Brilliant Rev Zylma Brilliant ~ thank you.
Rev Zylman is a retired Methodist Minister; a close personal friend of Martin Luther King Jr. walking shoulder to shoulder in many a protest; Jack is also an icon in the Progressive movement in the South and a well known figure on Capitalist Hill.
From: J Zylman [mailto:email@example.com]
I spoke this morning, to the civil rights breakfast meeting that meets every Sunday in Birmingham at one of the churches, where I am one of two Chaplains. I placed ‘Occupy Wall Street” in Biblical perspective, since it mirrors a remarkable event at the end of the life of Jesus. A summary follows:
In first century Israel, the nation’s leader was not King Herod, who was appointed by the Roman Emperor, but the priesthood of the Temple of Jerusalem, led by the Chief priest, Caiaphus. With his disciples and other followers in a remarkably democratic movement, including many women, gathered at Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, he led a great march South upon Jerusalem and the Temple, to tackle what was to them the basis of the economy, for the Temple was Israel’s Wall Street!
The most powerful instrument in the Israel economy was the sacrifice industry, and industry it was. The peasant farmers of Israel contracted with the Temple to raise animals for sacrifice, for they had to be specially raised, being blessed, for pay, at every step of the process. To do this, the poor peasant mortgaged his tiny tract of land, his small farm, to the Temple, which would be repaid when and if he got his money at the end of the process. If he couldn’t pay, it would be foreclosed on and repossessed! Yep, Wall Street Israel and the Temple were one had the same. The economic dominators have never changed!
We know from the story that his aging mother, at the end of her days at 50 or older (life expectancy was about 50) was with him on this long and arduous march. I suspect that she wasn’t home because it had been repossessed! And were had Jesus been when he disappeared from the story from the age of 12 until he was 30? Very possible sold into slavery to help her maintain possession of Joseph’s bit of land.
It’s easy to see why Jesus was marching on the Temple; it was the same reason that Wall Street is today occupied by young people and their supporters. Indeed, when this band of revolutionaries arrived at the Temple, they occupied the outer court, where commerce, including banking (money exchange) and the sale of the sacrifice animals took place.
Jesus and his band were not violent, and they did not attack anyone. Instead, they released the animals from the cages, in what may have been the first animal liberation movement in history, and used whips to drive the animals out, destroying the basis of the economy! Not only were the animals free, but they were not made impure and couldn’t be used for sacrifice!!!
No wonder the Chief Priests wanted this revolutionary dead! This was a non-violent revolution, which Occupy Wall Street can become!
Caiaphus held a trial and convicted him, of course, but execution wasn’t enough for Jesus – he wanted it a huge public execution, so he called in Pontius Pilate, because only the Emperor could crucify and make the execution public. Of course he agreed, without caring, and the revolutionary was beaten and marched of to carry his own cross and die upon it – a Roman execution ordered by an Israeli high priest!
The situation on Wall Street is remarkably similar, with mass arrests and violent attacks by the police – was there a centurion named Tony Boloney?
While the main stream media carefully ignores the occupation, The last week of Jesus life is being enacted before us! And we must stand with the movement as well as we can, wherever we are.
This mass resistance can be the beginning of the public struggle that can bring Wall Street down, bring down corporate capitalism – the system we have that rules the world and that was copied by a collaborationist Jew, Milton Friedman, from an Italian dictator – this is the Roman Empire of our era!
Do not fear a collapse of the economy, it is necessary to free the people and bring us in equality to rule by all. The depression the banks may well impose on us, as they did in 1929, will not be brought by the Occupation or by the people, but the very banks that dominate the world now!
We must, like the people of Jesus time, free ourselves and the human race from the dictatorship of the banks and corporations, and carry us all to freedom and human unity!
Occupy Wall Street: Look deeper, a new democracy is waiting to be born
The pundits, critics and others in opposition to change, all determined to dismiss Occupy Wall Street as inconsequential, continue to express their frustration that the protest is taking so damn long.
Occupy Wall Street has maintained its core principles of non-violence and freedom.
The authorities, currently embodied by the NYPD leadership, continue to rely on physical actions of threats, brutality and incarceration.
Occupy Wall Street has spoken complex truths that have easily resonated with those who are slowing getting the message through an underground circuit of today’s word-of-mouth called social media.
The corporate owned media that reaches the majority of Americans continues to obscure the voice of Occupy Wall Street with “understated” coverage. Politicians like Mayor Bloomberg spin lies, like the movement opposes all those making more than $40,000 a year, that seek to divide and dissipate the potent force of vox populi.
Occupy Wall Street’s principles and actions, like joining the American Postal Workers Union on their picket line with no assurance of reciprocation, appear illogical.
All politics and government in America today runs on the fuel of money and dances to the tune of the payoff and the quid pro quo.
Occupy Wall Street dances to the tune of the people and will eventually issue the overall community of America, and indirectly the international community of people, dividends in economic security, stability and liberty.
The current paradigm that the Occupy Wall Street movement will “elect” a new leader and the questions of “what will he or she look like?” “who will it be?” “how will they rule?” and, “how much power will they wield?” will soon be on the lips of the current political establishment.
Those steeped in the concept of true democracy as anticipated by Paulo Freire in his “Pedagogy for the Oppressed,” already understand that there will be no political leader replacing the current leadership.
Most politicians, currently and historically, have imagined themselves to be power brokers, electorate manipulators, compromisers, know-it-alls, cults of personality, part of a system of money and power, and on one side or the other eliminating the possibility of all other options.
The citizens of a true democracy, as envisioned by the concept of the General Assembly, have no desire for a Fidel Castro, a Valdimir Putin, a Cesar Chavez, an Angela Merkel, an Abby Hoffman or even a Barack Obama.
Politicians, as such, will be expected to perform their duties including truly listening to their constituents, working as facilitators toward creating solutions, and performing the role of representing the people.
Though this paradigm shift has been lost in the stories of the first days of the occupation for empowerment and change in America, it will soon be recognized by more and more citizens as come to understand the long-term process that is this movement.
Rev. Jack Zylman
1321 16th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205-6020
When I feed the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why so many people are poor they call me a communist.
– Dom Helder Câmara