Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution Part 2: Birgitta Jónsdóttir

Occupy Savvy Exclusive! One of the coolest things about activism is that it doesn’t have celebrities – it has role models. Recently, we put 7 poignant questions to five of the world’s most inspiring women. These women hail from Iceland, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and for their profound actions, deeds, words, generosity, heart, and perseverance, we deem them “wahine toa”.

In Aotearoa, New Zealand, we describe a fearless woman of soul and substance, as “wahine toa”. This very loosely translates to “woman warrior.”

The Maori dictionary explains it as;

wāhine: (noun) women, females, ladies, wives.

toa: (stative) be brave, bold, victorious, experienced, accomplished, adept, competent, skilful, capable.

But wahine toa is even more; to us she is;

kaitiaki: (noun) trustee, minder, guard, custodian, guardian, keeper.

She becomes;

ūkaipō: (noun) mother, origin, source of sustenance, real home.

She is “atua” in the sense of; “a way of perceiving and rationalising the world”.

If it were audible; we could almost hear our ladies blushing through the screen. The truth is; they deserve every accolade we can give them, as they live this wild journey called life to the fullest, inspiring so many of us to follow their path, by discovering our own.

These next few days, you will see the same 7 questions posted here, again and again. But you will see vastly different answers. All of a unique and immeasurable insightfulness that is a gift, as a reader, to absorb.

In Part One we published the heartfelt words of Turtle Island, Canada’s Min Reyes.

Part Two is an exclusive interview with Iceland’s very own Birgitta Jónsdóttir.

Birgitta Making A Stand Against NDAABirgitta Jónsdóttir is a POETician and activist (member) of the Icelandic Parliament (since 2009), Chairperson for the International Modern Media Institute, Chairperson for Pirate Party in Iceland. (“These titles mean nothing really for I live by the rule of the circle of power“). She is an independent parent of 3 children, and was the first Icelandic female to develop websites.

A volunteer for WikiLeaks in 2010, she co-produced the video Collateral Murder and was on the Bradley Manning advisory board.

Birgitta is also a member of the International Network Of Parliamentarians On Tibet and an avid supporter of the civil liberties foundations EFF & the ACLU.

She describes her current role as “pretty much being the mosquito in the tent“.

This is the second time we’ve had the pleasure of writing about Birgitta. The first being the most popular Occupy Savvy post to date; last August’s “How Did Iceland Sack Its Government?

It is our privilege to call her friend. Without further adieu; our exclusive interview with Birgitta Jónsdóttir.

Q1. Occupy Savvy: Strong women abound in the Occupy and Idle No More movements. Did you ever foresee that you would contribute as meaningfully as you have, to such momentous events?

Birgitta: In my wildest dreams: NO. I am forever humbled by the fact that my actions have somehow inspired others to act, to be changemakers in a world that so desperately needs for people to claim their responsibility of co-creation before it is too late.

Q2. Occupy Savvy: An ONZ admin says “Activism didn’t radicalise me; the state response to activism radicalised me.” Can you empathise with this statement?

Birgitta: I have always been radical, so it didn’t need any encouragement to carry on from oppressive response. I can empathize with this statement for I saw it happen to many of my fellow activists.

Q3. Occupy Savvy: Activism messages appear to be increasingly penetrating the public consciousness. What is your experience of this awakening?

Birgitta: I define myself as an activist in parliament, the role of activists is to push the threshold of norms; if normality as we know it has become unsustainable and harmful, the need of activists is even greater. I have been told by other parliamentarians that I have changed the parliament by my methods of working there. It says a lot about this change we are experiencing that a person like me is accepted by the mainstream by being voted into the role of the lawmaker. Perhaps that is a signal that the times are changing.

I do at the same time feel that people are losing steam and feel that their activism is not giving needed results of change and feel in some ways that it is useless to engage. Sometimes positive change can take a long time, especially when it means total transformation. I want to urge that we cant give up midstream. We are so many, we have so many great minds, so many visionaries who need to come together in order to draw together the blueprint for the future.

