Cross-posted from WaveOfAction.org
As the Worldwide #WaveOfAction finds its stride, the #GlobalSpring is in full bloom!
When the crowdsourced #WaveOfAction campaign was being planned for April 4th – July 4th, we were confident that it was going to be a pivotal strategic timeframe based on the amount of activists and organizations planning actions. As the campaign hits the 60-day mark, we are excited to report that it has exceeded our expectations. It has quickly evolved from a three-month long campaign into a global movement of movements, with hundreds of groups and tens of thousands of activists joining in. Crowdsourced Wave of Action videos and graphics have received millions of views. Many Wave of Action social media accounts have been created. #WaveOfAction has become a unifying hashtag that movements are using to show solidarity with each other, to show that all of our issues are connected.
This is the first part in a collaborative series that we will be releasing summing up actions taken throughout the Wave. We highlighted over 150 actions occurring during the first 45 days; based upon a collection of information compiled from the WaveOfAction.org online organizing network and social media posts using the #WaveOfAction hashtag. While this is an extensive recap, it is not an all-inclusive report covering every action. With so many actions happening worldwide, it exceeded our capacity to track all of them. Here is a research spreadsheet listing many of the actions that we are using for this report. In the true collaborative and crowdsourced nature of this campaign, we invite you to add actions that we have not included and create your own reports. (See the end of this article for further information.)
Throughout 2011, a political, social and spiritual awakening began organically emerging with a wave of popular uprisings around the world. People from diverse backgrounds spontaneously rose up against corrupt governments and unsustainable economic systems. This evolution in consciousness manifested with a collective understanding that the modern paradigm is doing much more to limit overall human potential than enhance it.
An extensive report by the Initiative for Policy Dialogue analyzing 843 protests in 87 countries from 2008 – 2013 revealed that we are currently seeing the largest protests in world history, with a steady increase in the overall number of protests every year and a growing number of internationally coordinated actions. They also concluded that a “demand for real democracy” was the primary driver of actions, with people from all age groups and walks of life participating. Here’s a summary from the report:
“From the Arab Spring to the ‘Indignados’ (outraged), from Occupy to food riots. There have been periods in history when large numbers of people rebelled about the way things were, demanding change, such as in 1848, 1917 or 1968; today we are experiencing another period of rising outrage and discontent, and some of the largest protests in world history.
Our analysis of 843 protest events reflects a steady increase in the overall number of protests every year, from 2006 (59 protests) to mid-2013 (112 protests events in only half a year). Interestingly, the period 2006-2013 reflects an increasing number of global protests (70 events), organized across regions….
Leaders and policymakers will only invite further unrest if they fail to prioritize and act on the one demand raised in more of the world’s protests between 2006 and 2013 than any other — the demand for real democracy….
In line with the worldwide yearning for real democracy, middle-class protesters of all ages—from students to retired pensioners—are increasingly joining activists from all kinds of movements, not only in marches and rallies, but in a new framework of protest that includes civil disobedience and direct actions such as road blockages, occupations of city streets and squares, and mass educational events and ‘happenings’ to raise awareness about issues like debt, fair taxation and inequality.”
In this recap of over 150 actions happening since the Worldwide Wave of Action began on April 4, 2014, we echo those findings and further demonstrate the dramatic increase in the number, intensity and international coordination of actions since their 2013 report. If 2011 was the awakening wave, in 2014 we are experiencing another wave of action rising across the world in which a broad array of movements are growing in sophistication and beginning to collaborate and coordinate more effectively. After extensive research, it is now evident that we are in the midst of an unprecedented global uprising.
We are entering a new phase of synergetic convergence. A more unified movement of movements — incredibly diverse yet interconnected and interdependent — is coming together in resonance and evolving with increased harmony. It is an increasingly cohesive and complexifying evolution toward sustainability, shared prosperity, health and wellbeing that enhances overall human potential with a profound spiritual connection to the planet and all sentient beings.
In summing up the findings of the 2013 report in an article entitled, “Around the World in 843 Protests: Living the Most Revolutionary Times in History,” Bernardo Gutiérrez wrote:
“We sail in an unstable political ocean, surfing bursts of protests and unexpected revolts emerging across the globe… an underground, symbolic, liquid revolution that is eroding the foundations of the State… the proletariat are giving way to a new collective body – a new crowd that disperse and reconfigure the world without taking power…. Faceless crowds without leaders are replacing politics in parts of the world without changing the operating system suddenly. What we are seeing is a resilient and mutant crowd that, although it is not able to take formal power, finds the gaps (and hacks) inside to sow the seeds of the new world… revolution may be born after connecting nodes, after a sequence of assembled indignation and linked social empowerments.”
