Thoughts about the future of OWS with Captain Ray Lewis
What are you expecting of OWS on September 17?
I’m expecting one hell of a turnout, and that’ll tell me that this movement is still very much alive. That’s because the problems haven’t gone away. They haven’t even dissipated slightly. It’s the same amount of corruption and subsequently I don’t see people going away.
How do you think the movement can grow in the upcoming months?
What I’m trying to do is get this occupation to grow by getting mainstream Americans to wake up and get involved. That’s one of the reasons for my sign, which advocates everyone to watch “Inside Job,” which is about the financial crisis. Once you watch this documentary, not only will you understand Occupy, you’ll be a full-fledged advocate.
What kind of resistance do you hope to see with the upcoming election?
One of my big things is advocating pacifism. I don’t like any kind of violence. I don’t even like civil disobedience, in taking the streets and stopping traffic, even though I participated in that. That’s why I was arrested, but I did that to show solidarity with the young people. But we have to be careful with any action that can be interpreted by mainstream America as that can make us look like trouble makers.
What can be learned from OWS one year later?
Everyone has learned that there’s a movement afoot. It’s here. It’s going to stay and it’s going to stay until the problems disappear and that won’t be for a while. What people don’t realize is you need to be patient. As you get older you get more patient, but the young people didn’t have the patience and wanted to see changes quicker. You have to realize this is going to be a long tour and you have to stay the course.
Ray Lewis is a retired Philadelphia police captain who was arrested last November during an OWS action in New York City.