Reflection on breaking barricades
- Category: Experience
- Written by Ilaria
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From protesting with Anonymous to connecting with everyone – including the police. Ilaria writes.
This brings back lots of memories and tears to my eyes.
I do think Anonymous and Occupy are the best movements today and I have been working for Occupy in New York and a bit in London too. In the past I did break barricades and chanted chorus against the police in general. To break a barricade, in Italy was more difficult than here, we called it 'Sfondare' and it did feel amazing to be part of a protest against a system that wasn't fair. Also the element of danger, and the feeling of being all at one with the other protesters.
But the more I feed my spiritual and artistic side, the more I connect with every human on the planet. By hanging out with everyone and by having deep connection with all sorts of people, I can't help feeling that we are all the same and that's our strength.
Martin Luther King used to say that physical and verbal violence only brings up more violence and hate. Hate brings more hate, violence brings more violence. Today, looking at the protester, so close to my ideas of right and wrong, and then looking at the police officials, I can't help but thinking what is going on in their minds too.
They are humans like us, and I met so many lovely policemen in my life, that I can no longer see them as a whole-like system. Especially in London, I met lovely policemen at Notting Hill Carnival, for example, allowing partygoers to paint their faces and dancing with the people. Or the other evening, at the park, when I lost my phone, helping me with a torch, looking everywhere underneath the leaves. And many other times, when I met and had business to do, with lovely policemen, who tried their best to be fair and to defend and protect people.
Pier Paolo Pasolini used to say this in the seventies: 'A policeman has probably a family to feed and knows no other way to do it than that. A protester has often a family that feeds him without needing to work hard'
This is a simplification and it is not obviously always like this, but if the revolution has to become a Re-lov-ution, then we shouldn't feel hate, but love towards every other human being. Probably some of these men, standing there defending something they don't believe in anymore, would be on the other side, hadn't they a check to bring home at the end of the month.
Probably these same men and women, offended and spited in the face (instead of being talked to and smiled at), will develop hate towards protesters who could otherwise help them understanding what is wrong in the system and spreading the re-lov-ution on.
In Italy, the police killed Stefano Cucchi. No one was condemned. Things like these shouldn't be forgotten. Neither should all the other people killed, tortured and abused in police cells and in the streets everyday - The Ferguson shooting being the last big one in the news. The system has to change. But I wonder if we can find a better way than shouting offences with a mask on our face. I am sure lots of policemen will change side if we could find ways to connect with them. And maybe one day, we wouldn't even have sides anymore.
I know this is starting to sound all a bit too rhetoric, but as humanity, we are, really, all one.
Writer asked to be named only as Ilaria