I feel many people understand what is wrong with our societies but I feel we lack joint vision from going from here to solutions. The solutions are all there but we need to draw them together and start to work on them in a joint global effort. It is of utter importance to get people inside the system in order to understand how it works in order to change it.

Q4. Occupy Savvy: What has been your most satisfying moment of the global revolution, to date?

Birgitta: There is not one moment for me, rather the fact that the global revolution is an ongoing process, and the satisfaction evolves around the fact that it is still going on, new countries getting into the loop, new actions, more creativity, to see that many realize it is a long haul.

Q5. Occupy Savvy: In what way would you most like to see the global narrative shift, from this point?

Birgitta: Direct democracy and transparency is key to make the changes we are demanding take root. It is easy to get a revolution going compared to finding solutions in maintaining people engaged and to create social structures based on that engagement.

We need to transform our thought of power and lack of power. Pyramids are not a natural order, the circle of power however is. We need to move from EGOlogy to ECOlogy. Understand that we are all connected and that no individual has all the answers. Move from needing leaders to lead us from the mess and accept that our strength comes from being strong together rather then seeking strong leaders.

We are running out of planet and it is really important to remember that no change starts anywhere except through our own actions.

Q6. Occupy Savvy: What advice would you give to a woman becoming involved in activism for the first time?

Birgitta: Follow your gut, dont think things too much through. Just do it:)

Q7. Occupy Savvy: In what way have you seen your country change, over the last 18 months? In what way would you see it change, in the next 18?

Birgitta: In 2009 we saw some really impressive possibilities for changes in Iceland. Clear demands for fundamental changes were put forward and adopted by all of the political parties who got voted into office in 2009, except the right wing party. The most important demand was that the people of Iceland would write a new constitution by and for the people.

Those that have held the reigns of power since we claimed our independence from Denmark in 1944 have done EVERYTHING in order to destroy this process of modern democracy, and now it looks like they are winning. We have elections late April and ignorant people seem to think they can entrust the very same people who caused this country to have the world 4th largest financial meltdown in recorded history the power to look after their interests.

We have seen many positive changes occurring that would not have been possible unless we had a good crisis. Perhaps the crisis was not bad enough in order to push the needed fundamental changes through. We have seen similar development in other countries. It leads me to the conclusion we need to know exactly what we want in the aftermath of crisis and implement it very fast, just like bad laws and fundamental changes are imposed during times of shock.

Iceland has been made into some sort of poster child of the revolution, and i guess many feel they need to see prove that activism and revolutions change things for the greater good. The fact of the matter is however, that we are far from a poster child. We are far from having achieved the things set in motion during times of crisis. But if we are fortunate enough to understand when crisis will hit again that we need different approach to democracy, our current system is outdated because of many factors, if we are wise enough to offer alternatives that the common people can rally behind we will change things and transform politics as we know them.

I am a pragmatic anarchist and I understand and accept that many do not want to spend their time as responsible citizens, they want to transfer their power to someone else, thus I want to help create the tools in order for this transfer of power to be truly democratic and revokable. This is why I have helped create a Pirate Party in Iceland, in order to experiment with liquid democracy from our own internal work to the representatives in parliaments.

I understand that the suffering of others is my suffering, I understand that despite the fact I live on an island that we are not islands, but interconnected, and that the fate of humanity rests on those that are willing to accept the responsibility of co-creating our societies.

It is time to zero the dysfunctional self serving systems and create smaller systems that will be crafted from our love for our societies and respect for ecology, and the fact that we are all equal in the circle of power.


To us, the best way to finish an interview with Birgitta is by sharing her poetry. It is the raw narrative of revolution. Once again, she has blessed us with a piece. A living reminder, that some things have no monetary value. Gifts of the heart are priceless. For us this poem is a taonga – a sacred treasure. Thank you Birgitta.

Changes – by Birgitta Jónsdóttir

Something big is happening
Gaia has regained her consciousness
her way of surviving

A picture
growing in my mind

A whole universe of possibilities
to make the invisible seen

Be a part of
this movement
of awakening

Learn to listen to our mother’s voice
through her infinite creations

I keep making the picture bigger
so I won’t lose myself

Earthquakes move through me
volcanic eruptions of insight
as the revolution
of silent changes
begins.


