Working in Occupy Media is the most incredible and profound professional experience imaginable. You literally never know what is around the next corner; what you will see, who you will meet, who you will learn from, who you will teach. You become both the interviewer and the interviewed. The manufacturer, the wholesaler, the retailer, and the customer, all wrapped up into one.
A combination of elements from what some consider coincidence to what others call fate, karma or destiny – along with the energy you invest into each action and each venture and your own desires, epiphanies and subconscious choices – culminate in possibilities and potentials that ever increase in pace, magnitude, scope and impact.
It is a global arena and our individual sources of origin provide richness and culture as we eye-witness for and speak to a worldwide platform.
Although the above might not resound with those unfamiliar with Occupy Media, thanks to social media, the topic of Iceland is bound to.
Touted as the only known modern example of a successful (read: peaceful) revolution, word has trickled all the way from the Northern to the deep Southern Hemisphere of the incredible feats achieved by the people of Iceland.
Namely; engaging citizens in politics at an everyday level sufficient to achieve “critical mass”, then engaging their human intellectual resources to forge a People’s Movement and Assembly; engaging in direct action that secured the resignations of its entire sitting Parliament; having its citizens collectively draft a new “Constitution of the People of Iceland” now recognised as the “supreme law of Iceland”, and serving as a model of success to the rest of us still struggling with step one.
Their Constitution reads like a dream to any human rights activist. A written guarantee of the ultimate rights of the Citizen in all manifestations, industrial contexts & in civilian governance, the document leaves no stone unturned in its quest for the protection of the citizens of Iceland.
Despite a profound lack of international corporate media coverage of their revolution, Iceland’s associations with Wikileaks, Occupy Media and the global independent press, have carried the day to spread the message of their achievements.
But what the many and varied Iceland memes circulating Facebook were yet to successfully convey was the “how” rather than the “what”.
So it was with great delight that through the fantastic networking tool that is Twitter, I recently discovered myself having a late-night (NZ time) conversation with none other than the magical Birgitta Jonsdottir – Member of the Icelandic Parliament for the Movement, “activist inside and outside of the system”, supporter of Wikileaks, web designer, revolutionary and accomplished poet.
She had tweeted a reference to the children behind the now-famous “Collateral Murder” video released by Wikileaks – an appeal to remember the humans for whom the events were not merely an international media sensation, but a first-person memory; children who had lost their father (he was attempting to help wounded civilians to obtain medical care when his vehicle was fired on by Apache helicopters using heavy weaponry); children who were themselves seriously wounded in the same attack.
Birgitta pointed me towards this document; the medical reports of the children involved. It is a heart-clenching and devastating read that quickly brings home to bear the personal reality for these human beings, so severely victimised by the injustice of “war”.
Innately sensing that my conversation with Birgitta was not yet concluded, I mentally poured over everything our Media Team had heard, read and shared about Iceland throughout Occupy. It was obvious to me that something was missing, so I put my head together with some other team members to work out what it was.
Someone I refer to as my “Occu-Mama” (for her steadfast support for other occupiers and her continued care of us) had the breakthrough.
“Ask Birgitta – HOW did they do it? HOW did they get all their corrupt politicians to resign?”
Fearlessly, from my ridiculously overly-surveilled Twitter account, I asked the question. Sure enough, she replied:
“Massive protests leading up to pots and pans revolution, putting the parliament under siege for 3 days. They got scared.”
Just like that, the penny dropped. For months we had been reporting on Manifecours/Casseroles and the Canadian protest movements – utilising pots and pans to literally rouse sleeping civilians to awaken to the reality of their political situation; to get off their backsides and do something about it. We knew the tactic, knew it was a successful one; but we did NOT realise it had been utilised in Iceland prior to the Canadian mass protests!
A follower then threw this Wikipedia link into the fray – one which makes us wonder how we had ever failed to search the Icelandic revolution Wikis. (A failure easily corrected!)
At this point, it is clear we have to pass on that knowledge to fellow activists. Utilising the ever-handy Topsy.com I quickly compiled a recap of our past retweets about Iceland.
Here is the resulting treasure trove, for your convenience, with the month tweeted, for search reference. (NOT date of source publication.)
December 2011: CEO’s of Glitnir Bank In Custody
February 2012: Global Justice and the Future of Hope
March 2012: Iceland Say “Hell NO” To Prison-Cell Economy
April 2012: Ex-Prime Minister Of Iceland Convicted
May 2012: Iceland Forces Debt Forgiveness
May 2012: How To Start A Revolution: Learn From Iceland! (Must watch documentary!!)
July 2012: Iceland A Peaceful And Democratic Regime Change (Features another embedded must-watch documentary; “Pots, Pans and Other Solutions”)
August 2012: More On Iceland Holding Banks Accountable
Also, by searching “Iceland” on this very site we discovered the first piece we had ever shared about Iceland – back in October 2011, a mere few weeks into our Occupy Media journey: Why Iceland Should Be In The News, But Is Not
There is more; much more. Pictures and memes about Iceland abound on other social media platforms most notably Facebook; but unfortunately many are fooled by the ensuing trolls who too-quickly state that the Icelandic Revolution is an urban myth; a legend, and not rooted in fact.
The above links collectively disprove that claim. Hopefully this article will clearly and decisively silence the pessimists, once and for all.
To Birgitta, thank you for speaking with us, you are an inspiration. We were delighted when you told us of your time spent in New Zealand. Thank you for sharing not only your knowledge with us, but your poetry. There is no better closing for this article than your poem: “Warriors of Words”, which to us, encompasses flawlessly, the relentless mission of Occupy Media. Thank you for your permission to reprint it.