I grew up believing in the power of the microphone and having some inner need to be aware and socially conscious. Sure I had public school teachers inspired by the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movement to urge me to think. And as a singer -songwriter I was deeply influenced by the work of Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Odetta, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, ...and I could go on. The Occupy Wall Street gatherings in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan that began last September 17th and grew to a movement inspired me. To witness something shifting, something to cling our anxiety, frustration and disbelief to. How could we arrive at such a historical economic crash and continue to allow corporations and organizations to have unfettered access to funds without oversight, tossing regulations aside, allowing greed to override "right action" in the name of profit and "free-market driven policy"? The "We Are The 1%" mantra stuck.
I went to Zuccotti Park many times over the months including before and after the NYPD raid that shut the park down. I sang Amazing Grace with a small crowd standing in the rain, surrounded by barriers and showing a stamina and resolve to continue the fight for justice that I hadn't seen since my youth.
Today I am mindful of the anniversary and how it is not the celebration of the past year so much as it is looking forward to how the next days, months and years will unfold.
Here's a little a recap of my time at Zuccotti Park: