"You cannot arrest the awakening of humanity"
Art by Chad H Vivas @being_ison3
Tensions are high and emotions are close to the surface. The world needs us to shine our brightest light. OmCulture will give 50% of our Friday evening workshop proceeds to an organization who will triple our donations to Black Lives Matter. We each have the power of one and together we can make a difference.
We are being called to do more than sit and meditate, but it's an important place to begin. We have the capacity to hold all of the injustice in our hearts and beyond that, we have the capacity to HEAL our society and to create the changes we desire. We must take action, but our actions must come from a grounded and peaceful place.
It is time for a sacred pause. Please make time to go inward and to ask yourself how you can make a difference in your local and global community so we can work together to build a better future.
A few days ago, I didn't feel comfortable joining the crowds and facing the police and national guard. I've been sitting in meditation daily and continuing to ask myself what I can do to help and what feels right in the moment. Today I brought my peaceful body to Capitol Hill and joined the march from Cal Anderson Park to City Hall where Nikkita Oliver voiced demands to Mayor Jenny Durkan. I went with the intention of sitting in the park with the Buddhist Peace Council, but felt moved to march with the crowd and be present to hear from our Mayor.
“Seattle Police Department is unleashing flash bangs, mace, tear gas. They’re running into protesters with their bikes, they have very large sticks, they’re wearing riot gear. So the only option is to begin to defund and demilitarize. We’re calling for a 50 percent defund of the Seattle Police Department and we demand that those dollars be invested in community based alternatives to incarceration, community based alternatives for public safety.” -Nikkita Oliver
Over the span of 48 hours, 17,000 people signed a petition, urging the city to cut the police budget in half. Oliver says that money would be better spent on affordable housing, community based anti-violence programs, universal childcare, free public transit, and mental health services. She thinks community programs are better suited to solving social problems than a police force.
Today's rally on Capitol Hill featured speakers who are well known social justice advocates in Seattle. The march was co-sponsored by No New Youth Jail, Decriminalize Seattle, Block the Bunker, Seattle Peoples Party, COVID-19 Mutual Aid, Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network, Asians for Black Lives, and many others.
You don't have to put yourself on the front lines near tear gas and rubber bullets after curfew to make a change. There are many other pathways and options that will make a difference. One of my friends is coordinating with the food and medical supply team to provide sandwiches & snacks to nourish those who are giving their energy to being present for long days of peaceful protesting.
If you choose to march, know that spending a day chanting and marching and sharing images from your day is still not enough to make a difference.
Pause and ask yourself who and what you want to support. This is not just about joining in and following the crowd. Go inward and listen for the changes you want to see, then find an action step that will work towards a palpable change. We only have the power if we choose positive and potent action steps and follow through with them. If you feel moved to sign the petition to defund the police, sign the petition. If you feel moved to donate to bail funds to get protestors out of jail, do so. If you want to stay put and hold your loved ones close, find a way to take action from the comfort of your own home. Make a phone call to ask your leadership for the things you want or fundraise for a cause you believe in. Rise up and be a peaceful warrior.
with love, care, compassion and action,
We marched peacefully and sat in the streets awaiting Jenny Durkan's response. She came outside with Nikkita Oliver but chose not to address any of the demands brought forth by the large peaceful crowd. I witnessed no violence between the hours of 1-6pm today. I'm happy to report that the 9pm curfew was just lifted and protestors may continue peaceful demonstrations tonight. I'm praying that there will be an absence of tear gas, pepper spray, and flash-bangs tonight.
Call the Mayor (206) 684-4000