If you haven’t seen “The Mouse That Roared”, a background documentary about the Icelandic Revolution; it is a must-watch. Embedded below for your viewing pleasure!


That concludes the second part of “Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution”. We thank Birgitta for repping Iceland in this series and for all the time she has invested in us. Keep an eye out in the coming days for interviews with other wahine toa; from Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

This site operates on a $0 budget & so if you loved this article all we ask is that you share it with your friends and family. Help us spread the sentiments expressed by these ladies, around the world. Thank you!

Occupy New Zealand: Lest We Forget

This month, New Zealand has been rocked by back-to-back multiple fatalities of soldiers in service with our military in Afghanistan. Emotions running high, and the immediacy yet lasting nature of social media enabling fingers to run wild, the digital version of the proverbial foot-in-mouth has manifested itself resoundingly in the Sumner Burstyn scandal.

With dismay we watched the larger undercurrent of awakening to the horrors of war remodelled into a very specific and personal attack at a micro level. A convenient, timely and desirable effect for corporate profiteers of said wars; much of the ensuing rhetoric was extremely counter-productive to humanity.

From threats of violence and retaliation to the airing of sheer disgust and wholesale rejection, we struggled to find the silver lining.

Buried in the comments of the aforementioned article, we found the beginnings of it.

“I’ve never understood people who target the individual soldiers when they disagree with a war – especially Vietnam. By all means target the government loudly and vocally, but leave the individual soldiers out of it. People who sign up to the army do so in service of their country. They don’t choose where they get posted, but they do choose a career where they are willing to risk their life to protect our country and others around the world.”

On our Facebook page, we found the rest. The below video is of a haka. Performed for the fallen, as a final and public act of respect and remembrance.

Despite having large metropolitan cities, New Zealand is small enough for everyone to have a connection with everyone else by several degrees of separation. In this case, closer. Our Occupy Media team members almost uniformly (no pun intended) have military ties; through our parents and grandparents who were veterans of World War II and other wars; by our high school classmates, family members and partners, many of whom were either employed by various armed forces or, as in the case of one, serving in the Territorials alongside one of the recently fallen, adding a very personal dimension to the tragedy.

Having ourselves grown up in relative peace and in a largely unarmed society, we remain staunch in our anti-war activism; in our distrust and distaste for the colonialist, war-for-resource agendas at play amongst the corporations, with unwavering contempt for the insidious back-room deals behind the front lines of Earth’s constant geopolitical theatre.

However many of our families and friends remain employed by those very governments, employed by those corporates, regardless of whether they are aware of or endorse the hidden agendas.

All humans are a product of their experiences; a result of their conditioning. Most often we believe what we are taught and mimic what we have seen. It is only when given alternatives for comparison that the concept of “choice” is activated. This is why we fight against poverty, against slavery, against war, against child prostitution, against corruption; for they are all ultimately the weapons of deprivation of choice, inflicted upon the innocent.

Those soldiers in generations before us and those who are dying today, by the hand of another or by their own – they are not the 0.1%; whose offshore bank accounts grow ever-filled by the very presence of war upon this planet. They are our extended family and compatriots facing many of the same struggles we do and in a very physical and confronting landscape but more; they are our only hope.

For if the day comes that they are ordered to perpetuate atrocities directly against us; the unarmed citizen; it is only they who will be able to prevent the injustice and protect us. In times of governmental treason; it is only they who will be able to secure the country.

Whether or not they are now used as lapdogs of a foreign power, for private profit; if the ultimate day of decision comes, their upbringing, their whakapapa, their conscience, their familial conditioning, MUST prevail. Or we are lost.

Bringing hope to bridging the divide between the armed services and those who are dismayed at the political direction of armed services, and also our national police forces, are the following worthy organisations. If you have not yet, we urge you to check them out, and consider lending them your support. They are evidence that you can serve in the military or law enforcement while still remaining true to the Bill of Rights, to international law, to your own conscience.

