We would like to share with you all our experience at an international level in preparing and coordinating the actions of the 15th of October. Specifically, we would like to share the things we discovered along the way, the prejudices we left behind and how amazing it is to meet people from all over the world who are thinking about the same things that we are thinking about here.
We will be taking to the street in more than 951 cities in 82 countries, more or less, and, in most cases, we will not only demonstrate but organize ourselves through assemblies, as the idea is taking root all over the world that change must go beyond demonstrating in the street. In Brazil, there were only small groups in a few cities, but now 10 cities will be taking to the street. In Eastern Europe and Russia, the movement is catching on and they will start organizing assemblies..
The main ideas we have seen received with the greatest enthusiasm are horizontal organization, non-violence, inclusiveness and collective intelligence. These ideas have made it easy to adopt the assembly system idea in countries where it had not been part of their political tradition. This fact is particularly noteworthy in two of the countries in which the movement is the strongest: USA with Occupy Wall Street and Israel. .
Non-violence has also become second nature for this constantly growing movement. This is made loud and clear in Occupy Wall Street: when they are subject to mass arrests, the resistance must be non-violent because that is where our strength lies and more people hit the streets in response to police violence. The less violent we are, the stronger we become. Moreover, in a society as violent as USA, where arms are a part of everyday life, the fact that non-violence has become a core principle leads us to think that something is changing.
In the case of Israel, everyone knows what its government is doing in occupying Palestinian land. However, people insist that the movement does not want to be violent, as spaces are opening up for a dialogue on touchy issues like Palestine. At the Tel-Aviv camp, there is a zone for Palestinians to gather and engage in discussion. What’s more, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs are taking part in the mobilizations, in some cities more than others, but there they are, together in the street. This broke a number of our preconceptions. We started to believe that people want peace even though their governments have policies oriented towards war. Here, once again, we can see the huge gap between politicians who don’t represent us – even if we vote for them – and the people.
These are two tangible examples of how change is happening in the preconceptions they – and we – have been hit over the head with for so many years. We know this is only the start of such questioning, only the first unsteady baby steps, and the path is a long one. But we know we are on the right path, so we’ll keep moving at our own pace without letting ourselves get pushed ahead of ourselves by external elements or outside impositions.
Again, we have been surprised by the reaction all over the planet, how old clichés are being left behind. People are not good or bad because of their place of birth; people who live in violent or extreme countries like Egypt, the US or Israel are not very different than us, really. As a fellow activist said the other day: if people are not bad and they’re using the right method, what can go wrong?
What we wish to share, once again, is that the 15th of May movement is surprising us wherever it emerges and it is capable of breaking traditional structures and discovering new ways of engaging reality. Old, antiquated politics with its incontrovertible schema, its petrified visions of the world and its magical solutions is giving way to a movement that’s ready to rethink everything, question everything and rebuild the world collectively, in a way that each one of us can contribute our own part, our own idea and our own way of seeing life.
In these last few days before the 15th of October, we are seeing one and all beginning to share what is happening, what people are doing in our respective cities as we work out ways of joining together, hearing each other, feeling for each other and staying together beyond the 15th: that is, thinking of new ways to make decisions that affect our lives and take back the dignity they’ve robbed from us.
The wave of confidence surrounding the 15th should allow us to set aside past fears and prejudices because are building something new. It won’t be easy, but this cannot be stopped, and we don’t want to stop because this process will bring about the change we seek.
We hope we have given you at least some idea of the international movement of which we are a part in the four corners of the world.