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占领华尔街的终结或许意味着新的开始

David Whitford 2011年11月21日

占领华尔街运动的发起人之一准备宣布胜利。但问题是:“这是对什么的胜利?”

到了赋予抗议活动以政治意义的时候了

    在洛杉矶的时候,我花了整整一个早上的时间,与一位名叫卡洛尔的失业护士一起在市政厅外面的帐篷间转悠。卡洛尔是非洲裔美国人,年龄或许跟我差不多;她没有告诉我她的姓氏。当时,我发现她正对着一张有人贴在留言板上的传单翻白眼,咯咯地笑出声来——那是一份寻找“素食主义博物学家”室友的传单。她说,她之所以来市中心,是因为她想亲眼看看抗议活动,试着了解一下这些人究竟在抗议什么东西。她希望,抗议者能拿出一些具体的要求,最终能够取得当年民权运动所取得的一些进步。这份传单显然并没有让她看到希望。“这场运动不够严肃,”她喃喃自语道。“太不严肃了。”

    卡洛尔和我最终来到了媒体帐篷,发现占领洛杉矶运动的组织者之一克拉克•戴维斯正匍匐在一台笔记本电脑上工作。事实上,戴维斯也跟卡洛尔有着同样的忧虑。“我们准备成为一个具有政治意味的组织,探讨一些严肃的议题,”戴维斯说。但“现在基本上就是人们的一个宿营地而已。”

    戴维斯的当务之急是应对加入抗议活动的无家可归者——这种情况并非洛杉矶所独有。“我们这里的确有吃、有住、有水,有厕所,这也是他们来这里的原因,我们欢迎他们。但这就给占领运动施加了一层外部压力,使得我们很难把关注的重点放在最初吸引我们来这里的原因上面——这场运动的目的是为了给这个国家和全世界带来积极的变化。”

    戴维斯敏锐地意识到,不同于其他爆发占领运动的城市,洛杉矶官方一直对这场运动持支持态度(而其他城市则爆发了警方与示威者的冲突事件)。洛杉矶市议会于10月份通过一项决议,该决议指出,“我们的经济体系只能用破败不堪来形容,”市议会强烈支持“‘占领洛杉矶’继续秉持宪法第一修正案所赋予的权利,采用和平的方式在市政厅草坪开展富有活力的活动。”但在戴维斯看来,占领运动开始让人们觉得已经错失了机会。“他们基本上是等着我们自己精疲力竭,自生自灭,”他说。“这一点真是令人泄气。”

    要是当天拉森跟我们在一起,他或许会要求戴维斯和其他人“保持心中的愤怒,”看看“他们已经完成的不可思议的事情,”不要过于担心这场运动将迈向何方,这一切尚未结束。同时,他说,“我希望占领运动目前这种初始的、疯狂的、诡异的、没有人确切知道究竟是怎么回事的阶段将尽可能地延续下去。只要能让这个世界继续猜测下去,只要越来越多的人开始搜寻这场运动的意义,它就会变得越来越神秘。”

    离开洛杉矶的市政厅之后,我驱车赶往帕萨迪纳市,与圣公会教区长埃德•培根牧师共饮咖啡。数周来,培根一直在向其会众(圣公会教徒有不少属于所谓的1%阵营)宣扬占领运动的意义,就在前一天,他刚刚拜访了抗议营地。所见所闻依然令他兴奋不已。

    “这是一个建立联系的机会,我认为马丁•路德•金就是因为创建了这种联系才被谋杀的,”培根说。“那就是,并不存在相互竞争的社会问题。制造战争的体系、银行体系、种族偏见——所有这些都是环环相扣的丑恶现象。一些人因此遭受肉体上的惩罚,但我们所有人的灵魂都在受折磨。我觉得,我们的灵魂,美国的灵魂,甚至世界的灵魂此时此刻都是扭曲的。我想,整个宇宙都在协力帮助我们在这里迎来救赎的时刻。”

    译者:任文科

Time to get political

    In Los Angeles, I spent a morning wandering among the tents outside City Hall with Carol, an unemployed nurse. Carol is African American and probably about my age; she wouldn't tell me her last name. I found her rolling her eyes and giggling at a flyer someone had posted on a message board, advertising for a "vegan naturist" house mate. She had come downtown, she said, because she wanted to see with her own eyes and try to understand what the protesters were protesting, exactly. She hoped that they were close to settling on a handful of specific demands that might lead some day to the kind of progress that the civil rights movement had achieved. The flyer did not give her hope. "This is lax," she mumbled. "This is too lax."

    Eventually Carol and I made our way to the press tent, where we found Clark Davis, one of the organizers of Occupy LA, hunched over a laptop. Turns out Davis is worried about the same thing Carol is. "We're ready as an organization to get political and start talking about some issues," Davis said, but "right now, all we are is a bunch of people camping, basically."

    Davis's immediate concern was dealing with all the homeless people who had joined the protest—a situation not unique to Los Angeles. "The fact that we do have food here," Davis said, "that we do have shelter, that we do have water, we have restrooms—they are coming to us and we welcome them. Although it's creating an external pressure on the movement which is making it difficult for us to focus on the reasons why we're here, which is to create positive change in this country and throughout the world."

    Davis was keenly aware that unlike other Occupy cities, where police have clashed with protestors, official Los Angeles has been supportive. The city council passed a resolution in October that states "our economic system can only be called broken," and strongly endorses "the continued peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by 'Occupy Los Angeles' on the City Hall lawn." But for Davis, on this day, it was starting to feel like a missed opportunity. "They're basically letting us do ourselves in," he said. "It's discouraging."

    If Lasn had been with me that day, he would have told Davis and the others to "keep that anger in their guts," appreciate "the incredible thing that they already have done," and not worry too much about where all this is going, not yet. Meanwhile, he says, "I hope that this initial, crazy, weird, nobody-quite-knows-what's-going on phase of the movement goes on for as long as possible. As long as you can keep the world guessing, the more people will be pumping for meaning, and the more mystique this movement will have."

    After I left City Hall in Los Angeles, I drove out to Pasadena to have a cup of coffee with the Rev. Ed Bacon, the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church. Bacon has been preaching to his congregation (which includes more than a few one-percenters) about the Occupy movement for weeks, and had visited the camp just the day before. He was still excited by what he had seen.

    "This is an opportunity to make the connection that Martin Luther King, I think, was killed for making," Bacon said. "And that is that there are not competing social issues. The war-making system, the banking system, racial prejudice—all of these are interlocking evils. Some people get it in the neck physically from that, but all of us get it in the soul. And our soul, the American soul, and I think the soul of the world is distorted right now. I think the universe is conspiring to help us have a redemptive moment here."

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