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Why We Are Here

(Written by anonymous poet for WTO meeting in Seattle 1999)

Because the world we had imagined, the one
we had always counted on
is disappearing.
Because the sun has become cancerous
and the planet is getting hotter.
Because children are starving in the shadows
of yachts and economic summits.
Because there are already too many planes in the sky.

This is the manufactured world
you seek to codify and expedite.
We are here to tell you
there is something else we want to buy

What we want, money no longer recognizes
like the vitality of nature, the integrity of work.
We don't want cheaper wood, we want living trees.
We don't want engineered fruit, we want to see and smell the food growing
in our own neighborhoods.

We are here because a voice inside us,
a memory in our blood, tells us
you are not just a bank, or a fund; you have become the blind tip
of a dark wave which has forgotten its source.
We are here to defend and honor
what is real, natural, human and basic
against these rising tides of greed.

We are here by the insistence of spirit and by the authority of nature.
If you doubt for one minute the power of truth
or the primacy of nature
try not breathing for that length of time.

Now you know the pressure of our desire.
We are not here to tinker with your laws.
We are here to change you, and ourselves, from the inside out.
This is not a political protest.
It is an uprising of the soul.

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Select images courtesy of Chris Jordan