Forming a More Perfect Occupation

by Janice Leber

An analogy came to life in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Along a flyway, I came upon a huge cloud of geese galumphing low in the sky in no discernible pattern – wheeling and circling and getting nowhere. The only thing they had in common was the fact that they were all roughly airborne.

As the swirl of geese lumbered clumsily through the sky, a few along the edge would gather and fly off together in small, beautiful formations. A wave of geese would soar off in a big “V,” then another, then another, as the ragged sky-amoeba slowly dwindled into well-formed subgroups that flew away. “V” after “V” formed and drifted off together, all bound for the same destination somewhere down the flyway.

They started out messy, but they found their subgroups and created magic together.

Occupy Portland came together magnetically, a big amorphous blob of anger and pain. Everybody had their own priorities, their personal reasons for sparking to activism, and nobody really knew how to fly. But as time has progressed and the movement has coalesced, groups are finding each other, determining common needs, and flying off in their own unique “V” formations, heading off to create magic together.

A small demonstration called Occupy Wall Street began quietly in September. In three months’ time, the movement has caught fire. We are Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. At this rate, I can scarcely imagine what formations we will form as we continue to flock together toward a common destination.

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