Grievances

I’m fascinated by this Occupy Wall Street movement. More than anything, I want to know what the tipping point was. What forces combined to push the protesters out of their temperature controlled houses, away from all of their electronic devices and creature comforts and into the streets? How did they go from disgruntled to determined? Just a month ago, it seemed clear that we’d all decided it was too screwed up to fix and we just focus on eating locally and finding the best sunscreen to protect ourselves from the harmful UV rays. But, here I am in a town of 8,000 and there is an Occupy Ojai encampment in our public park.

What drives our fist into the air? What makes us stick out a toe and draw a line in the sand? When is enough enough? Maybe you’ve had enough and don’t even know it. Maybe you’re ready to get free of whatever’s keeping you down, whatever’s keeping you from writing.

Here is the List of Grievances in the Declaration of Independence. And here is the Occupy Wall Street List of Grievances. Prepare to get riled. These aren’t complaints, sighed out with resignation. These are grievances that get drafted up as a precursor to some serious, organized whoop-ass.

PROMPT: Write your list of grievances against the unjust forces that prevent you from writing or living life as a creatively free and fulfilled human being. There are many powerful forces to name: time, formal education, social structures, financial pressures, crimes against the spirit. Don’t be polite, safe or even reasonable. Do keep your pen moving. Brainstorm a draft and tidy it up later. Take on the system. Occupy space. Raise your fist high! 8 minutes.

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