Gutiérrez’s assessment is in strong alignment with developments within the Worldwide Wave of Action. The current emerging movement of movements rides the Wave by connecting nodes, building synergy, creating social empowerments and cultivating the seeds of a new paradigm. Above all, the Wave of Action represents a mass withdrawal of participation in detrimental systems, and the creation of new systems that make old systems obsolete.
As a demand for real democracy is the primary driver of actions globally, the façade of illusory democracy is collapsing on all fronts. Corruption has become the status quo with political bribery now rampant throughout the world. The toxic practices of campaign finance, lobbying and the revolving door between political office and the world’s most powerful corporations have now been “legalized” in most nations.
Public opinion polls clearly prove that many governments throughout the world no longer reflect the will of the people, or have the consent of the governed. Princeton University recently did a study revealing what those of us paying attention already know all too well: the United States is, in scientifically proven fact, not a democracy. They concluded that the US is controlled by economic elites:
“Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination….”
Political corruption and lack of legitimate representation goes hand-in-hand with a destabilizing epidemic of economic inequality. Unfettered shortsighted greed has led to the collapse of governments, economies, ecosystems, health and overall wellbeing. An increasingly centralized global economy based on exploitation and debt has spread severe economic conditions throughout the entire world. A system that results in 85 people having as much wealth as 3.5 billion people, half the global population, is untenable.
Technology now delivers an all-time high capacity for production, distribution and profits. Instead of this dramatic increase in wealth creation delivering a healthier standard of living to everyone, it has been consolidated within a mere fraction of the global population. The mega-wealthy are richer than they have ever been. In the United States, 95% of income gains, since the recession began, have gone to only 1% of the population. Almost half of the current working population earns less money today than people who made minimum wage in 1968. A stunning 76% of the US population is living paycheck-to-paycheck. While US millionaires have $50 trillion in wealth, an all-time record number of people are toiling in poverty, hunger, prison and severe debt.
As Daniel Schmachtenberger describes it in “#WaveOfAction For A New Economic Paradigm,” we have an “extinctionary” economic system based on a very old, primitive and barbaric dominator worldview:
“We have a global economic system developed in the context of managing poverty, sickness, and war. It would collapse from real solutions to any of these issues. We have an economic system that because of interest and fractional reserve banking requires continuous exponential growth to even maintain homeostasis, which is simply impossible on a finite planet. The extractionary and waste producing system that developed with less than a billion people and relatively low technology, does not work with 7 billion people and high technology. This economic system is extinctionary…. It is a system humans made up, based on an old and very poor understanding of our world.”
The extinctionary economic system maintains power through corrupt governments and controlled media systems. Mainstream media’s ability to dominate mass consciousness through repetitious corporate propaganda and censorship is the last line of defense that the falling imperial empire has. “News” and information that reinforces the status quo is presented 24/7. News and information that expands consciousness beyond the dominant corporate worldview is omitted from coverage. This is obvious in the lack of coverage on emerging solutions and rallies for change that are now sweeping the globe. Mainstream media companies blatantly represent the interests of an endangered oligarchy and reveal their bias by not covering this global uprising, the scale of which humanity has never seen before.
In this regard, it is fitting that the battle to #SaveTheInternet has now moved to the forefront of the Worldwide Wave of Action. As governments throughout the world crackdown on the Internet and the Federal Communications Commission prepares to kill net neutrality by creating a pay-to-play Internet that is similar to the operating structure of cable television, media freedom actions are happening with increased frequency. Unlike the traditional media system, the Internet gives people a real voice; it provides uncensored information and the ability to connect and organize on a global scale. It has given birth to a mass awakening and movements toward freedom worldwide; expanding people’s consciousness far beyond the narrow conditioning of controlled media.
Due to the Internet and the growing number of people taking consistent action, the mainstream media’s censorship of global uprisings is getting untenable. There are many indicators that lead us to believe that we are on the verge of a major breakthrough. You don’t need a public opinion pollster to tell you which way the wind blows. It is clear that the overwhelming majority of people want change.
We live in critical evolutionary times. The threats to our survival and wellbeing are real, and many indicators place us at the crossroads of collapse and evolution. The old paradigm’s relentless pursuit of infinite growth and consolidation of wealth and resources are proving to be an overreach that defines the end of an empire and the birth of a new era. This shortsighted greed has activated a global core of humanity, inspiring vibrant new systems and solutions worldwide, an emergence through emergency.
