For those of us who respect the intrinsic value of knowledge, learning, and genuine open discussion, it may be impossible to ever forget the images of Occupy Wall Street’s People’s Library being torn apart and thrown into dumpsters — thousands of books and irreplacable items damaged and destroyed (roughly 800 salvageable volumes were recovered out of a collection of over 5000).
What was once a bustling center of education and free exchange of ideas, open to all, is now roped off with police “crime scene” tape and carefully patroled to protect the decorative cabbages. Sure, that seems legit.
But the people’s movement is irrepressible. From the ashes of the physical library has been born a digital initiative to connect people across the globe: OccupyEducated.org. Here is the gist of the idea in excerpts from their About page:
Having a working knowledge of the issues and their root causes is essential to effectively communicating the need for change and formulating practical solutions[…]
As the 1%’s evictions begin to successfully silence education on the streets, OccupyEducated.org is stepping up to continue the conversation where it can never be stopped — online. Being out in your communities is still essential, but so is having a universal classroom and meeting place that can’t be dispersed[…]
We want OccupyEducated to be a knowledge aggregator where the vital information needed for making informed decisions can be easily found and freely accessed[…]
The ultimate goal of OccupyEducated is to promote unity through the use of education to help people see that we all really want the same thing, at a basic level. We would then like to see that unity evolve into collective action that will bring about real change.
The site is in its infancy but is already chock-full of useful information, including a list of recommended “primer” books to read for a basic overview of the problems that generated the Occupy movement, as well as a “cheat sheet” of videos that summarize this info in an accessible, clickable format.
Many of us are struggling to stay afloat in this broken society and ravaged economy. We all know things have gone terribly wrong, but we don’t all have the time to seek out the hows and whys of it. “Is the average taxpayer really worse off now than in decades past?” “What is the relationship between the financial sector and the government, and is it really so sinister?” “Don’t large corporations benefit everyone by creating jobs and contributing taxes?” These are questions we need to be able to answer, but more than that, we need to be able to back them up with facts. OccupyEducated is a great place to start, and it’s all in one place.
Arm yourself with knowledge. Join the discussion. The library is open.