OCCUPY LOVE: From Egypt To Wall Street.  I’m really excited about this new video we’ve just completed!  It  captures the moving visit of members of the Egyptian Revolution to Occupy Wall Street. Featuring Asmaa Mahfouz - the girl who helped sparked the Egyptian Revolution through her famous youtube video, which went viral. Part of an upcoming feature documentary, “Occupy Love." Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Velcrow Ripper (Scared Sacred, Fierce Light) who has been shooting at Occupy Wall Street since day one. Co-produced with Ian MacKenzie.

Filmmakers: #2 Velcrow Ripper

Velcrow Ripper is also a Canadian filmmaker. He has produced dozen of films, including “Scared Sacred”, which I loved it, where he visited the ‘Ground Zeros’ of the planet, asking himself if it’s possible to find some hope in the darkest moments of the history. He has also other films under his belt, like “Fierce light: when spirit meets action”, fueled by the belief that another world is possible; and the most recent documentary film, “Occupy Love”, where he tries to give an answer to the following question: how could the crisis we are facing become a love story?

He is also a public speaker, a cinematic activist, a writer (has so beautiful poems) and an evolutionary agent, and that’s what it makes him so special.

In 2014 we will rise up like never before.

We will rise up with compassion, action, and consciousness.

We will rise up rooted, like trees.

We will rise up connected, like mycorrhizzal fungi, a rhizome spreading, cracking, shattering the cold concrete of a consumer culture bent on self destruction.

We will turn the tides, correct the course, re-align, re-design, re-vamp, re-jig it all before the jig is up. Then we’ll dance a jig!

We will rise up symbiotic, interdependent and independent, free thinking and open hearted, throwing our mind body heart and spirit into service to the greatest good in this time of greatest crisis.


Occupy the Snowstorm!  Yesterday was day 43 of Occupy Wall Street, and we were hit by a freak snow storm.  As is “the new normal” in this era of rapid climate change, record breaking extreme weather and storms are happening everywhere.   It was particularily unusual to have a huge snowstorm like this while trees were still in full leaf, causing serious power outages affecting 1.8 million people, according to the New York Times.   At Occupy Wall Street, it also offered a taste of the challenges ahead when a more lasting winter weather settles.  Spirits were strong with the people I interviewed, and the love was alive.  There is some question as to how long we can stay, especially as conditions worsen.   There are those that hope the movement will simply disappear.  Not likely.  Yes, no doubt we will contract, but let’s use the coming changing season to go deeper, plant our roots and then burst up with the spring sun, and take this movement even further.  Indications that we are in for the long run include a planned gathering of Occupy Together movements from all the different cities on July 6th, 2012.    There will be some hardy souls who keep on camping through the winter. For those of us who just can’t do that, keep coming down, bring hot chocolate, music, and winter fun.  Check out one of the Occupy Winter facebook pages for ideas of how you can help.    We are just beginning. The time is now. Stay warm and stay strong!


After a beautiful day of marching and gathering in solidarity at Occupy Oakland, a small group of vandals set fires and destroyed property, some of them to local businesses who had offered support to the movement and participated in the General Strike.  In the morning, many members of the movement gathered together to offer support and clean up the mess.   I saw signs posted next to broken windows apologizing. A high school teacher who participates in Occupy Oakland said to me “I know who these kids are - and believe me they are kids - they’re the same students of mine who write in the text books.”   Others say the worst of it was done by Agent Provocateurs.  

One person who spoke to me on camera said that he witnessed a tire fire being started and tried to intervene, only to be assaulted, as were others.  Once the fire was raging, the individuals who started it disappeared down an escape route.  It’s always to difficult to find evidence of whether these kinds of actions were deliberately designed to undermine the movement, but investigations have revealed this in other protests, particularily in Europe.  It is completely and utterly in the interests of the police for demonstrators to engage in property destruction. It justifies a militarized police crackdown, and distracts from the actual issues being expressed.  

There is also a contingent of protestors who claim to believe that property damage is a viable means of protest. We’ve been struggling with this issue in our movements for decades.   My most recent experience with this was in Toronto during the G-20 protests.  A large, peaceful march ended in mass arrests - the largest in Canadian history - after a contingent broke away from the group and set a police car on fire and smashed store windows.   

What happens in these cases is that conversation gets completely hijacked.  It devolves into the not very interesting conversation of cops versus mobs.   We lose our moral capital, and our broad base of support.   As someone commented in a working group meeting at Occupy Oakland, “by doing this, they are dominating us, in the same way the 1% dominates us.”  The camp was put at risk, and at one point it felt like a raid was imminent.  

For those of you who saw the images on the mainstream media, please remember that these were the actions of a tiny minority - even the police recognize that - and is not representative of the hopes and dreams and love of the Occupy Movement.  We have the world’s imagination. Let’s do something amazing!

“A call to “Occupy America” obscures the histories of colonization and resistance that U.S. indigenous and people of color communities often carry with them. The slogan “Occupy Everywhere” also unfortunately evokes colonialist projects. The phrase “Occupy Together” – used by an unofficial online coordination project –avoids this danger by inviting everyone’s participation.”
~ John Hayakawa Torok
—  This is why it’s important to Occupy Love. We need to be inclusive, we need to be whole, we are all in this together!   Read the full article here   John Hayakawa Torok is a critical race theorist and card-carrying member of the U.S.A. Green Party.
Velcrow Ripper Speaking on Occupy Wall Street
  • Velcrow Ripper Speaking on Occupy Wall Street

Here’s a talk I did yesterday about Occupy Wall Street,  to SFU Unversity students, Vancouver Canada.  It was facilitated by Professor Michael Markwick.  This is the first part… second coming soon!  


A short message from our filmmaker friend Velcrow Ripper, director of OCCUPY LOVE, FIERCE LIGHT and SCARED SACRED.