A critical mass of people are now directly feeling the effects of extreme weather, fracking, pollution, toxic food and water, unemployment, debt, low-paying wages and increasing costs of living to the point that they no longer have the ability to live a healthy life. The mainstream media’s lack of coverage on the most vital issues has created a silent majority that feels increasingly frustrated and isolated in their suffering. When the Occupy Movement broke through the gates of the mainstream media, it briefly gave this marginalized majority a voice. Yet now, three years later, by most measures conditions are worse.
As deteriorating conditions and prolonged suffering throughout the general population continues, mixed with the growing communication power of the Internet and the increasing synergy of this movement of movements, we expect momentum to keep building into a large peak wave occurring this fall. In our analysis, the next time a large-scale action in the United States forces mainstream coverage, we believe the dam will break and an unprecedented wave of action will dramatically alter the global political landscape.
To paraphrase Gustave Le Bon’s The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind: The mainstream media makes the modern paradigm seem insurmountable, “because it possesses an outward front, the work of a long past, but is in reality an edifice crumbling to ruin and destined to fall in at the first storm.”
As research indicates, it only takes 3.5% of the population engaging in nonviolent action to create significant and lasting change. There is already a critical mass of awareness; a slight boost in the number of people taking to the streets and taking part in new systems will make dramatic change inevitable.
Despite the fact that there are already more than enough people who want change, many people still feel that we cannot create change. This cynicism is primarily due to the mainstream media’s relentless support of the status quo and lack of coverage on the change that is already well underway. Overcoming this propaganda-induced cynicism is the last obstacle we have to creating the change we collectively wish to see.
In conclusion, based on extensive research, we feel confident that we are on the verge of an evolutionary leap. In many ways, the transformation has already successfully begun. As Barbara Marx Hubbard said in describing the Worldwide Wave:
“We are all members of Generation One! No generation before us has faced either global crises of this order or global opportunities for transformation at this scale. Everyone’s included…. It is, in this sense, the greatest privilege to be alive right now… if you like participation in changing the world!”
Here is a brief overview of popular tactics that have been used during the Wave of Action. In future reports from this series, we will cover the following tactics in more detail:
Waves of Action: Occupation was the tactic that defined 2011. In 2014, the Wave of Action has also had occupations, but has been largely defined as multi-day actions, usually a week or more in length that use a diversity of tactics and are frequently international in scope, or a campaign that features a series of consistently reoccurring actions.
Spiritual Action: The Consciousness and Indigenous Movements are proving that actions that mix spirituality (the inter-connectedness and interdependence of humanity and our ecosystem as a whole) with social and political issues are growing in popularity. Mass meditations have become a popular trend throughout the Wave; there have been hundreds of them globally. As Russell Brand summed it up on one of our Wave of Action organizing calls, “The fusion of spirituality and activism feels like it is emerging for the first time since the sixties.”
Healing Walks: Long marches to raise awareness, which are usually over 100 miles in length, are happening with increased frequency. People have been referring to them as Healing Walks.
Blockades: Blocking harmful activities has always been a popular tactic. Blockades are now happening more often with increased effectiveness — particularly around environmental issues such as fracking, pipelines and tar sands — causing companies billions of dollars in increased operational costs.
Divestment: There have been many successful divestment campaigns. Billions of dollars in investments have been pulled from harmful industries such as fossil fuel and private prison companies, as well as money that has been removed from big banks and the stock market.
Worker Strikes: While always a popular tactic for economic justice, strikes in support of a living wage among the working poor have been a powerful force within the Wave, and international coordination of them is increasing.
Worker Co-Ops: In response to the economic crisis, a major worker cooperative movement is growing worldwide. In the US alone, there are now over 30,000 worker-run cooperatives with over two million workers.
Alternative Economic Systems: People have been dropping out of the fiat currency / debt-based economic system at an increasing rate. Whether it’s crypto-currencies, bartering, mutual aid or the gift economy, participation in new economic systems is common among people taking part in the Wave.
Alternative Energy: The use of sustainable energy has been growing exponentially. Wind and solar power have become the energy sources of choice for people taking part in the Wave.
Organic Gardening: Many people taking action have been posting about the gardens they have created. Taking back our food supply and growing non-GMO food is a hot trend. People have been turning their lawns, vacate lots, rooftops and old abandon buildings into gardens.
Intentional Communities: Communities created around sustainability have been popping up all over the world. These communities are most often totally self-sufficient: growing their own food, building their own infrastructure, providing social services, alternative energy and using their own economic systems.
