Posted by CODEPINK Staff
by Rivera Sun
This piece was written for our contemporary myriad movements,
but it is particularly poignant in regards to the Wave Of Action,
which is attempting to tap into the incredible creativity around the
globe. As events, actions, and images are being crafted, remember to
look for opportunities to strategically collaborate with one another.
We can increase our strength by working together not only in name,
but in coordinated actions. Such is the case in the natural ecosystems
of the Earth, and so it is for emergent movements such as ours.
I feel like shaking everyone and saying, don't you get it? We don't
need a Movement of Movements - we are a movement of movements.
My friends, we have been trapped in old dominant paradigm
thinking. We have been steeped in warmongering, hierarchical,
competitive, control-based mindsets since birth. We think we are
lacking something, or that we're ineffectual at organizing, or we're
failing. We call for a Movement of Movements, like the War to End
All Wars, a rallying cry that will amass the allies on the edge of the
battlefield so we can massacre our enemies.
It makes me want to laugh - and cry.
We want to name, label, categorize, and control the emergent
phenomenon of this revolutionary resistance. We want to take the
wild flurry of activity that is erupting on a thousand fronts and turn
it into an army for change. We want to call it something because then
we can control it. This is what our lineage of science and religion
has taught us: if we give it a name, it is ours. If we trademark the
Movement, we can capitalize on it. If we organize it all in one place,
we can make it work to what we consider its highest potential.
We need to let go. We need to surrender to this very large
phenomenon and join with it. We need to trust each other, the causes,
and the organic, emergent nature of what is happening . . . this is
revolutionary. This is a way of participation that is radical in our
The long history of invasion, conquest, genocide, wars of aggression,
and abuse of people and the planet has indoctrinated us in false
beliefs that we must organize everything in order to survive. But these
old patterns of competition and control are a worldview perpetuated
by the wealthy elite, who profit from such mentalities at our expense.
To this end, they have abused the theories and philosophies of the
Judeo-Christian God and Darwin, alike. They school us in fear-
based, violent mindsets to ensure that we will never pose a serious
threat to their dominance. If we do not emancipate our minds from
their worldview, we will remain blind to the greatest strengths of our
Building a Movement of Movements seems to be the logical,
strongest, and wisest approach to breaking our opponents' power, but
our real strength may lie in our myriad movements. The empowered
elite are fighting us on all fronts. We have them surrounded on
all sides. Our plethora of issues distracts them, divides them, and
weakens their centralized position. They sit in the fortress of wealth
and power, staring wild-eyed into the living, breathing, diverse jungle
of opposition. There is nothing they would like more than to see us
assemble all of our strength in one place and march down the road to
their fortress. Then they could destroy us in one swoop. So, from the
balustrades of their socio-political system, they taunt us and mock us,
calling us disorganized and inefficient.
We are not disorganized. We are organized differently.
"We are the ivy crawling up the buildings, the moss breaking down
the bricks, and the dandelions shooting up in the sidewalks. We're
as vast as the planet and as microscopic as infectious disease. The
Dandelion Insurrection isn't a handful of radicals. It's all of Life
itself!" - from The Dandelion Insurrection
We must learn to look at the interconnections of our myriad causes
and wage struggle through collaboration, not control. Our causes are
not at odds with each other, nor do they need unification under one
name or coordination from a central command. Instead, we need to
collaborate strategically, using our diversity of issues as our strength.
If we look at the overlapping issues of health, economy, jobs, peace,
surveillance, education, energy, housing, environment, democracy,
and so on, we will see that every movement is working to replace
destructive, corrupt systems with constructive, life-supporting,
sustainable alternatives. Our strength lies in our inherent unity, not
in the label attached to it. Our only weakness is in our uncertainty . . .
and the fact that we remain unaware of the power of our situation.
We can tap into the collective and coordinated strength of our many
movements by learning to strategically collaborate with one another.
A few key elements of such an approach are:
• 1) Celebrate other's achievements; the success of one cause is the
success of the whole.
• 2) Support each other's efforts through solidarity, encouragement,
resources, media campaigns, etc.
• 3) Take time to analyze the interconnections of the movements.
Search for untapped strengths and sources of support. Identify
pivot points of change and opportunities for other movements
to help sway a critical element of your own movement.
• 4) Talk with each other. Find out how your efforts overlap and look
for opportunities for strategic collaboration.
Our movements are revolutionary; their manner of collaborative,
horizontal organization is the most natural, organic system on
Earth. We terrify the empowered elite because we reflect, in our
very structure, the most powerful force on the planet: Life. In what
they call our disorganization, we embody the natural systems that
the patriarchal, Puritanical European colonizers have been trying to
repress and control for thousands of years. Our movements are as
frightening to them as a liberated woman, or the pagan religions of
old Europe that succumbed to the first invasion of the mentality that
now engulfs the empowered elite around the globe. We are organic
and uncontrollable . . . and we are, ultimately, unstoppable.
Instead of codifying our movements under one name, we must
learn to recognize who and what we are. We are a movement of
movements, a great multiplicity of motion. We are a thousand points
of light. We are Life, itself.
Author/Actress Rivera Sun is a co-founder of the Love-In-Action
Network, a co-host on Occupy Radio, and, in addition to her
new novel, The Dandelion Insurrection, she is also the author of
nine plays, a book of poetry, and her debut novel, Steam Drills,
Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, which celebrates everyday heroes
who meet the challenges of climate change with compassion, spirit,
and strength. www.riverasun.com
This essay was inspired by a group of women during a Women
Weaving the World discussion. Many thanks to all of them for the
deep reflections, but particularly to Kathe Schaaf who spoke of
the movement of movements in an eye-opening way. Learn more
about Women Weaving the World here.