佔領者感言 Thoughts from occupiers

27 十月

另一種生活--更好的生活:佔領中環感言

坦白說我是一個轉數很慢的人,所以--對不起,我遲了。

大概是佔領中環的前兩天,晚上我在旺角的「下午三點」教完吉他,足足三堂吉他班之後我十分疲累,但留低了,因為志老闆在跟他的兩位朋友討論另一種生活模式的可能性,例如是我們會不會找到另一個東西去取代錢,甚至是有沒有可能不用錢就可以生活。

於是我在回家路上就有了一個頗為瘋狂的想法:過兩天便是佔領中環的大日子了,有沒有可能到時做一個實驗,例如是,我給大家唱一首歌,然後大家拿什麼來跟我交換--也許是一個麵包、一杯咖啡、一根煙、一幅畫、一個擁抱……回家後我立刻把這個想法打上面書,遺憾的是當時沒有人理我。(按:人微言輕呵……)

不過,不要緊,佔領中環在不久後就實現了我這個想法。

來訪者(不論是其他市民或是媒體記者)最常問的其中一個問題是:「你們的目的到底是什麼?你們想做到什麼?」大家都知道我們那裡有一幅很大的橫額寫著「反資本主義」,可能很多人都會以為那裡所有的人都是「反資本主義」,但答案顯然是「不」,而在這裡我要談的亦不是我們是否「反資本主義」,因為不論是否「反資本主義」,我相信大家其實也是想尋找更好的生活--另一種生活的可能性;我又相信留守的參與者都被問過這個問題,我自己就起碼被問過不下五次,而我有時覺得煩,因為如果要說另一種生活的可能性,我認為我們已經正在做我們想做的事了,我認為我們正在做的就是最好的答案。(按:這可能也解答了另一個熱門的常見問題:有關佔領者的「共識」。我現在說的顯然不是一個政治性的「共識」,但在某程度上來說--在「生活」的程度上來說,我認為這個社區的人之間其實已經有一種關於生活的「共識」,而我個人是十分懷疑這個社區是否需要或能否產生一個政治性的「共識」的,不過在此不詳談。)

空間、食物、香煙、權力等等,這些東西在這個社區裡都是共享和開放的,一個地方我們一起睡,一堆食物每個人都可以吃,就連香煙也是大家都可以拿來抽,有什麼議題或是決定亦是每一個人都可以表達自己的意見和意願。自佔領的第一天以來到現在我們仍然實行絕對共識制,只要有一個人反對,那個議題也不會被通過;當然,我們人比較多,有時因此而令會議變得較為冗長或是令決議變得困難,但以目前來說,我們暫時還未找到一個更好的方法。

然而我最想說的還不是這種比較政治性的事--我常常都說我人比較簡單和「低能」,我很喜歡以較為生活化的事例作為一個討論的切入點--我想說的是我們在匯豐總行這個極度資本主義的地方的地下是如何進行一種嘗試脫離資本主義的共享的生活模式。

在佔領中環的社區裡收到最多的物資就是食物,因此我想以食物作為例子是最簡單易明和貼身的。一開始我們還沒有收到食物的捐獻的時候,我們是各有各吃的,而在中環要找到一間不是連鎖式經營的店是十分困難的,雖然找到,卻只有寥寥數間;讓我意想不到的卻是開始有來訪的市民捐食物給我們,可能知道社運人士多半都比較窮(笑),而那些市民跟我們一樣,也是什麼人也有,他們想支持我們卻不能與我們一起留守,所以很多時都會選擇以捐錢和捐物資這種方法來表達對我們的行動的支持。我不知道他們覺得自己是否一個單純的來訪者還是參與者,但我自己其實覺得不管他們有沒有留守,他們已經是這個社區的一份子了。「他們」已經是「我們」。就算只是捐一包生命麵包也好,也就是分享,我覺得那不應該叫捐獻,應該叫分享;為什麼我這樣說,是因為當一個人要分享的時候,首要的條件就是他知道自己已有足夠的,所以把多餘的拿出來和其他人分享--在這裡我不是要談有關「擁有」的問題,我知道有些朋友可能會特別斟酌這一點,但--我想說的是一種「知足」和「分享」的意識,而這種意識就是另一種生活的可能性的關鍵。

然而我們亦經常被人詬病:「你們始終是靠別人『捐獻』來維持運作。」第一,正如我上面所言,我覺得那是分享而不是捐獻(按:相對來說我們亦有其他東西跟別人分享);第二,也許你不會相信,我們即將要有生產了。當然我們還不能在這裡種米,但多得陳曉蕾小姐的建議,我們終於可以自行生產糧食了--這兩天我們就會有自己發的芽菜可以吃了!這是一件小事,真的,但這是一件重要的小事。記得當時我還非常投入一些行政的工作,所以是由我跟陳曉蕾小姐洽談的;說真的,聽到她的建議時我心裡非常興奮,因為曉蕾讓我以至大家都知道了即便我們身處在一片空無一物的石屎地上,我們仍然有機會「無中生有」,我們可以把田由鄉間搬到城市--雖然現在那塊田是一個發泡膠箱.但一切仍然是有可能的。如果我們是「零」、空無一物的,那就讓我們由零開始去建立吧,我相信這也是這個社區出現的原因,而我們不必著急,尤其是既然我們根本沒打算離開的話,我們更加可以慢慢的、一步一步的去發掘和嘗試更多可能性。

