which is constantly underway as variables within the dynamic of our existence fluctuate: whether these variables are considered within our infrastructure to become reflective of their needs is the responsibility of, not only those who act as an authority on those matters, but also those who are affected by them. It is your responsibility to raise your voice to challenge injustice and to support solution-focused answers to very real problems. The Occupy movement demonstrates a shift in our awareness and ability to communicate, to experience connectivity and to understand the power of individual voices rising together to create such a deafening and necessary cry for relevant and realistic change.
As society faces changing variables, as new capabilities, technologies and understandings, arise from our changing context, systems need to be responsive to these changes in order to meet the altered needs that accompany them. Only change that sees people over profit will bring about productive change for the greater good of the majority rather than just the self interested few. A widespread yet nonsensical impolitic has shaped our engagement with our own governance systems; the theatre of politics which we all understand intrinsically to be corrupt, ineffectual and wholly damaging in it’s disconnect, has been allowed to continue under its own farcical momentum; now it is faced with the error of its ways, its lack of accountability and its failure to be responsive to society’s needs, as society is faced with the task of stopping the beast and its many agents in full momentum.
Choice is a right and a power; the removal of your freedom to express yourself or to protest, to be heard effectively by a supposed ‘listening’ government is an act against responding to the needs of a collective of individuals; which is essentially whom a government is in place to serve. Be aware that the Coalition are working to strip away your rights for personal choice and opportunity and affect the legality and effectiveness of any voice contradicting the ‘party line’.
The Occupy movement has drawn attention to the contribution and importance of the voice and choice of a diverse array of individuals and reminded us that consensus can be achieved through intelligent and critical dialogue from different people and their respective viewpoints. Those who engage with variables in today’s society and remain open to differing perspectives making them able to compromise to mutually agreeable terms and evolve their understandings. This community exists not only in the tents around the world but online and everywhere where there is the awareness that change is not only possible but necessary, and through communication we make the reality of it stronger.
Occupations, worldwide, have become hubs of communication and ideas. They have prompted subsequent talks and questions from around the globe. As much as there are those who would act to censor or misinform about truths underlying the issues prompting this movement, no one can deny the momentum it is garnering and its capacity to instigate and affect real change. Occupation areas’ wallspace, along with Banksy’s monopoly inspired work at St Paul’s, has in no time been adopted as a canvas for individual’s contributions, ongoing dialogue of the occupy movement and exposés of the the farcical and dangerous policy and policy-makers whom made these occupations inevitable.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and then there is the tunnel at the end of the light; change is a process; let integrity, compassion, intelligence, adaptability, creativity and open critical dialogue lead us forward. The Coalition’s days are numbered but what sneaky policies will they try to bulldoze through before their foreseeable collapse? How many more human rights will they try to negate? Will the police force ever be governed by fairness and equality rather than profit making and defending the greedy? Will certain MPs be held to account and forced to recognise the damage they have caused through the gravity of their disconnect? Whether MPs weather this movement, surviving both politically and personally, will be a direct result of how they respond now to the irrefutable voices of the people of Britain demanding to be heard and the overwhelming evidence that change needs to happen.
The St Paul’s Occupation has now been told it has until after Christmas to continue its demonstrations; have earlier wafts from the government that suggested the protestors do not have the right to be there been repealed to fade off into that vague and misty, although somewhat overcrowded land of politician speak? Until the need for change is addressed is it likely that the UK’s or worldwide civil unrest will show any signs of slowing? Doubtfully; with record energy prices, cost of living, fuel and food inherently oppressive, whilst bankers and big businesses continue to award themselves huge bonuses for simply doing the job that they were employed to do even if they fail miserably or cause gross human suffering and injustices in the process. As corporate greed remains staggeringly unaddressed, collapsing under the burgeoning weight of its ill-gotten profits, the cataclysmic impact of it’s amorality and inequality has no means or buzzwords to try to effectively hide behind or repackage it’s practices as anything remotely humane. Change is essential.
Love and let live; query what you are told, the language used and potential motives; ours is the right to think, develop deeper understandings through discourse and instigate positive and affecting change for the greater good of the many. Consider this tent Occupied.
Text and Image by Rebecca Mellor all rights reserved. www.rebeccamellor.com