To the Editor:
Ninety-plus people gathered at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center for an afternoon of videos, music, and discussions about the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Looking at the audience that filled the MV Hebrew Center this Sunday afternoon, one would never guess it was a forum entitled Understanding the Occupy Movement. There was hardly a young face there. It was mostly 50- and 60-somethings. There were no signs, no protesting, and certainly no loud music.
As the participants gathered, pictures of occupiers from all over the world, as well as many taken right here on Martha’s Vineyard, holding a variety of signs, were shown on the large screen at the front of the community center’s room. As people settled, one of the many anthems of the Occupy movement, “We Are The Many”, written and sung by Makana, a popular Hawaiian troubadour, set the mood for the afternoon of video presentations and discussions. The topics included The Occupy Movement, The Economic System and its Politics, and A New Way Forward.
After each set of videos, each of the 10 tables individually discussed their impressions of the videos, what the Occupy movement meant to them, exchanged what they knew and didn’t know, and looked to see what could be done for a better future. To conclude the program, each table shared what they got out of the afternoon and what could be done on the Vineyard to further the message of Occupy in bringing our community closer together.
Closing the afternoon, the Vineyard’s own Michael West sang a song that he wrote called “I Want To Occupy Your Heart.” Judging from the lively and engaging conversations that continued through the community supper, everyone was more informed and enthused and itching to become involved.
The event organizers, Jeri Dantzig, Chris Riger, and I, and the rest of the team, thank the many volunteers and contributors in making this first forum event of OccupyMV an incredible success. And a special thank-you to the Hebrew Center for providing the wonderful space and facilities to hold the event.