Thursday, March 15, 2012

Small Victories along the Way

I’m sitting by the fire, listening to the rain in these early morning hours of prayer, meditation, and writing. A Stage Two drought has been declared in Nevada County in spite of recent rain, reminding me that climate disruption and the struggle for climate justice continues. Still, I’m grateful that we have a climate and for all the ways that weather manifests. Precious rain. Precious peace.

The work is ongoing. Last night we had a big success- Nevada City joined other cities and towns in calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood and declare that money is not speech. It was late, after 9:30, when the City Council cut off public comments and voted unanimously in favor of the resolution. Instead of the “twinkles” that had expressed appreciation throughout the meeting as people spoke, after the vote we broke into claps and cheers. Then we stood around outside in the rain celebrating, some of us even singing and dancing to AmousLou’s “Corporations Aren’t People” routine.

The City Council vote was a welcome gift, and in a way it was a gift, as if it had just fallen into our hands. We had done the footwork of organizing a coalition and of educating ourselves and others. When a previously unknown (to us) person named Charly Price submitted the resolution to the Council and we learned that it would be on this week’s agenda, we wanted to maintain our balance and focus as a group, but also respond to this new development. We strategized, put the word out through our networks and helped get about a hundred people to turn out to support the resolution. It passed. We did the footwork, but it felt like a gift.

We needed it. We need these small victories along the way. Our local Occupy Nevada County and Nevada County Move to Amend are experiencing the joys as well as the frustrations of working together. As we get to know each other, our rough edges start showing. Sometimes our goals or our personalities clash. Issues arise related to structure and process. Direct democracy isn’t easy. We have work to do in the areas of nonviolent communication, conflict resolution, and community building if we are going to be a cohesive, persistent, and vital force for creative social change.

I value each person in our group. I feel compassion for us as individual human beings and I feel honored to be getting to know people and to be sharing our struggles and hopes with each other. I am grateful for this amazing community of people, as flawed and limited and beautiful as we all are, people who see what is at stake and are willing to give so much as we travel together on this journey toward transformation and love and healing and peace. Power to the people. We are the people!

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