History rolls; and as it rolls it gathers speed. Lets not forget how quickly things have happened this year. The Arab Spring came like a snowdrop – the first flower of spring – pushing aside the frozen ground to bloom into miraculous beauty. Tahrir Square was suddenly filled with people living democracy. The world watched. Then came the 15th of May, as Madrid occupied Plaza del Sol, and again the world saw the concrete slab at the center of a city come alive with people declaring a dream.

       That first flower, that so bravely grew out from beneath the cold and covering blanket of silence, was spreading like a whisper of change. Then from afar, like a dandelion seed that blows in from across an ocean, the whisper spread into the city of rectangles and block – Wall Street was, it seemed, the most unlikely place for such a thing to grow. But it was not alone, it was tended and watered and nurtured. It took root, grew tall, and let the wild web of wind blow its story everywhere. Yesterday, these seeds landed in places and people all around the world: more than 950 actions in more than 80 countries. Tokyo, Sydney, Auckland, Kuala Lumpur, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Los Angeles, São Paulo, 50 in Jackson, Mississippi, 100 in Tijuana, 100 in HongKong, 100 in Philippines, 500 in Stockholm, 2,000 in Pittsburg, 4,000 people in Berlin, 5,000 in Frankfurt, 5,000 in London, 6,000 in Brussels, 100,000 in Madrid, 200,000 in Rome. The world awoke to its own power.

       In London yesterday it felt like spring had arrived. As the solemn clock of St. Paul’s Cathedral folded its two hands neatly upon themselves and struck noon, people emerged from crowds of tourists and assembled on the steps of that great cathedral. Suddenly, we were thousands. A voice grew among us and we began chanting words that were being chanted all across the world – if you listened closely you could almost hear the words arriving in the wind from Spain, HongKong, California and everywhere. In London our words rang out: “This is what democracy looks like”. Thousands gathered into a People’s Assembly – deciding collectively and openly what we would do. Democracy, it turns out, sits in small circles in packed squares surrounded by police – not just in government offices and ballot boxes. We decided to occupy the square.

       We saw a seed of democracy, like the dream of spring, arrive and take root, inches from the London Stock exchange. With so many careful hands to help it, this dream has already grown roots. After a long and uncertain night surrounded by police in riot gear and illuminated by electric lamps and the light of a thousand people’s shining eyes, the sun rose on St. Paul’s and the word came out – the vicar has given his blessing to the occupation and asked the police to move. London’s occupation will now join the ranks of a planet’s continuing dream to save itself. There are many blocks in London, many squares and many buildings – but one now has a heart, occupied with a dream that is wide enough for everyone.

       Like flowers grow towards sunlight, this movement is growing towards a common glowing goal – a dream that a better world is not only possible, but necessary. That great clock at St. Paul’s Cathedral rings each hour like our own planet, reminding us that we are changing its very weather. Perhaps it is this changed climate, that has caused spring to come in mid-October.

      For each person who sat through the night on those cold stone steps, who huddled together in cities around the world, this emergence has its own meaning. This dream takes many forms: the desire for real democracy, the need for a more stable world, respect for the limits of our planet, a refocus of values. But each idea is of the same species, all cross-breeding, multiplying and growing: the dream that something better is possible.

       Each idea weaves its own thread of the tapestry of today. That tapestry is sometimes a banner, declaring in paint and color the thought many are thinking. Sometimes that tapestry it is a blanket that keeps optimism warm through a cold night. Sometimes it is a sack, to carry wood and wire to build something from the remains of the present. Sometimes it is a cloth, to lay down upon a table full of hungry mouths who have been waiting to eat. Sometimes it is a new flag, asserting the freedom of a place to make and remake its colors. Sometimes it is a curtain, covering something as yet unseen. This tapestry, like history, is alive – made of seeds and flowers, blanketing the earth like the dream of spring.

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