Thursday, August 11, 2011

'Boris, where's your broom?'

Broom powerThere have been two 'breakouts' on the streets this week. Two examples of people power.

Firstly, obviously, rioters; smashing, grabbing, looting.

But we've also seen people taking to the streets, brooms in hands, to clear up. One lad in Liverpool announced on Facebook that he was going out to sweep up - 60 people arrived to help him. The Mayor of London was asked 'Boris, where's your broom?' and joined in the sweeping.

I think both are revolutionary in their way. The first lot turned over more than just bins: bored kids (I've been told the average age of the rioters is 15) got drunk on a heady cocktail of adrenaline, selfishness - and group-power. An abuse of power certainly, but let's not overlook the fact that they had it - maybe fleetingly, certainly destructively - but they had it.

The sweepers were a grass roots movement of people banding together. It was people serving, not for reward but because they care. It was people joined in a cause they felt was simply right. I can't help feeling what they did was a more eloquent, powerful statement than any politician has delivered this week.

Power destructive; power constructive. Power that grabs; power that gives.

In a very deep sense, I think, the central question of every person who ever lives is: which power will I align myself with?

A grass-roots revolution of service, community, unity, positivity, peaceful resistance, which speaks eloquently of something better? Sounds like something I'd wanna live for.

Hang on - it sounds like something I am living for...

1 comment:

n0rma1 said...

'I know, as we all intuitively know, the solution is all around us and it isn't political, it is spiritual. Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

In this simple sentiment we can find hope, as we can in the efforts of those cleaning up the debris and ash in bonhomous, broom-wielding posses. If we want to live in a society where people feel included, we must include them, where they feel represented, we must represent them and where they feel love and compassion for their communities then we, the members of that community, must find love and compassion for them.'

- Russell Brand, in the Guardian. Thought this was worth adding!

Read the article here