If you know me by now, you know I care deeply about the issues. The reason you know me is because I do not wear a mask.
I am asking you to be fearless.
I am asking you to be accountable.
I am asking you to lose the masks.
When we put our faces out in the world we put a face on human suffering and economic exploitation. The issues can not have a human face if the people fighting for those issues hide behind masks.
When we take off our masks we are stronger.
The violence that has plagued Occupy Wall Street can not be ignored. That violence has largely been committed by people in masks. The consequences have mostly been suffered by people who do not wear masks. This is wrong.
Breaking a window doesn't change a damned thing. Throwing things doesn't make anything better. All it does is hurt, it hurts the movement, it hurts our fellow brothers and sisters, and it hurts the very small businessmen and workers who we are fighting for, it hurts the very communities we are trying to protect, and it gives our corrupt opposition all the resources they need to drown us in a bathtub. The people within the Occupy movement who wear masks and break things are carrying the water that will fill the bathtub we are to be drowned in by their own actions. I want accountability.
But before we can have accountability from a corrupt system, we must strive for accountability among ourselves.
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Now, I'm just one guy, so this is just my personal opinion, but I think that if Occupy Wall Street is going to have any lasting power we have to lose the masks, all of us. If your anonymity is more important to you than the movement you might be more effective within the movement by staying home and doing what you can for the movement behind the scenes (trust me, there is a lot of work to be done behind the scenes, we could use some help!) Yes, we want to hear your voice, but I want to see your face too. When you wear a mask it says that you have something to hide. We should have nothing to hide. The facts are on our side. Justice is on our side. History is on our side. We don't need to hide, in fact, it does us more harm than good in my opinion.
If we are not transparent, if we do not hold everyone accountable how can we demand transparency and accountability, even from a corrupt system? This is true of all of us, for those outside the Occupy Wall Street movement and most importantly from those within it.
If you come to an Occupy event to throw a brick and hide behind the mask, I want you to go to jail. I want you to be held accountable. If you don't want to go to jail don't throw bricks. It's that simple. And if that is all you have to add to the conversation we don't need you there, in my opinion. You're not helping.
We should be building a foundation for the 99% with our bricks, not throwing them at windows.
We should be fearless. We should put our own faces on the injustices we stand against. Income inequality in America is an injustice. Police brutality is an injustice. Our corrupt and bribery based political system is an injustice, there are too many injustices to count, but we lose all of our righteousness, we lose all of our power when we put a mask on and hide our faces. We should be fearlessly putting our own faces on that injustice, because the reality is, V for Vendetta wasn't a movement, it was a movie, and no one ever changed the world for the better and gave their life for a cause in a way that inspired millions while hiding behind a mask.
Dear Occupy Wall Street, you are right on the issues. You have justice on your side. Lose the masks. Our power is multiplied when we put a human face on what we stand for. The masks are only silencing your voices.
In my neighborhood someone wrote on a wall, "Take the bricks they throw at you and build your castle with them." That is what bricks are for.
Masks, on the other hand, are great for movies, but they are useless for movements in my honest opinion.
Peace and love to all,
You can follow me on twitter at @JesseLaGreca