This entry is written by Pamela’s staff member, Katharine Sawchuk, who is currently hopping around Houston, Texas eating tacos, watching football and stopping by drive-thru ATM’s.
If you haven’t been to Texas, I recommend a visit at least once. So far I’ve been to Dallas, Houston and Austin. All fabulous. The food is grand and massively proportioned, the people are kind and welcoming, and the weather bounces between 80 and 90 degrees – daily. A big “sorry” goes out to my fellow Vancouverites, drowning in inches of rain.
That’s not the only thing hot around here. October 6th marked the first day of ‘Occupy Houston’ – one protest in a series of protests which has spread worldwide. It’s about protesting corporate greed as well as economic and social inequality. I feel it’s an opportunity for people to express their frustrations after being put down by the system for as long as they can remember.
What’s fascinating to me is how, in a matter of minutes, thousands of people can gather for a single cause through communication tools like Twitter, Facebook and blogging.
Online methods of communication such as Twitter and Live Streaming (real-time online videos) have had a huge hand in keeping the momentum going. The official Occupy Houston Twitter for example, will Tweet about the movement going on in New York – that will then be re-tweeted by a casual observant, who effectively keeps that messaging alive through various groups of people.
I’ve been to a couple of the Houston gatherings so far, and have also witnessed more traditional means of communication. These events are a hub-bub of verbal activity. People are talking about all kinds of different injustices to each other. A lot hand out flyers; encouraging people to come out and support different movements. Some events aren’t so heavy; there are talent shows, art shows and concerts.
It’s interesting when you see a common foundation of thoughts bring the masses together. This doesn’t mean everyone is going to agree with each other however, but through simply communicating one thought ‘Occupy Wall Street’ or one goal ‘Gather here at this time for a march’ – that’s all you need to create a ripple through a massive wave of people.
I’m lucky enough to witness such things. To watch people take an ongoing issue like social inequality – something that would usually keep people’s confidence in themselves and their surroundings down – and turn it into powerful language, is quite amazing. Powerful language, confidence and passion will drive any movement big or small. Whether it’s about influencing a city or an individual’s home life, confidence in your messaging will bring that influence a step closer to an ultimate goal.