By Joe Sibilia
Violence has no place in a civil society. Some may argue it’s in our nature. Others argue nature is still evolving and violence is a lower form of human behavior and will ultimately be eliminated as a useful course of action. I believe most want peace.
The difference between Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland is best illustrated with this video, an American war hero heralding peace gets hit. That’s not cool. Both sides, protestors and government authorities (including police), must be willing to talk. When such conversation ceases, it sows the seeds of violence. I plan to report from Oakland soon.
On my last visit to Occupy Wall Street, our youngest daughter, a recent college graduate, accompanied me. We held a poster designed 20 years ago by a former drug addict I mentored.
We wanted to illustrate the evolution of business that results in Enlightened Capitalism while appreciating the great works that have helped mankind made by entrepreneurs of all ages, and while still expecting constant improvements. These protesters want things to improve. CSRwire wants things to improve. Most people want a better life for their kids. A spark, here, has ignited something in our souls. People are energized – it’s like an epiphany.
During this most recent visit, a young girl holding a sign on Broadway asked to stand next to me with a cardboard sign that read, “Let’s make a better future.” All around the perimeter, signs read, “Let’s make a better future!”
The accommodation between the City of New York and the protesters has resulted in a much cleaner environment – self-organized by the protesters. In addition, the drumming circle has accommodated neighboring residents by agreeing to perform twice per day and not late at night (which I must admit was a lot of fun in a sobering environment). Since a schedule has been set, 12-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m., world-class musicians are joining trashcan drummers to entertain the crowds. Meditation times have not experienced such restraint. Meditation still happens around 6 p.m., organized by the Sikh community; other meditations occur as inspired.
Tour buses crawled down Broadway and hundreds of people took pictures to share with their social media ‘friends’ and ‘followers’. The message is getting out on a wide scale. Occupy organizers have reached many milestones, including accommodations, professionally designed and printed signs, information websites and handouts, an operating library, composting, cardboard recycling, cleaning initiatives, food giveaways, organized speeches, working groups outside the park, live streaming video (many of the younger protestors flock to the streaming video area and get engaged), blogs, debates, and more.
Here, the democratic process is unfolding before our eyes. History is being made minute-by-minute. It’s about time the American consciousness be aroused and wake up a sleeping giant that might be primed for Enlightened Capitalism. In the meantime, we’ll continue our work distributing, archiving, moderating and hosting as much useful corporate social responsibility and sustainability information that will contribute to improving capitalism for the common good.
About Joe Sibilia
Joe Sibilia is CEO of CSRwire, the social responsibility newswire service that distributes and archives corporate social responsibility/sustainability news to journalists, analysts, investors, activists, academics, public relations and investor relations professionals worldwide.
Joe founded the Gasoline Alley Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation that has incubated 43 small businesses since 1985 and teaches inner city and/or underprivileged persons to be successful entrepreneurs using socially responsible/sustainable business practices while revitalizing inner city neighborhoods.
He has worked with a number of socially responsible companies, been widely recognized for his work in attempting to take Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream private, while creating a private stock exchange for CSR companies, and recently authored Street Smart Sustainability: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Profitably Greening Your Organization's DNA with David Mager.
Readers: Can ‘Occupy’ bring about Enlightened Capitalism? Tell on Talkback!