Baggage Shows Up

10623499_10152314839010974_8697134862249566380_o.jpgAfter a day in Ferguson and out at Monsanto World Headquarters, my baggage shows up. Deposited on our doorstep without an explanation. Because there isn't one. There couldn't be one. We saw the duffel bag loaded on to the plane in Philly, then in St. Louis everyone got their bags but me. 

There is no question that the man at the baggage assistance desk was a cop. His idea of welcoming us to St. Louis was to call in the dog-sniffing unit. The smiling canine officer even introduced us to his dog, a brown lab named Linda. Did she sniff my bullhorn for gunpowder? Drugs? No, looking back on it – we think that they knew that there was a convergence this weekend; that the Ferguson activists asked for others to travel here. The cops wanted to know where we were staying, that’s all, the three Church of Stop Shopping folks, with our suspicious protest paraphernalia, tri-pods, polyester suits, pointy white shoes. It is that simple. We had to give them our address to get our stuff.

It is 71 days since Mike Brown was murdered. People are here from all over the world, responding to the invitation of the local activists, who are exhausted heroes, worn down and then rising again with love and anger. It is the gravity that some of us felt moving through us like a wind in Zuccotti Park, in the Wisconsin capitol rotunda, in Tahrir, in Gezi Park. 

Why do these places become our moral stages? So often they come to our attention from suffering and murder. History has ripped open the totalitarian fabric, the shopping and policing, the surveillance and invisible toxins… There is an opening here and the government and corporations don’t control what is happening. Everyone finds this moment in time, these few weeks, absolutely full of a kind of love. 

Today a couple hundred of us stood in a parking lot in a big circle and practiced seeing clearly into our extreme periphery; practiced sensing someone behind us; ran through each other carrying imaginary circles around our bodies that made it possible to not hit anyone. The dexterity of a radical crowd! We memorized names of people around us, hugged them, then dervished around them, creating the strange aerodynamics of a crowd surrounded by riot police. Growing the nimbleness of direct action!

Officer, come with us into this loving direct action. We will take your baton and gun. Fall into us. Float up on us. We are surprised by our emotions. Mike Brown and Eric Garner and all the lynchings give us instructions on how to live in a state of fierce survival and love is the active ingredient. Come with us. You will steal our things and lie to us if you insist on your false security, your constructions of tense fear. But doesn't part of you want to fall toward our vivid family?