Monday, April 16, 2012

Occupy Dataran

I believe that if you are not living under the rock for the past week, obviously you have heard about these raunchy mahasiswa group doing a street protest, follows by an encampment at Dataran Merdeka pursuing for “Mansuhkan PTPTN”. At the same time, out of nowhere, Occupy Dataran comes to light. I got intrigued at first, how does the Occupy Dataran movement got involved with this mahasiswa group? Did they join and chip in with the cause or what?
But in the light of people are starting to aware of Occupy Dataran movement and the mahasiswa group’s demand, a lot of negative views have been highlighted in this issue and as a fellow occupier, I felt very insulted. So here goes what I have to say about it. This is what I posted in my FB status.

"You can only talk shit, when you know shit. You can talk about how unruly these kids are, or how rebel these activist are, making a fuss about things, want all things free. "Budak2 buang masa lepak dataran". You can say what ever you want to say. But you dont even know what they are doing, what they did and what they are planning to do. Just by watching videos from your comfort home. Oh how judgmental pricks you are.

The spirit of Occupy Dataran is not making a fuss or create chaos. The spirit of Occupy Dataran is educating oneself, the spirit of discussion, learning how to appreciate others opinions. Its a movement to "redefine democratic participation beyond representative democracy, and imagine a new political culture beyond race, ideology and political affiliation"

Occupy Dataran is not only the assembly itself. Its the forums, the talks, the "Universiti Rakyat", the "Pasar Percuma", the classes, the debates, the arts, the musics, the foods, the relationship that bonds between fellow occupiers. We occupy not because we want to break the law. We occupy because we embrace the spirit of the constitution itself. We occupy because we appreciate the relationship that we have as human beings. We occupy because we want to learn to understand about each others.

You can say what you want to say, but if you dont even step to the ground, and experience what Occupy Dataran really is, then your words are nothing to me."

Excuse those grammar and typo errors. Its a direct copy paste and I wrote the piece during an emotional state. The thing is, why do people quick to be judgmental about others, when they don’t even see what is really happening and understand the issue all together. I am not going to comment on the mahasiswa group but I do have a say about Occupy Dataran. First of all do they actually know what Occupy Dataran is all about?

For those who didn’t know what Occupy Dataran is, please at least google. Here’s a wikipedia link There you go. The second step is, just get your lazy bumps from the comfort of your chairs, your couches, your beds, and come down to Dataran Merdeka and see what these people are doing.

The thing is, if you just go to the assembly once and try to embrace and understand what we do, you wont think bad about it at all. Its addictive and informative, you would want to come every week. FYI, Occupy Dataran started its first assembly on 30 July 2011, and never miss one single assembly every week since. I was the 1st occupier and went to the assembly every now and then but have stopped going since I’ve got other commitment to do. Since then, I’ve made friends. I’ve gain knowledge. I’ve learnt how to debate, deliberate and discuss issues. I’ve learnt how to accept differences of opinions. I’ve learnt how to agree to disagree and best of all, I’ve come to appreciate the kind of bond that were made with random people, good hearted men and women of all races, from different socio-economic background, of all ages.

I think the the most important lesson of all that I learnt at Occupy Dataran is, to embrace the differences of others and to find that common ground, that one thing that binds us and that is, we are one human being. We are the same.
I don’t believe that Occupy Dataran can make a direct change. I don’t believe that Occupy Dataran will promote world peace and eliminate world hunger. No. But I believe that this movement is an experimentation and a counter culture to the system and to the current status quo that we are living in. I believe that this movement with all its spirit and participation from all people from all races, from all religion, from all gender, from all socio-economic background and from all ages can bring us together united albeit with difference of ideologies and way of thinking, learning from each other and accepting diversity. I believe that we can sit together, lepak and spend overnight under the blanket of black sky and stars and dream together for a better future, for a better society. Till then I just want to say, I’m 100% in solidarity with Occupy Dataran. God speed fellow occupiers. I bid you guys well. Salam.

Aizat Mokhtar,
Proud occupier from the 1st assembly