Despite the economic nightmares of 2011, and the woeful efforts of world leaders to sort out the problems caused by the banking elite, new hope has emerged. The 'occupy' movement showed that people refuse to be ruled unjustly.
Inspired by an international movement, this spontaneous action saw people taking part in creative forms of protest the length and breadth of the UK.
Actions included taking over banks, courts, and many other public spaces. Thousands of activists declared an open disgust of the policies aimed at supporting the lifestyles of the 1%. They represented a huge swathes of the population battered by the recession and the government policies that are hurting the poorest hardest.
This was protest in its purest state - 'pro' another way of living, a more communal and compassionate future; 'test' - a new 'testament', a new story for our world and nation.
Now we have to find ways of 'occupying' 2012. That means continuing to expose the way the banking and political elite are wrecking civilised society. It means defending the NHS, education, benefits and the all that remains of our welfare state. It means hearing the stories of the poorest and making sure that their voice is not silenced by the media and the powerful. We have power too. We need to 'occupy' any space we can manage, and make the case for a greener, more equal world.
That is our job in 2012 and beyond. If we don't, the technocrats and neo-liberals will continue to destroy all that we have built up over centuries of workers struggles. Let us take heart - we are much stronger than we often realise.
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