Art: There have been successful art actions throughout the Wave, from guerrilla street art and postering to collaborative and crowdsourced media projects. There have also been concerts and comedy shows in support of Wave of Action issues.
Independent, Open-Source Online Networks: Activists worldwide have been shifting their organizing focus from exploitative social networking sites like Facebook to independent, open-sourced, change-making focused online communities. D-cent and the new WaveOfAction.org organizing platform are examples of this emerging shift.
Radical Positivity: Transcending Anger & Againstness with Love & Solutions-Based Actions
Protests are still frequently framed in “what we are against” messaging and driven by anger toward those in power, and clashes with police are still driving media coverage. However, a positive solutions-focused “what we are for” frame with love and compassion messaging is quickly gaining traction.
In 2011, in comparison to againstness and anger-based messaging, positive solutions and love-based messaging received less attention, as measured by posts, clicks, retweets and likes. Today, in regard to the Worldwide Wave, positive “what we are for” solutions and love-based messaging is getting much more attention. Fun and humorous actions are also growing in popularity and getting more media attention. We see this phenomenon emerging worldwide throughout the Wave and have been referring to it as Radical Positivity.
Radical Positivity in the face of exploitation and oppression is not easy to pull off. There is certainly much to be outraged over; corruption and injustice are rampant, as are dire economic conditions that create high levels of stress and anger. We support a full expression of emotions and believe in vibrating on all frequencies, and embrace a diversity of nonviolent tactics. However, recent evidence suggests that a positive solution-based frame with love and compassion messaging will provide a powerful strategic advantage going forward.
As the original Worldwide Wave call to action said, “Keep moving forward with an indomitable will, a compassionate spirit and radiate a positive attitude. Moods are contagious. Be passionate and have fun!”
The Worldwide Wave of Action is proving that focusing our energy on rallying in support of solutions and building the new, as opposed fighting the old, is the most effective way to create change. Here’s one of our recent tweets, with over 800 retweets, summing this up:
— Wave of Action (@WaveOfAction) May 26, 2014
Wave of Action Organizing Calls
Every Tuesday at 10 AM PDT / 1 PM EDT we have #WaveOfAction organizing conference calls via InterOccupy with featured guests, updates from organizers and open discussion. These calls have attracted hundreds of organizers from around the world. The WaveOfAction.org and InterOccupy teams facilitate the calls. Patricia Ellsberg starts each call with a brief meditation and attunement.
Guest speakers participating on the calls include Russell Brand, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marianne Williamson, Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, John Perry Barlow, Dylan Ratigan, Nomi Prins, Rivera Sun, Lee Camp, Daniel Pinchbeck, Cecily McMillan, Larry Lessig, Robert McChesney, Velcrow Ripper, Starhawk, Daniel Schmachtenberger, Alex Ebert, Jill Stein, Carl Gibson, Pricilla Grim, Skye Burn, Miguel Aguilera, Lili Haydn, Bill Moyer, Mark DuBois, Shar Zeitgeist, David Gershon, Dennis Trainor Jr., Adil Kassam, Patrick Kronfli, Lee Tien, Holmes Wilson, Josh Levy, Kai Newkirk, Valeria Hamel, Joan Donovan, Sheri Herndon, Steven Starr and David DeGraw.
You can listen to previous calls here.
You can join us and take part in the calls by registering here.
Ride the Wave of Co-Creation
The Wave of Action is a crowdsourced campaign and this series of reports is a collaborative project. In future articles, we will feature reports from people taking part in the Wave. The following movements are participating and will also be featured:
• Sustainable Solutions Movement
• Consciousness Movement
• Indigenous Movement
• Environmental Movement
• Economic Justice Movement
• Healthcare Movement
• Education Movement
• Media Freedom Movement
• Democracy Movement
• Peace Movement
• Human Rights Movement
• Civil Liberties Movement
• Free Political Prisoners Movement
• Art Movement
If you would like to write a report summing up an aspect of the Wave that you are knowledgeable and passionate about, please send it to Admin@WaveOfAction.org.
Here is an evolving spreadsheet with information on over 150 actions that we are using as a research resource. If you have information on any actions that have occurred since April 4th that we have not listed already, please add the information to the bottom of the spreadsheet and send it to Admin@WaveOfAction.org.
We are looking for volunteers to help in all aspects of organizing, from planning and coordinating actions to outreach, social media posting and graphic design. If you want to co-create with us, please email Admin@WaveOfAction.org and let us know what you are interested in doing and how much time you have available.
You can ride the wave and collaborate with over 10,000 activists currently taking action by joining the WaveOfAction.org organizing network.