[…] Disparate groups of people, young and old, various levels of education, various degrees of prior political engagement, different locations–all enter the public square to occupy space and be seen. To this monumental act, the media could only respond with petty questions.
Will the protesters submit a demand that can be circulated on an index car, bounced from laptop to email, forwarded, cut-and-pasted in time for the 5pm edition, fact-checked by an intern, slotted into public debate before the weather report?
We see, now, that was not the right question.
It was hard at first, but we can see now. We can see past the failure of the media–the failure of a vast network of information to step inside the conversation already raging in our heads for years, already driving millions of us to the boundary separating frustration from rage.
OWS inspired us to listen again–not to the idle chatter, the mindless chatter generated to justify vast sections of cable, print, and internet media. OWS inspired us to listen to each other.
What is our demand?
We demand that those figures in office stop corrupting the system.
We demand a new generation of leadership.
We demand a new paradigm for understanding citizenship.
We demand a system that values consensus over endless conflict.
We demand a world not suffocated by a neoliberal economic logic that starves, bludgeons, bombs, and manipulates a hard-working majority so that an obscenely wealthy minority may become even more obscenely wealthy.
That is the demand. Put away your notecards. It is not on a list, but in our own voices. If you cannot see it and hear it, now, after all these months of watching and listening to OWS–if your imagination is still asleep–then there is no point in writing it down for you. [→]