My supervisor at Aberdeen, Chris Brittain, giving an impassioned speech on the steps of St. Paul’s cathedral in support of the Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters a couple days ago:
Today we gather to support and pray for those who have gathered here to witness to the promise of a better society, and a better world. Like Abraham and Sarah, you have packed up your things, left the comfort of your routines, and journeyed to this square in order to interrupt the complacency of our society with unjust and irrational ways of living. You are accused of being a nuisance; mocked for being idealistic; and dismissed for not offering specific policy agendas for how to fix the our unstable economy, the banking system, declining social services, and complacent politicians.
Such critics miss the urgent need in our society for people with the courage and imagination to ‘hope against hope’. We need people who are unwilling to ignore that we are living in a time of crisis; willing to risk hoping that things can change; and prepared to ask their fellow citizens to admit that there are urgent issues that need to be resolved..
The playwrite Bertolt Brecht once wrote: ‘When a crime is committed, just as the rain falls, no one cries, Halt!’ The Occupy LSX movement have found the courage to stand up and say Halt! Halt the rising poverty and neglect of our social institutions! Halt political stagnation! Halt short term thinking; Halt procrastinating over issues we cannot afford to ignore!