所以,對於這個社區,我其實是樂觀的。我不是叫大家自我安慰或沾沾自喜,但看吧,大家有見過香港有這種模式的社會運動嗎?有朋友提醒我說菜園村生活館是另一例子,但對我來說這次又是不同的,也許是鄉間和城市的分別,又也許是其他具體上、細節上的分別,對我來說,這是第一次我們從(城市的)生活出發去作改變,我們嘗試以改變自身的生活去告訴其他人另一種生活的可能性,而我們不是「空口說白話」,我們是切切實實的在嘗試把我們心目中的一些對「生活」的想像變成現實。俗語有云:「認真你就輸了」(笑),我不知道這次我們會是贏或輸,又或是贏輸都根本不重要,但我們是前所未有的認真了,而我深信即便我們這個運動有多微不足道,它亦已經在人們的心目中留下微小卻重要的一點印象,並且在我們自己當中,這個印象是以後都會一直影響我們自己的生活的:我們想像我們可以有另一種生活,我們想像我們可以有更好的生活,而我們是有能力把想像化為真實的。

P.S 有(笑)的都是開玩笑,不要放在心上。

Deni

25-10-2011

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Another Kind of Life – A Better Life: Thoughts from Occupy Central

To be frank I am a very slow person, so – sorry, I am late.

Probably two days ago before Occupy Central, I had just finished teaching three consecutive guitar lessons in Mong Kok. I was exhausted but stayed to hear that Chi and his two friends were discussing the possibility of another lifestyle, for example, is there a substitute to replace money, as far as can we live without money.

One of the most frequently asked question of visitors (whether publics and media reporters) is: ‘What is your purpose at the end?’ and ‘What do you want to achieve?’ We all know where we have a large banner that reads ‘Anti-Capitalism’. Perhaps many people think that all of us dislike capitalism, but the answer is a big no. And what I want to discuss here is not whether we are “anti-capitalists", because regardless of the answer, I believe we actually want to find a better lifestyle – the possibility of another lifestyle; I believe most of the participants have been asked this question, I myself have been asked at least no less than five times, and find it annoying sometimes, because when it comes to the possibility of another lifestyle, I think we are already doing what we want to do, and I think what we are doing is the best answer. (Note: This may also answer another popular frequently asked question: for the “consensus” of occupiers. What I am saying is clearly not a political “consensus", but when we consider “lifestyle" dimension, I think the people inside this community have already the “consensus" of lifestyle, and I personally very much doubt whether the community needs or can produce a political “consensus", but I will not go into the details.)

Space, food, cigarettes, power, etc., are things that are shared and open to all in this community. This a place where we sleep together, which there is a bunch of food that everyone can eat, and even cigarettes are shared. Everyone can express their views and opinions when it comes to decision making. Since the first day until now we are still implementing the absolute consensus system, as long as one against, that topic for discussion will not be passed; of course, we have a lot of people, and sometimes the discussion thus became lengthy, and reaching a final decision was difficult, but now we have yet to find a better way.

But what I want to say the most is not this kind of political thing – People always say I am a simple and “naïve” person. I like to have some sort of life stories as a starting point for discussion – What I want to say is how we attempt to live another shared, out-of-the-capitalist lifestyle, in the underground of HSBC’s head office – where extreme capitalism lies.

One of the most received materials is food, so I think food is the most easy-to-understand and suitable example to illustrate my argument. At the beginning we have not received food donations, therefore we all have our own food, while in Central it is very difficult to find a restaurant that is not a chain store. What comes unexpected is that visitors started to donate food to us, perhaps they may think that most people of social movements are relatively poor (giggles), and those people, like us, come from all walks of life. They want to support us but cannot stay with us, so many choose to donate money and materials to express the support of our actions. I do not know whether they are mere visitors or participants, but I actually think that regardless of whether they have left behind, they are already part of this community. “They" are “we." Even if it is only to donate a bag of bread, it is sharing. I think it should not be called donations, but be called sharing; because when a person wants to share, the first condition is that he knows that he has sufficient, so he gives out the extra and shares with others – and I do not want to talk about the “ownership" problem, I know some people may be particularly appropriate about this, but – what I want to say is that this kind of consciousness of “sharing", this awareness, is another key to the possibility of another lifestyle.

However, we have often been criticized: “You guys rely on others’ donation to maintain your operation." First, as I said above, it is sharing, but not donations (Note: We also have other things to share with others). Secondly, unbelievably, we will have production. Of course, we cannot grow rice here, but thanks to Miss Chen Xiaolei’s recommendations, we can finally produce our own food – we will have our own hair sprouts in two days! This is a tiny matter, really, but this is an important tiny matter. I remember I was very involved in some administrative work, so I discussed with Miss Chen Xiaolei; indeed, when I heard her suggestion I was very excited because she let me know that even if we live on an empty concrete ground, we still have the opportunity to create out of “nothing", we can move the countryside field to the city – although the field is just a piece of foam boxes now. But everything is still possible. If we are “zero", empty, and then let us start from “zero” to build it, and I believe it is why this community forms. We do not have to worry, especially since we do not intend to leave, we can discover more possibilities lowly, and step by step.

So, I am indeed optimistic of community. I am not telling everyone to self-comfort themselves, but see, have we seen this kind of social movement in Hong Kong? A friend reminded me that the CYT village garden is another example, but for me this time is different, perhaps it is the difference between the countryside and cities, and perhaps it is the specific details. For me, this is the first time we (from the city) start to make changes, we try to change our lives to tell other people the possibility of another lifestyle, and we are not “talking empty". We try to put our imagination into reality. As the saying goes: “If you are serious, you lose" (giggles), I do not know whether we will win or lose this time, or maybe winning or losing are not that important, but we are have never been this serious, and I am confident that no matter how trivial this exercise may be, it has been left in people’s minds, the small and important impression, the impression that affects our own lives: we imagine that we can have another life, we imagine we can have a better life, and we have the ability to make it real.

Deni

25-10-2011

(Translation by Cherie Lee)

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