Occupy Marines:  Website     Tumbler    Facebook    Twitter

Occupy Police:     Website     Facebook     Twitter

Occupy Army:      Facebook   Twitter

Occupy Navy:       Facebook   Twitter

If you don’t know who Sgt. Shamar Thomas is – strongly suggest you watch the following video. He is the epitome of Occupy Marines. The first video is of his famous and passionate defense of unarmed peaceful protesters at Occupy Wall Street; the second a sit-down interview where he has the opportunity to explain his reasoning and motives.

We all must have a voice in our future, for our future to be free of tyranny in whatever form.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM: $0 funding; 10 months of unadulterated truth.

Global Spring 2012 – The Call To Worldwide Action Is Out

takethesquare.net, a site inspired by the Occupy movement has put out a call for a global day of action on May 12.

The call is out to chapters of the Occupy movement worldwide to march in solidarity with the countries in which uprisings are currently taking place (Syria, Greece, Egypt, Tunisia, Iceland and India to name a few).

http://takethesquare.net/2012/03/04/call-for-a-global-spring-in-may-2012/

Wikileaks Release The Global Intelligence Files – 5 Million Private Global Intelligence Group Emails

Today, Wikileaks started to release what they call ‘The Global Intelligence Files’ which is an archive of 5 million emails from a “global intelligence” company called Stratfor, based in Texas. The emails are between various executives, diplomats, lobbyists, etc, including infamous warmongerers & CEO’s of major banking, weapons, defense contracting firms & political organisations.

The emails detail some of Stratfor’s underhanded dealings as well as information gathered by them. Information which includes $384 billion in drug money laundered by Wells Fargo, one of the Big 5 banks in the United States, evidence of insider trading by the ex CEO of Goldman Sachs, and the mindblowing fact that the US & Israel have known the Iranian Nuclear infrastructure was already completely destroyed as of November, 2011.

Despite their current claims that Iran is an imminent nuclear threat. (The same rhetoric & false premise that was used to justify the pre-emptive strike on Iraq a decade ago.)

Refer to the link below for what has been released so far.

 http://wikileaks.org/gifiles/releases.html 

Ron Paul Moves To 2nd Place In GOP Primary; New Polls Show

It seems that Ron Paul is moving up in the world. According to a poll done by Reuters, Ron Paul has moved to a share of 21% of the votes in the GOP Primary for the Republican Party Presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich, it seems, has slipped into 3rd place on 19%, with Rick Santorum in 4th on 18%. Mitt Romney still leads the polls at 29%, only one percent down from last month.

http://huff.to/y6BgDp

US Soldiers Donating To Ron Paul Above All Other Candidates

It seems that Ron Paul is the largest recipient of donations toward his campaign for the Republican Nomination than any other candidate… by one heck of a margin.

http://www.freemarketfan.com/2012/02/ron-paul-blows-away-establishment.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FreeMarketEconomicsInAStory+%28www.freemarketfan.com%29&utm_content=Twitter

NLG National Lawyers Guild Calls For Bradley Manning’s Emancipation

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) calls for the dismissal of all charges against Bradley Manning. The Army announced on Friday that Manning will face a general court martial for allegedly leaking classified information about U.S. policy and practices relating to, among other things, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

http://www.nlg.org/news/announcements/national-lawyers-guild-calls-for-dismissal-of-charges-against-bradley-manning/

RAP NEWS On The Occupy Movement!

This is an incredibly intelligently composed rap/news segment on the global Occupy movement. Absolute must watch if you like good satire!

Graham Nash Video Salutes Sgt Bradley Manning As Hearing Begins

Bradley Manning gains support from a major celebrity civil rights defender, as protesters gather at his military trial.

http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/graham-nash-video-salutes-sgt-bradley-manning-as-hearing-begins#ixzz1mMHSfI9Y

US Soldier: “The Real Terrorist Was Me”

He nails it…. racism & hatred are the tools of the oppressors… its time to stand up for what is right.

Source: Facebook